Sunday, 14 June 2009

Swine Flu: On its way to a town near you

by JohnOfGwent UPDATED Mon 15 June

Well, I said all along it had to happen, and now it has. The media are now reporting the first UK death from Swine Flu. Details can be read from and note the "the powers that be" are at pains to emphasise the victim "had other health issues".

But that's the whole point about "flu" of any kind isn't it. The people worst affected by it are those generally through no fault of their own are the weakest and least able to defend themselves. The very young, the very old and the ill.

I heard the Government's Chief Health SpokesDivot on the radio this afternoon , the one who succeeded in destroying the right to enjoy smoking tobacco and now wants to destroy the roght to enjoy a pint, waxing lyrical about the measures he has put in place to "restrict access to health services" should the disease start to spread. He said the same thing to The Daily Telegraph but had to add an "explanation" that to continue to vaccinate ince "containment" is breached would help, rather than hinder, the virus. He didn't bother explaining that for the masses on the BBC though. Mind you, he is right. What he's not saying is that once "containment" is breached a whole raft of nasty things are possible.
Mr Johnson said Britain is still in the containment phase of the outbreak and that it is correct for people in close contact with confirmed or probable cases take Tamiflu as a precaution and to reduce the risk of them spreading the disease. This may change however if large numbers of people become infected
Of course, the point is that round this neck of the woods it's still summer. We won't know for another six to nine months how bad it was. Still, Gordon can look forward to having an excuse for a pathtically low turnout when he does call his general election - we'll all have been killed off by the plague.

Actually I wondered long and hard about the Foot And Mouth "outbreak" that occurred within weeks of Gordon taking the reins (yes, it was that long ago). Would he stoop so low as to create such a disaster in order to show how different, how prepared, how much more organised, how much more in control he wasi compared to the nutter Blair he just replaced. Would he be that ruthless ?

Well, yes. And over at The Gruniad only last month Charlie Brooker pointed out that only a war, preferably declared against a small town accused of stockpiling Tamiflu, could now save Gordon Brown from electoral extinction. You may live to regret your uncanny ability at prophecy, Mr Brooker.

But off the back of this downturn, don't expect much from your GP either. The hippocratic oath means little these days. See for the details of how your GP has decided if the plague comes, you're on your own. Officially they're "concerned about the lack of death in service benefits" which is interesting given that ever since Day 1 they have been regarded as self employed.

But if it comes to it, I think we will indeed be "on our own" because they'll have buggered off and taken all the tamiflu with them.