There has not been a global pandemic flu since the Spanish flu of 1918 and yet we are all in a state of abject fear about the bird flu of 2005. It is difficult not to be infected by the fear factor of it all as governments withdraw the stocks of flu fighting drugs and even face masks for their own defences - leaving the hapless public to their own fates. This sudden division, the sense of rightness of authority in denying the people supplies of defences, is the way in which to whip up fear. Make the little people feel vulnerable. Show them where the power is. Look, little people, you can just get sick and die. We will keep the show on the road with the drugs and masks while you are dying.
It is the stuff of science fiction writers.
There have been other flu epidemics. Asian flu was nasty in the late 50s. The Hong Kong flu in the late 60s. Then there was SARS which seemed to be contained. But oh what a panic governments and media made of that one. There was a run on face masks and they became impossible to buy.
One could be cynical enough to think that mask manufacturers or drug manufacturers whipped up such scares for a bit of profit - as wars are generated for weapons manufacturers, many believe.
I am quite sure that the Bird Flu is out there among birds, just as cat flu is out there among cats, and cat AIDS which is not the same as our AIDS. Then there is Ebola which is the scariest thing of all.
Then again, influenza generally is the biggest of all killers - and the 1918 pandemic was a recor-breaker. Maybe 50 million people died.
Today it is easier to spread disease with the little germ tubes of international air travel. I have never escaped from a long-distance flight uninfected - a nasty upper respiratory tract infection after every major trip. Air travel is sickness travel.
So, if they are going to get the flu shots going,(and they are working like fury on getting them ready, testing now and maybe results by December) they should begin my innoculating every air traveller and move on into the general community from there. Not looking after politicians and the military. They need to go to the points of infection.
But of course that would not work for the power play of politics. Like terrorism, the Bird Flu is another way to make the populace afraid and vulnerable.
We are discriminated against. We are depowered. We are shown who is boss.
Oh yes, there is more to this media campaign than Bird Flu.