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An interesting thing happened the other day. I was invited to Washington to participate in a Pandemic Influenza Leadership Forum Conference on June 13 sponsored by HHS. While the details aren't fleshed out yet, there will be a blogging piece to it.

With topics like When Pandemic Influenza Occurs: Setting the Stage for Individual Preparedness and A Vision for a Preparedness Movement, and with high level White House, HHS and CDC involvement, it should be a good time to catch up on current status and give input on where the online community sees things going.

There's also a sponsored blog to be set up by HHS, in addition to continued netroots blogging, that will take place over a five week period. Each week, a question will be posted to the internet with (hopefully) interactive response.

What is the purpose of the Department of Health and Human Services campaign for pandemic preparedness?

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is engaging national leaders across business, health care, faith-based and civic sectors in an effort to communicate the importance of individual preparedness for pandemic flu and the unique and important role employers, faith leaders, civic leaders and health care providers have in encouraging other people to prepare.


These national leaders are coming together via two events: 1) the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog and 2) the Pandemic Influenza Leadership Forum. The Leadership Forum is a one-day conference to be held on June 13th in Washington, DC. In the weeks leading up to and following the Forum, the five-week-long blog summit will take place online to provide participating leaders with an opportunity to have a conversation about pandemic preparedness with the broader public.


Why a blog summit?

HHS recognizes that the conversation about individual preparedness for pandemic flu must extend beyond the gathering in Washington, DC and that, in fact, it already has ? with the vibrant conversation about pandemic flu that is underway within social media, in which many individuals and leaders already participate.

Vibrant conversation? Social media? That would be us, folks.

How will the blog summit work?

To help drive the conversation, a set of specific questions on ideas and plans for preparedness will be asked throughout the blog summit (see below for a list of discussion questions)...


What are the questions?

Week 1:

Why should we, as Americans, be concerned about personal preparedness for pandemic influenza?  Why is it important that individuals commit to prepare?  Why is this particularly important to me, as a community, business/labor, religious, or health care leader?


Week 2:

What challenges will I, along with my peers, face in mobilizing those whom I influence?  What are my community?s concerns?  What do I need from the Department of Health and Human Services ? or others ? to be able to make a contribution?  Have I faced other challenges in mobilizing my community from which there are lessons learned?  What is an appropriate role for me as it relates to this issue?  What am I willing and able to do?


Week 3:

Are there existing programs that I am aware of that might be useful to helping to communicate the importance of personal preparedness for pandemic flu?  How can they help?  What is it that motivates me to lead and how can this knowledge help me to motivate others to lead as well?  Who else in my community would I want to be engaged in this issue?


Week 4:

What are some of the lessons learned from the Leadership Forum?  


Week 5:

What will be the top factors in achieving our collective goals?  What will successful mobilization look like?  What will be my next steps?

That first and second set of questions, about why to prep and what makes people prep, have been tackled by us, but this time, we get to address 'how long' and 'why' to the folks who make policy, as well as hear their responses. I'll be participating as a poster and blogger as well as an audience member; here's a chance for you to talk to both policy makers and a broader audience with your questions and concerns.


As we get closer to the event, I will share what information I can gather. But however this shakes out, credit is due to the organizers for at least being willing to try to put the "public" back in public health, and to try some innovative approaches that involve the online community. There's wisdom in crowds, at least there is if enough people participate.

previous flu posts can be found by clicking my name

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this post is a follow up (10+ / 0-)

    to this one:
    Pandemic planners urged to tap grass roots

    Sounds like attempts are being made to do just that.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:05:50 PM PDT

  •  This is good news indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pidge not midge

    The more participatory, the better. Thanks. I look forward to your future posts.

    What if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about? -Anon.

    by deha on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:09:23 PM PDT

  •  I heard this is all a plot ... (7+ / 0-)

    ...by Donald Rumsfeld and the other people who planned and executed 9/11 to scare Americans into buying drugs that will make the former SecDef and his pals even richer. So I ain't participating in no stinkin' grassroots flu project.

    < /snark off>

    •  Wellllllllllllllll. . . (5+ / 0-)

      Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Gilead's chairman in 1997 when he joined the Bush administration, stands to gain handsomely from his stock in Gilead, manufacturer of Tamiflu-- between $5 million and $25 million.

      I bet the shit doesn't do a damn bit of good. If we do have another 1918 style pandemic, survival will probably come down to the flu strains each generation have been exposed to and the immunities those exposures have generated in each individual.

      Don't forget Rumsferatu was behind aspartame too- gee I think I would love something that metabolizes into formaldehyde in my liver! Mmmm Mmmm Good!

      Nothing these fuckers are behind is honest or beneficial to their victims targeted market.

      But then MB, I'm sure you knew these things. ;)

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. -Aldous Huxley

      by Dave925 on Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:10:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tamiflu in the news recently (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave925, npbeachfun

        Japan is looking into whether two influenza drugs other than Tamiflu are linked to abnormal behavior including cases of young patients screaming and one boy attempting to jump off a balcony, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

        Japan in March warned against prescribing Tamiflu to those aged 10 to 19 after more than 100 people, mostly young, showed signs of abnormal behavior after taking the drug.

        MSNBC

        The Rapture is not an exit strategy. (-6.5/-7.33)

        by pidge not midge on Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:21:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "Government Shot" (0+ / 0-)

        Now THERE's a good, menacing-sounding name for a heavy-metal band ...

      •  "Public health" would benefit more from nutrition (0+ / 0-)

        This is a nice exercise for fertile imaginations. I have not lost hope that medical professionals wake up and address the real problems of diseases and disorders like STD's, TB, smoking, malnutirition , obesity and legal and illegal drug abuse which plague Americans and the world.
        And OH, what about NEW ORLEANS???

        •  what of them? (0+ / 0-)

          they're real. Alas, the modern world faces more than one problem. But some of these have a good deal less to do with medical professionals "waking up" and a good deal more to do with personal responsibility. Take smoking, for example. Quitting is problematic. But the best solution is never to start.

          Fertile imagination? Would you have NOLA not 'waste time' with levee rebuilding? Pandemics affect everyone; the good, the bad, the ugly, the responsible, the irresponsible, the vulnerable... and sticking your head in the sand because of a lack of imagination is hardly a solution.

          OTOH, rebuilding public health infrastructure so as to mitigate a pandemic or other natural disaster benefits everyone in the long run. it helps the country to cope with all sorts of emerging infectious diseases, 80% of which come from animals. Surveillance, detection, etc... it's a great way to keep the country healthy and is an excellent investment (and that includes mental health infrastructure).

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 19, 2007 at 03:45:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you attend to mending what is real (0+ / 0-)

            The country is not healthy NOW. Doctors are not handling real health crises now. If you attend to mending real problems, rather than planning triage for what does not exist - and never may - you will have my respect.
            This is a chimera.

            •  actually, (0+ / 0-)

              it's a lack of understanding on your part... a lack of imagination, a lack of knowledge and a rather stubborn resistance to understanding what is 'real', based on your own preconceived misconceptions.

              The public health world disagrees with you, and with good reason. They realize that not only is the need for preparations necessary, but that the public has not done so and the health infrastructure is poorly prepared for public health emergencies.

              That's what's 'real'. Emergencies happen. So do pandemics. The probability of one happening is 100%. What's unclear is when, which virus and how bad it will be.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 19, 2007 at 08:54:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have not had flu in decades (0+ / 0-)

                What you call real I think is almost purely theoretical.
                I have not had influenza or even a mild cold in more than a decade - possibly longer. The reason for this is not that that I have the flu shot - rather, because I have a great immune system, due to excellent nutrition  (both supplements and food).
                Of course the public health world disagrees with me. Their jobs depend on people not knowing the truth about their immune systems. Our city nutritionist tells me she is treated with less respect than nurses are by doctors and officials.
                It looks as if medicine is now the art of looking for trouble, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
                NOLA happened because public officials lied to citizens. Go to the Ninth Ward in New Orleans and help at their clinic if you want to do something real.

                •  oh please (0+ / 0-)

                  A medical conspiracy, huh? Sounds to me like you're saying 'because I'm interested in nutrition, nobody else should be interested in pandemic preparations'. There are many who think that the two subjects are perfectly compatible.

                  In the meantime:

                  Public-health officials at the state and federal levels have been wise to begin preparations for a worldwide flu outbreak, one of the federal government's top medical advisers said Friday during a visit to Springfield.

                  "It's absolutely, positively going to happen - a pandemic of influenza," said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

                  "But here's the dilemma: No one knows when, we don't know with what virus, and we don't know how severe it will be."

                  NOLA happened because there weren't enough people who understood the importance of prevention. There was always some clown who says "forget about repairing the levees, and forget about cat 5 hurricanes. That's a chimera. Hasn't happened in my lifetime." We know the outcome of that kind of thinking.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 19, 2007 at 09:27:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Alleviation of the suffering of real Americans (0+ / 0-)

                    NOLA happened because officials lied, because the levees were built short, and because notification was not just not given in time - it was blocked.

                    I do not trust medical "authorities" and public health officials who enforce lock-step "standard practice", but that does not mean that I believe in conspiracies. I am tired of doctors who have forgotten the Primum and "Let your food be your medicine".

                    I am sorry that you take more interest in disaster scenarios no one knows when than in alleviation of the suffering of real Americans now.

                    •  all opinionated posts (0+ / 0-)

                      not one frickin' link posted by you. Did you click on any of ones I provided?

                      Enough said. Ranting against "authorities" is a misguided mission.

                      I do not trust medical "authorities" and public health officials who enforce lock-step "standard practice"

                      aka quality control and performance improvement. You lost me there if that's what you believe. Here's what I believe:

                      "In God we trust, all others bring data."

                      Dr. W. Edwards Deming 1900-1993, American Statistician

                      -- Framed plaque from the '60s, hanging in the Mission Evaluation Room at Johnson Space Center, downstairs from Mission Control.

                      Thanks for stopping by.

                      PS the artwork is great!! (click the links in Tigana's sig).

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 20, 2007 at 06:33:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  America is sick *now* (0+ / 0-)

                        I clicked on the links you provided. I read Bellamy's EREWHON at my grandmother's knee, so I recognize a utopian fantasy when I see one.

                        Position papers and speculation are NOT data.

                        To quickly state the obvious (I can supply data at length):
                        The medical system in America is sick now. America is sick now. When public health officials and their affilates and colleagues work on real problems and better the quality of life of Americans who need help now, they'll have my admiration.

                        •  yes, that's true (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Tigana

                          America does have major medical issues now. That's so, but actually addressing panflu prep also addresses some (not all) of America's medical problems.

                          if it makes you happier to address America's medical problems so that panflu can be addressed properly, it brings you to the same place.

                          Having a Problem A, in other words, does not preclude you from having another Problem B. Now, any solution that helps both is worth pursuing.

                          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                          by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 20, 2007 at 06:11:32 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Being on dKos puts you in a unique position (0+ / 0-)

                            Being on dKos puts you in a unique position to advocate for others and to help them.

                          •  indeed (0+ / 0-)

                            and there's a major health component planned for yearly Kos that I am involved in, bigger than just panflu.

                            But this panflu stuff is really unique in its own right. this virus scares infectious disease people like no other. memories are short--- the last pandemic was 1968 and it was very mild. Today, it would overwhelm our system and shut down the JIT economy.

                            And then there was 1918...

                            I say again, address panflu and you also are forced to address the bigger health system. There's no way to deal with a pandemic otherwise.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 21, 2007 at 04:55:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  click on (0+ / 0-)

                            nyceve and read her diaries for more.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 21, 2007 at 04:56:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  There's wisdom and madness in crowds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    npbeachfun, drchelo

    There's also wisdom and madness in networks such as blogs on the internet.  

    I think Daily Kos happens to have one of the best combinations of rules and software for suppressing the madness and promoting, or at least making space for, the wisdom.

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

    by david78209 on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:14:13 PM PDT

  •  Gosh...you mean them rude, uncivil.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous

    ...bogger folk, kinda like DFH's ya know, have been bloggin' about the boid flu!

    And Jeeper's the WH is involved!

    Pardon me while I give the big horse laugh to the scum whom Bush has appointed to keep us safe.....

    And their desperate attempt to change the message from Abut Gonzales to nasty ol' Boid Flu...

    'I'm writing as Nestor since scoop in it's awesome wisdom won't let me use my real screen name: A.Citizen'

    by Nestor Makhnow on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:27:19 PM PDT

    •  even a stopped clock is correct (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      monkeybiz, bablhous, npbeachfun

      twice a day.

      Regardless of your opinion, public health people all over the world take this quite seriously.

      See also: Why We All Need To Store Food And Water and Chicken Little? Nah, It's The Little Red Hen

      Stephen Flynn, former Coast Guard commander and author of The Edge of Disaster, says that the United States medical system is unprepared to handle a catastrophic emergency such as a flu pandemic or a major terrorist attack.

      The problem, Flynn says, is that hospitals have been trying to cut costs.

      "The medical community has been moving in the direction of much of our economy," he says, "which is wringing out the extra capacity in order to essentially focus on the bottom line."

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:40:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh.... I take it very, very seriously... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave925, npbeachfun

        ...I've got a month's worth of dried food and water. Tamiflu treatment for 10 days. Guns and ammo for longer than that.

        I've been blogging and urging folks at my D/L Chapter, Oakland yeah, to get prepared.

        Very, very people listen. Mostly they think I'm nuts. Oh... I don't mention the guns when I'm trying to get them to wake the fuck up.

        Bush and the WH....

        Katrina...

        Kansas City...

        Need I say more. If the 'Big One' hits here in CA, if a force 8 or 9 comes ashore in South Carolina, if Da Boid Flu does hit....

        You and me and everybody else are on their own. The Skull, head of DHS told Arnold as much when he visited after the flooding in 2005. In so many words.

        I support your effort to inform people but I'd have no confidence in our government to help us.

        That is the greatest damage Bush has done to our nation and  one which I think he will pay the price for.

        We may yet get a chance to see that famous 'American self-reliance' or....

        Maybe not.

        'I'm writing as Nestor since scoop in it's awesome wisdom won't let me use my real screen name: A.Citizen'

        by Nestor Makhnow on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:49:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I HAVE THE FLU (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, bablhous

    No kidding. But I used all the tools I had on hand for the bird flu, and this has been my best flu experience ever. I never thought I'd use those words together. I am in my fifth day, and I am vertical.

    I took Tamiflu within 1 minute of the onset of chills and fever. I also took Zyrtec, which is recommended for decongestion. I will never go through the flu again without the best pharmaceuticals money can buy. I also used Simply Saline to lower my viral load.

    It is impossible to determine which was most effective given all the variables. Also, a friend in Michigan had the flu, which she said was short but severe, so that could be a factor too. But I have to say, I'm not as freaked out about the flu as I used to be.

  •  Wow - this looks very interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous

    I'm currently reading Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague, and it's punching a few buttons.

    I look forward to hearing / reading more about this.

    "Running water in a sinking boat / you're going under but they've got your goat." - Berry, Buck, Mills, Stipe

    by turnover on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:35:55 PM PDT

  •  Are you feeling pandered to ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, npbeachfun

    I've got bells ringing, and red flags popping up all over the place... Take your Duct Tape and Visqueen just in case.

    -8.63 -7.28 "Congress _ a group of men who individually can do nothing, but as a group decide that nothing can be done."

    by OneCrankyDom on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:40:00 PM PDT

    •  see comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      georgia10

      here. We know from public health surveys that people don't even prep for hurricanes in hurricane zones,  not even after Katrina.

      See also:

      Why Don't People Prep? New Survey

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:43:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  guess the cynic in me is awake (0+ / 0-)

        it's my b'day and i'm very surprised I'm still sucking air. Bird flu is the least of my problems.

        I'm sure any form of planning is better than none if you can afford it. I don't happen to be one of those that can.

        -8.63 -7.28 "Congress _ a group of men who individually can do nothing, but as a group decide that nothing can be done."

        by OneCrankyDom on Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:12:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We've stocked up on food, medicine, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worriedmom

        and other supplies - we're in earthquake country so we've always been a little more prepared than usual. Katrina hammered the need for preparation home (Thank you, AlphaGeek)

        Specifically for flu, we've spent some family time talking abut this and planning. This includes members who don't live in our household. We've discussed what we will do when the Big Flu does hit.  A couple of them with no in-house support systems will be coming home to hunker down with us, should the time come. The ones who aren't coming here will monitor us and we them by phone so if someone gets sick, we'll know pretty quick.

        We've laid in fluids such as soups, broths, juices, bottled water; herbal palliatives such as Osha Root (helps open breathing passages and liquifies mucous), cough drops, zinc lozenges, OTC flu preparations as well as ingredients for our family Flu Tea recipe (ginger root, cardamom, lemon grass, coriander, star anise, black peppercorns, brown sugar or honey. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, add the sweetener, serve and drink hot.)  Dramamine and chamomile tea. Breathe Right strips - while promoted to decrease snoring, they work because they hold the nasal passages open - helping you to sleep more soundly when congested. I mix a foul-tasting mixture of various herbal extracts that we've found effective in relieving flu symptoms that we call 'Flu Goo'. I've got a good stock of these ingredients.

        We've laid in face masks and anti-bacterial hand cleaner, kleenex and Vicks. We have a vaporizer and a humidifier.

        We all get flu shots whenever they are offered. We're paying greater attention to our basic health - more related to keeping doctor's visits down but it pays off when the flu hits as well.

        We have changed how we wash our hands - longer and more thoroughly. We've got the grandkids singing the Alphabet song to time their hand washing. They take it seriously and we can monitor them. ("I didn't hear anybody sing. Did you wash your hands?"  They're young enough to be honest about it.) We've taken to coughing into the bend in our arm instead of our hands. The kids get a kick out of this too.

        I've established that I can work from home and have done so occasionally in order to iron out any glitches and to prove that it can work.

        I keep tabs on the Flu Wiki too.

        "We're all in this together" -- Harry Tuttle, legendary plumber

        by bablhous on Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:40:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  from St louis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous

    Participants at the Pandemic Planning Conference on Thursday at Missouri Southern State University learned that they are pretty much on their own when it comes to planning for the next killer flu.

    The keynote speaker, Gregory Evans, director of the Institute for Biosecurity at Saint Louis University, said: "The federal government should be doing more research to answer many of the questions that you have when planning for the next pandemic.

    "Since that is not happening, you really need to do as much at the local level as possible to get ready. We have to depend on ourselves and not expect the feds to be there for us."

    The federal government has known about H5N1, the virus that causes bird flu and the most likely culprit for the next pandemic, since 2003, Evans said. But, the government is suffering from what he described as "preparedness paralysis."

    In addition, he said, the public has become complacent because the H5N1 virus has not grabbed headlines of late.

    "This is a very bad virus and one we need to worry about," Evans said. "H5N1 continues to spread, and eventually it will get to the United States. The more it spreads, the more opportunity it has to mutate (into a virus that spreads from human to human)."

    link

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:12:22 PM PDT

  •  My mom just died from Flu (6+ / 0-)

    & Pneumonia in a poor 3rd world country.

    They prolly wish they could do a chest tube or a CPAP, or an intubation. We do these daily, routinely.

    The Third World can't even dream of this technology. They can't even get enough Ampicillin to fight infection.

    We can keep a virtual corpse alive in America.  

    I wonder who are the lucky ones.

    War is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:18:16 PM PDT

  •  I am "loosely" prepared. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OHdog

    It's mostly leftovers from the 15" snowfall we had on December 1.  That's very unusual here and we were stuck inside for 3 days.

    I have extra medicines and cleansers of all kinds, extra canned and dry food and water, N-95 masks, an indoor butane camp stove, a full cord of firewood for the fireplace, and a battery-operated lantern, TV and phone.  I would have the good fortune of being able to work from home as well.

    My understanding has always been that in the event of a pandemic, we should be prepared for communications and power outages because there would at best be only skeleton crews to run the necessary equipment.  

    I am of two mindsets when it comes to a flu pandemic.  On one hand, I think it is quite possible one could develop.  On the other hand, I too have flashes of being told that duct tape and garbage bags can save us all.

    The Rapture is not an exit strategy. (-6.5/-7.33)

    by pidge not midge on Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:02:24 PM PDT

  •  Could this thread use some comic relief... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pidge not midge

    Can't resist, an oldie:

    Exposed: Operation Blessed Placebo

    EWM - (Nov. 7, 2004) Federal health officials will announce this week that they have averted a pandemic by finding enough flu vaccine to inoculate the entire U.S. population. However, documents obtained exclusively by EWM show that half of the shots will actually contain Holy Water.

    "Operation Blessed Placebo," is the brainchild of a special task force made up of officials from the FDA and the President’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. The plan calls for placing flu vaccine labels on millions of vials of Holy Water and distributing them to the unsuspecting public.

    The Bush Administration believes that the healing powers of the Holy Water will magnify the placebo effect of the shots and get the country through the crisis by Divine Intervention. Meanwhile, the public will be told that the vaccine shortage never existed and was the result of "fuzzy math..."

  •  How many have seen "V for Vendetta"? (0+ / 0-)

    Damn good flick!  Those W-boys sure know how to write a screenplay.  But, of course, it was based on an excellent graphic novel.

    Anyway, to the point...

    While I do believe that some sort of serious pandemic is possible, I also believe that this current administration would have no problem starting one themselves, or at least hyping-one up beyond reality just to ratchet-up national security and blow-away the remaining civil liberties we have.

    Anyone else curious why 911 happened so conveniently right after the PNAC group calls for a major galvanizing event to bring their sick and twisted plan onto the world stage?

    You think President Rudy would have any problem hyping-up even the smallest outbreak of Avian Flu in order to declare his own version of Bush Law?

    Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  But certainly take any doomsday speak with a grain of salt along with your shot of Tamaflu.

  •  I hope most people can stock extra food and water (0+ / 0-)

    to get them through the crisis (people on food stamps less able to do that). The one thing people do not like to contemplate is if this pandemic is like 1918, most mortality will be among teens and young adults, just the opposite of regular flu. What do you do do with the corpse of a loved one when nothing is working. And that goes double for all those single Moms and Dads in this "self-sufficient" (read disconnected) society.

    FOX NEWS viewers: Ignorant before watching, stupid after watching.

    by OHdog on Sat May 19, 2007 at 05:32:16 AM PDT

    •  this is an important graph (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 19, 2007 at 08:24:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that seems similar to 1918 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog

        I read a book a few years ago on the history of the 1918 outbreak, and they noted the death rates were significantly higher among healthy adults.  That the kids under 6 and the elderly were surprisingly able to survive.  Something about triggering the immune system in healthy adults, and the immune system overreacted?  I need to find that book.

        I've been talking about the pandemic flu issue here at home for 3 years.  DH thought I was a quack.  Slowly, he's come around.  We have some of the emergency preparations in place, but I now have the wrinkle of celiac disease to manage with food supplies (and while eating gluten won't immediately kill him, it could trigger a Crohn's attack that would lead to severe bleeding, so a gluten-free food stash is important).

        Proud liberal, secular homeschooler.

        by mbzoltan on Sat May 19, 2007 at 10:15:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there are important differences (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OHdog

          1918 virus didn't seem to kill poultry or wild birds, e.g., but there are similarities as well.

          1918 did indeed kill a disproportionate number of young adults. Most other flu viruses, even in 1968 and 1957 do/did not.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 19, 2007 at 11:05:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The reason I prep (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, OHdog

    is because I am an able-bodied person with enough resources ($) and time to do so. I believe I have a responsibility to try to take care of myself to the best extent I can. In the case of disaster, if there ARE any public resources to help people, they should go to those whose circumstances prevent them from being self-sufficient.

    This is why I wish that everyone who CAN do some prep would do so--because there will always be those among us (maybe even me, if I have a health catastrophe) who do need help.

    "It is time, brothers and sisters, for America to be patriotic about something other than war." John Edwards, 1/14/07.

    by sillia on Sat May 19, 2007 at 10:29:59 AM PDT

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