[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 07 October 2005]
How much of the current alarm is agencies looking for funding and how much of it is genuine concern, I am not qualified to judge, but the sheer idea of something on the horizon that makes the influenza epidemic of 1918 look like the common cold is Not a Good Thing.
For your bleak, Bergmanesque pleasure, here’s a picture of a provisional hospital in Sweden in 1918 created to treat—to the extent possible—people infected with the flu:
Click the picture for larger version. Source: Dagens Nyheter.
To make things even worse, scientists have re-created the virus strain that caused the 1918 pandemic, and say that the bird flu “could soon develop infectious properties like those seen in the 1918 bug.”
The resurrected (how scary of a word is that in this context?) 1918 virus is currently incarcerated at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hey, God? It would be pretty fab if no freak hurricanes hit Atlanta, okay?