Billions and billions served

Of the 6 plus billion people in the world, a huge number will soon be threatened with instantly devastating– and deadly– illness, if fears of the avian fly mutating and migrating to humans in a human-to-human transmittable form this winter come to pass, according to this piece from our old friend Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey at Pravda. In the “great minds think alike” department, our friends over at the American Street are also focusing on this issue, which could easily kill tens of millions of people.
The bird flu out of Asia now– which has killed an astounding 60 of the 120 people infected with it– apparently resembles earlier deadly flus associated with the pandemics of 1957 and 1968 and the most horrifying of all Spanish flu of 1918-9, which killed over 20 million people, more than the First World War which immediately preceded it.
Mr. Bancroft-Hinchey intimates in his inimitable way (“It is typical of our world today that while hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on weapons systems such as Star Wars, to defend the United States against an attack from Mars or Pluto, the UN experts are already and increasingly speaking about an impending pandemic using words such as “catastrophic”) that this potentially massive problem, which could kill millions of people, including millions of people in the United States, may be shortchanged against, shall we say, “other priorities”.
And this would be… catastrophic.
As always, us liberals suggest “throwing money at everything”. Yup. Whatever it takes to move as fast as possible against this possibly devastating virus– research on the disease itself, on slaughtering animals infected or in danger of being infected, on developing a vaccine, on collateral public health measures… whatever… must be allocated and spent, damn everything else.
Otherwise, I understand that being holed up in one’s house for around 3-4 months without going outside at all may — may, but may not
be enough to enable one to wait out the pandemic. As always, here’s hoping our collective luck holds…