The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Don’t delay
The families of the children who died from bird flu in Turkey delayed taking their sick children to the hospital. Would it have helped if they had gotten care sooner? Probably. With a disease like this, the passage of time can be as much of an enemy as can the flu.

Rising or falling?
Is bird flu risk diminishing in Turkey? Dr. Rodier, the WHO expert on the ground there, seems to think so. I believe that information and openness reduce the spread of any disease, particularly when the whole world is focusing so much attention on this one area. Other pandemics, I think, were born and flourished in the dark and in ignorance. We certainly don’t have that today in Turkey, at least not as much as we did three weeks ago. Do those conditions exist anywhere else? From what I’ve seen and heard even China seems to be making a major effort to crack down on H5N1, and avoid a pandemic. On the other hand, when China doesn’t share its samples of bird flu, and when you have such a huge country with so many people, and so many birds, and with so many opportunities for disease to go unreported, that tips the scale in favor of a pandemic ultimately developing. We are accustomed, in this country, to having instantaneous news. Bird flu isn’t like that. It will play out over the next few years. No one knows the final outcome. Let us hope a pandemic is not that outcome.

Another bad day for birds
There has been a report that a huge number of pigeons died in Murmansk. I don’t know what’s going on here. Are more birds than usual dying, or are we just reporting them better than ever before? I hope it’s the latter.

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