Swine influenza

April 26, 2009

Just as I’ve confessed my interest in catastrophes and end of the world scenarios, news reports start piling in about a new potential global pandemic. The H1N1 influenza (aka swine flu) has by some estimates infected 1300+ people in Mexico, with possible infections also spotted in the USA and New Zealand.

While on a rational level I can clearly see the dangers of this infection, it still fascinates me. Will it spread over the entire world? Reach Finland? Will it slip through international safety measures? What if it truly reaches the developing countries of Africa and Asia? Will the deceased get up and devour the living? I swear, when the zombie apocalypse hits, I’ll still be going ohboyohboyohboy (and playing Pandemic 2) when the first zombies are nomming on my flesh.

For a genre aficionado the news articles read like something out of a zombie film:

Following the situation here in Finland, Professor Petri Ruutu of the National Institute for Health and Welfare told YLE that with faster and more common overseas travel, all it takes is for one traveller to become infected.

The World Health Organisation has said it hasn’t got enough information on the epidemic, and does not yet know if it has spread beyond Mexico and the United States.

Experts at WHO and elsewhere believe that the world is now closer to another influenza pandemic than at any time since 1968, when the last of the previous century’s three pandemics occurred.

Mexican soldiers and health workers patrolled airports and bus stations as they tried to corral people who may be infected with the swine flu, as it became clearer that the government may have been slow to respond to the outbreak in March and early April.

CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing it was likely too late to try to contain the outbreak, by vaccinating, treating or isolating people.

And so on.  One of the interesting aspects of today’s world is that with all the communication tools available, one can literally observe history being written in real-time. I’m sure to keep watch on this to see how it develops.

Still, something to bear in mind: This is neither a film nor a game, 81 people are dead. There is nothing, and I mean nothing cool and fascinating about that.


  1. Like

    • Hehee, we got exactly the same idea with manatic when we talked about the situation over MSN:

      “It feels like god is playing Pandemic 2 and he’s not too good. The virus is already visible and Madagascar will probably shut down everything soon…”


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