Monday, August 31, 2009
What might life be like during the kind of major swine flu pandemic predicted by the White House to hit the U.S. this fall?
The worst-case scenarios percolate on the edges of thought: bans on public gatherings, restricting the movement of afflicted individuals, and compelled vaccinations. Conspiracy theorists go farther, suggesting that the World Health Organization is behind a secret plan to inoculate Americans at gunpoint with immune-system depleting vaccines to depopulate the globe.
The CDC’s report, released Monday, may well create some level of hysteria. It said 1.8 million Americans could become seriously ill this fall and as many as 90,000 could die.
In truth, America’s national pandemic response plan has been shaped by lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed millions globally and did include gun-point quarantines. If the circumstances are deemed dire enough, the government’s “Pandemic Influenza Plan” allows for strong measures, such as banning public gatherings and calling in the military to help with law enforcement.
This article was posted: Monday, August 31, 2009 at 3:44 am