Bloomberg is breathlessly reporting that a World Bank employee has been diagnosed with swine flu. Said employee had traveled to Mexico on business between April 14 and April 18, but has, apparently, already made a full recovery from this season’s most fashionable potential pandemic. As a precautionary measure, the World Bank has advised his colleagues who came into contact with him when he was in the D.C. office on April 20 to work from home.
I will be sensibly avoiding 18th St Lounge, Current, and other World Bank/IMF hangouts, but that’s probably more because I can’t afford the wince-inducing bar prices, rather than the possibly-infectious clientele.
Personally, I’m kind of surprised by quite how panicky some news outlets are being about all this. I know they have a lot of blank space to fill in a 24 hour news cycle, however, beyond being unhelpful, this sort of end-times hand-wringing is, well, sissy. It can’t hurt to wash your hands a little more often and follow the CDC’s recommendations, but calm down, everybody, this ain’t Ebola! After all, the World Health Organization’s confirmed deaths by H1N1/swine flu virus stands at 17, after Mexico revised downwards its initial tally. And whatever you do, don’t waste your time with the fear-mongering twits like Lisa Sharkey over at Ariana’s vanity blog, the Huffington Post, whose columns are misleading, dangerous and irresponsible. If you follow her advice, you’ll be rubbing yourself with newt blood at midnight when Taurus bisects the Asparagus constellation.
A little perspective: there were, in 2008, 39,800 motor vehicle related fatalities. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 565,650 people died of cancer in 2008. And let’s not forget the 30,694 Americans who died from gun violence.
Personally, I’m more concerned about the plummeting value of my supposedly recession-proof Olde Timey Kissing Booth stocks.