I am in Hong Kong at the moment. Last week I was in Tibet and other parts of China. The papers here are full of warnings about swine flu and a significant number of people are walking around the streets with face masks.
Officials greet airline passengers in biohazard suits and temperature probes.
In some countries even if someone on the same plane with you is suspected of having swine flu you may be forced into a 7 days quarantine ‘prison’ and treated as if you were carrying some kind of plague even if you are perfectly healthy.
It happened to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on a visit to China last week.
Earlier today I was talking to my son Kane in Christchurch, New Zealand. He told me that some local ‘authorities’ are claiming that there could be 100,000 people affected in the greater Christchurch region. That’s 20% of the approx population of 500,000! People are being told to stay home if they have the slightest symptoms…good excuse for time off I suppose.
What are the actual figures of confirmed swine flu to date in the Christchurch region? A grand total of 49! Yes, that’s correct – 49. So where are all these other wild figures coming from? Of course they are projected figures and I suspect that the projections are possibly influenced by the number of people who just think that they have it even though it has not been confirmed.
Every day the media around the world is reporting more cases in this country and so many more in that country, and some authorities are making wild speculations. Who is feeding this information and why are they giving some a distorted picture? I say distorted because I believe the figures are.
Why? Well they are cumulative figures and don’t factor in those who are recovered. How many of those 49 people who were affected in Christchurch still actually have the swine flu? Probably very few! If most of them have recovered and they are back to their daily work…what is the big deal?
Imagine what the figures would be is there was a cumulative total kept of those people who got the common cold?
So…why all the fuss? I honestly don’t know the answer to that! Maybe there wouldn’t be any fuss at all if it was called ‘mild human flu’. Is it the link with pigs that have people running scared? Is it that the media keeps on pushing it in the hope to sell more ‘product’? Is it the authorities that just like to feel in a position of power and keep the population frightened? Is it the pharmaceutical companies using their PR machine to have governments fork over money for a vaccine?
Maybe it is a combination of all the above.
Remember all the ‘talking heads’ on television when the panic was on about Bird Flu? I remember seeing one expert on New Zealand TV who estimated that about 1/3rd of New Zealand’s population would be wiped out. SARs was another example.
The reality is that if you were given a choice of either getting the normal flu and swine flu you are better off selecting swine flu not the normal flu. It appears to be much milder and most people are back at work a few days later. But, of course swine flu like all flu’s can be dangerous if your immune system is compromised. But, then if your immune system is compromised then you are running a gauntlet every day in simply being alive.
So, in my opinion there is nothing to panic about. Don’t be like a lot of people who have virtually brought the hospitals to a standstill by inundating them because they think they have swine flu. They even stoned a bus because a passenger on it was suspected of having swine flu. May be the poor guy/or gal just had a bad cold.
Take the normal precautions of washing your hands when you have touched anything in a public place, wash your hand before touching any food and don’t put your fingers in your mouth or pick your nose!
Of course ensure you work on your good health, with sensible diet, exercise and of course good supplementation.
By the way, I don’t have a problem with sensible precautions being taken at airports…but as the old saying goes you don’t need a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
Hoping that I don’t get stuck in quarantine somewhere!
Warren Matthews is the co-founder and Chairman of Xtend-Life Natural Products, a family-owned, integrated manufacturer and distributor of natural supplements and skin care products.
Xtend-Life has since become one of New Zealand's business success stories, renowned for the purity of its ingredients, its innovative formulations and its competitive pricing. The company now sells its expanding range of natural supplements, omega-3 and skin care products each month to thousands of customers in over 40 countries.
Warren Matthews himself has emerged as one of the industry's evangelists. Travelling over 250 000 miles a year, worldwide, he lectures to nutritional science, health and beauty professionals, hosts consumer seminars and meets with Xtend-Life's customers and suppliers. His agenda is simple: to encourage continued scientific research into – and broader, better-informed public acceptance of – the very real benefits of pure, natural products along with sensible diet and lifestyles.
You can read his blog at http://blog.xtend-life.com/
Latest posts by Warren Matthews (see all)
- Genetics – How Big a Role Do They Play in Your Health? - October 26, 2009
- A Phone Call I Didn’t Want… - October 21, 2009
- Swine Flu Paranoia Remains… - June 23, 2009