I admit that I’ve not been closely following the news about the looming Avian Flu pandemic. I’ve been of the opinion that it’s typical media-hype designed to boost ratings, and put it in the same category as the Y2K scare a few years back.

HOWEVER, the more time that passes, and the more people I talk to, the more concerned I become. The following excerpt is from the New York Daily News October 12, 2005 edition. It’s a long article, but says in part that if there were a pandemic in the US:

# Vaccine and antivirals would be rationed. Current supplies of both would protect less than 1% of the American population.

# Hospitals might turn away patients. There’s expected to be a shortage of beds and respirators, as well as medically trained personnel, since doctors and nurses would also be out sick.

# Corpses would pile up. “The mortuary service would not be able to handle the numbers of dead,” says Greg Poland, M.D. “There would be no place to take them.”

# Travel bans and quarantines would go into effect. Schools and offices would also likely be closed, and any nonessential large public gatherings would be canceled.

# Food shortages could develop. “Our food supply is very dependent upon the ability to move commodities around,” says Monica Schoch-Spana, Ph.D., a senior fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s center for biosecurity.

# Household incomes would suffer. Travel bans, workplace closings and ill health would hurt under-the-table and hourly employees.

The full text of the article is here.

I linked to this article from Rivrdog, and linked to Rivrdog from the RWVA Blog.

Rivrdog says in Part II of his series:

The bird flu, by itself, before it mutates to a human flu, will be bad enough in societies that are close to famine already and depend on their chickens and ducks for food protein. There WILL be famine in those societies, and famine usually means war, forced migration and evacuations, etc.

For the rest of societies that CAN adapt their food protein use, there will be economic disruption, ranging from moderate to severe. If a human flu pandemic arises, as looks likely, there will have to be quarantines and travel disruptions, with commerce interruptions and bans, that will badly disrupt world commerce, and severely impact the world economy.

And, gentle readers, these first impacts are not from a horrible flu epidemic in HUMANS, ONLY BIRDS!

I haven’t read all the articles, but I plan to. I urge all of you to do the same, draw your own conclusions, and make your preparations accordingly.