Sunday, May 03, 2009

Travelers, Airlines: You're Doing It Right With This Flu Alarm. So Let's Not Have a Cow When the WHO Goes All Defcon 1

The reaction to the swine-flu outbreak, especially among travelers and airlines, has mostly been marked by common sense, by an appreciation of scientific reason, by prudence, and in the case of some corporations and airlines, by a reasonable and totally justifiable appreciation of various legalities and potential liabilities.

Reliable, up-to-date information is readily accessible online to anyone who wants it -- and by all indications, most travelers have found their various ways to stay reliably informed.

We all have to look at the usual easily-frightened cable-TV-news hysterics, and the tiny minority of easily-alarmed print local news outlets.

(Eeeeek! A transatlantic plane from Germany got diverted to Boston instead of Washington because some lady wasn't feeling good!}

The good cultural news: We're all not about to have a cow if the World Health Organization (WHO) raises the official "pandemic" level to Level 6, as is now anticipated by some reasonable political authorities, including the sensible U.S. Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano.

If, as anticipated, WHO pulls the trigger on declaring Level Six, please do not flash back on those war-room scenes in "Dr. Strangelove." Of course, some media hysterics will unwittingly do just that, and miss the irony of George C. Scott as U.S. Air Force General "Buck" Turgidson.

Here, again, is the exact WHO language, so you can evaluate it on your own, just in case some media nitwit gets it all wrong, and whaddya think the chances of that might be?

To my fellow travelers, I say: My God, you men and women have seen it all over many years; you have have evaluated it; and again you have simply refused to panic. You have evaluated the situation, and you have plunged on.

Well done, as they say in the United States Navy when they really, really mean it.


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