Swine Flu and RPV

By Loudoun Insider

This is looking worse and worse.  The World Health organization believes a swine flu pandemic is imminent and raised its threat level to a 5 on a 6 step scale (Bloomberg story here).

An interesting question has been floating around the last couple of days – what if the GOP Convention needs to be cancelled because of a flu pandemic???  This has a small chance of happening, but with all the rancor in the AG race so far, can you just imagine the political mess that would ensue?  What are the contingency plans?

Yet another reason to scrap these ridiculous conventions.  Let’s get party registration done and have expanded participation via primary elections.


  • Alter of Freedom says:

    I simply do not get all this pent up hysteria over this given the data. I am all for being proactive but alot of this makes no sense to any of us who have actually traveled the world and understand that in places like Africa and the Far East there are literally thousands of death every year simply because of the common flu. Its about medical care and not so much about the viral nature of the strains. One case in the US resulting in death and it was an infant who was visiting the country does not even an “outbreak” make. All this proves just how powerful the media can shape stories and we as a people run with it. Will this simply be another reason or excuse to insert government control on the populace? Did we not learn anything from Sars I think years back about the hyping effect. I am all for preparedness but I think all this is a bit peculiar given what data is at hand right now for the U.S.

  • not Russ Moulton says:

    OMG, this is a joke right?

    One death, less than an hundred cases in US and you are worried?

    Any idea how many die EVERY YEAR from Spanish Flu and other strains? Every single year? Spreads all over the globe. Like clockwork, even after mass vaccinations.

    Please, take a tonic and settle down.

    I think you just miss the adrenaline high from the Frederick imbroglio.


  • Anonymous says:

    Well some of the people over at the operative think it is the GOP’s fault. And alter you are correct there is much mis information about this.

    The bigger problem is the unfounded fear and panic people are starting to have over this. Most of us will live thru it just fine if we get it.

  • Ben Dover says:

    Now look here, Alter, Not Russ, and Anonymous – you may regard the Swine Flu outbreak MSM reporting, and governmental precautions as hype and overkill, but riddle me these questions three: Despite your world travels, have any of you previously experienced a pandemic? Have you personally looked through the lens of a scanning tunneling microscope to observe the genetic mutation process of these viruses in action? Have you studied the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918? Do any of you have a basic understanding for pathogenic variation? For that matter, has any of you washed your hands today?

    Okay – that was five questions. But my point is this: Are any of you experts in infectious disease from either an academic or clinical perspective? If so, please enlighten the rest of us on what we should be thinking relative to this entire flu situation. If not, then shouldn’t we be a little respectful of the fact that this might be serious? Maybe when all is said and done, this won’t turn into a pandemic, but I think that the CDC and WHO are attempting to handle this as responsibly as they can – and if they weren’t communicating to a heightened extent with the media regarding the current outbreak, both organizations would be trashed by people who felt they didn’t provide information in as timely or detailed a manner as the situation and circumstances warranted.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Ben, have you tried Tamiflu with a Dewars chaser?

  • Ben Dover says:

    No Burkenator –

    I haven’t consumed Tamiflu, and candidly must express that I hope I have no occasion to do so. Now…if you were to conduct a double blind study to evaluate the efficacy of Tamiflu when taken with a Dewars chaser, and I could be part of the control group that uses a placebo with a Dewars chaser, by all means, count me in.

    My son, Skip, got the seasonal flu in February, which necessitated the use of Relenza (a neuraminidase inhibitor) – different than Tamiflu, but one of the drugs being stock-piled at present. Not fun watching a very active high school kid down for the count, and from my observations the Relenza didn’t really do much, I’m sorry to say. These drugs will undoubtedly produce different results for different people. By the way, when we took him to the physician’s office, I was pleased to learn that many doctors now have flu screening devices – kind of like the quick strep test – they can do a nasal swab and in about five minutes determine if the flu virus is in your system. I’m sure that these devices have not been programmed for the current variation of flu, but it’s most certainly just a matter of time.

  • I agree that the chances of a swine flu pandemic causing any significant loss of life in the United States are low, and that the MSM has been over-hyping (as usual) this issue.

    That being said, it does bear looking into. Especially after 9/11, I wonder what the backup plan would be in the event it becomes impossible to hold the convention.

    And LI’s point is still valid – this is just another reason (granted, a small one) why conventions are outmoded and should be scrapped.

  • Anonymous says:

    We only have a convention so that a few socially awkward, lonely (that nut out in Loudoun), power hungry folks can control the party agenda and feel important, like they have a purpose. God forbid they loose their (not all of them, exclude those who support primaries) special titles like “central committee member” let alone loose any source of power or face time a convention provides them with.

    I support using ANY excuse to get rid of this system and having a primary where you gather important voter ID information, build up a ground game and build both name recommendation and get much more press than you do with this joke of a system.

  • center+right=rationale says:

    We only have a convention so that a few socially awkward, extremely lonely, power hungry folks can control the party agenda and feel important, like they have a purpose. God forbid they (not all of them, exclude those who support primaries) loose their special titles like “central committee member” let alone loose any source of power or face time a convention provides them with.

    I support using ANY excuse to get rid of this system and having a primary where you gather important voter ID information, build up a ground game and build both name recommendation and get much more press than you do with this joke of a system.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Ben- was Mad Cow a pandemic? Just asking.

  • Loudoun Watcher says:

    I want to know who the lonely nut job in Loudoun is. 🙂

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    I just looked at the Operative Word and they are posting Huffington Post articles that explain why the Bush administration is to blame for the flu. I thought it came from eating pork products…… Yes, my 11 year old daughter heard at school not to eat hot dogs because they could catch the flu and die. Gotta love kids.

    Seriously though, my son had the flu in February too and you have to start taking the tamiflu with 48 hours of the symptoms or it won’t help much. We caught it right at 48 hours and he was probably sick for another 2-3 days, but I know kids that were down and out for 7-8 days because their parents didn’t think it was necessary to take them to the doctor.

    My concern is if there is a local outbreak and schools close for a couple days, people will still send their kids to daycare which will totally defeat the purpose of closing the schools.

  • Not RM, I’m personally not worried about this at all, and I’m quite calm about it. It is a concern making the rounds however and worthy of discussion. And I’ll take any chance I can get to make fun of these stupid conventions.

  • Freddie says:

    This is the worst argument I’ve ever seen for a primary. There are plausible arguments for a primary; this is not one of them.

  • CR UVa says:

    Remembering SARS and the bird flu, taking precaution is wise as it would be with any newly discovered disease, but the reaction we have seen, especially from the MSM, is far more than necessary. Considering how many people die each year from other strains of the flu, the reactions we have seen over the swine flu are just silly at best, and an excuse for our and other governments to spend more at worst. Don’t buy into the hype; just watch your health and if you suspect you may have the flu, that is what the ER and Tamiflu are for.

  • Freddie, don’t take everything so literally! There are tons of reasons to scrap these stupid conventions and this isn’t even on the list.

  • Ben Dover says:

    Alter –

    I don’t think that Mad Cow Disease (aka Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) qualifies as being pandemic – epidemic, perhaps. But, we are talking about a very different disease here, as well. For example, cow consumption is essential to even have a hope of getting BSE. Additionally, you really need to consume cows that have consumed other cows to further optimize your chances. So, while BSE does not rate as a pandemic in my book, and while I must presume that you cite BSE to underscore an example of what you regard to be MSM hype, you need to consider that actions taken following the initial BSE outbreak have served to make our food supply safer.

    I certainly hope that the Swine Flu outbreak ends up being anything but a pandemic. But it seems clear to me that our world is increasingly becoming one big test tube – a sort of human disease cocktail if you will – new ingredients and factors are being added all of the time – mutations are taking place all of the time. One day we are likely to see a viral concoction that is downright ugly in terms of its impact. In fact, I don’t regard this to be a question of whether, but more a question of when. In the interim, we will be subjected to periodic scares, some more noteworthy than others. If the “hype” saves one member of your immediate or extended family, Alter, then I would argue that while somewhat annoying – the “hype” should be otherwise tolerated.

    Now – on that note, let me make a more upbeat suggestion to you, sir: Tonight, break out that special bottle of Merlot that you’ve been sitting on these past few years, and celebrate your good health!

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    “Hype” also as proven by the media can used as a tool as well to control liberty as well Ben Dover. Just once I would appreciate it when it comes to medical and health related issues they stop trying to be the tip of the sword on things. Its ridiculous. One night they act as if they are experts on the economy, the bailouts, international and national security and the next they are all suddenly the most well informed CDC people….just waiting for that right opportunity to show all they know I guess. Please. Much of the last 24 hours that was reported about Swine Flu could be taken right of Wiki for Gods sake.
    Mad Cow killed 164 Brits alone and countless flu starins throughout the world kill thousands every year in thrid world countries. maybe the media just does not want to admit that we actually DO have the best healthcare and health safety apparatus in the entire world.

  • Ben Dover says:

    Alter –

    I’m not going to say that the media is without issues, but let’s be honest – it is a marketing engine. If I want you to watch or listen to my programs there are a couple of avenues I can pursue. High quality, thoughtful programming (BORING), or, scare the shit out of you programming (CAPTIVATING). Asking the media outlets to conduct themselves in a manner that is a bit more reserved is unrealistic. Further, try walking into your average fast food joint and doing a poll of how many people know what Wiki is – or who their congressman or senators are – or to name the chief justice of the SCOTUS. We live in a lowest common denominator society. I don’t think that the media outlets would dispute that we actually have the best healthcare and health safety apparatus in the world – honestly, I didn’t know that these were at issue (or should I say healthcare technology versus healthcare delivery). I still suggest you break out that bottle of Merlot, and drink a swig or two to your own “rugged individualism.” I don’t think it’s a bad thing to question the motives of our media – all I have been trying to say is that given the choice of getting information out there or not – I favor getting the information out there.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Well put Ben- my only real issue with the media is they are no longer acting as agents “reporting” news but have moved to the very same model they say they oppose so much with every other industry and thats a “for profit model” in that they “shape” the news and no longer report the news for people.
    Afterall, its all about being an “entertainment” compnay and not a news service. I think Cronkite and others must be rolling over given how traditional news journalism and reporting has died in America.

  • G. Stone says:

    All of this from putting lipstick on a pig.

  • Stonewall Brigade says:

    Not Russ Moulton is correct. Conventions are here to stay.

  • And the Republicans who emerge from them still don’t necessarily reflect the will of the whole people.
    Primaries, by their very nature, are a cross section of the electorate.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Conventions foster insidership and power grabs IMHO. I understand one can enage the process and become a delegate, but many people go to these and come away with a really bad taste for the affair. I support open primarties and firehouse primaries as a means of leveling the playing field amongst candidates….conventions are about wheeling and dealing and primaries are a better reflection of the electorate that will vote in the general. Think of it this way folks; conventions bring you Gilmores as candidates that everyone knows cannot win and also Chair people like Frederick. You want to keep hitching your wagon to that mechanism by all means do so but don’t scratch your head when you find yourself uncompetitive in the future.

  • Agreed, AoF. Only people who can afford to or have the time to take off all day can go. In a state as large as Virginia this is absolutely unfair to those located far away from the location. And we wonder why state politics are still so Richmond-centric?

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