Death Of FUD: Swine Flu Not So Bad

The Swine Flu Virus
The Swine Flu Virus

The internet is a great enemy of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), and there have been many things this year about which there is great FUD.

FUD is the friend of people who would abuse their power, because there is nothing quite like a good catastrophe to rationalize sweeping change. People who live in FUD are enablers and empower the abuses of those who lead by them.

One of the great fears this year is Swine Flu. It was the end of civilization, the plague that would wreak havoc on our society and it’s systems.

There was breathless analysis of how our society would plug the gaping holes left by the multitudes of sick and dead from this beastly flu.

And now we’re quite sure it’s not really all that bad.

When the fall/winter wave of H1N1 swine flu is over, it will have been no more severe than an average flu season, predict Harvard researcher Marc Lipsitch, DPhil, and colleagues from the U.K. Medical Research Council and the CDC. (from WebMD)

Why were we afraid?

Sure, H1N1, the “swine flu”, tends to affect people traditionally considered low risk for such illnesses. But it’s fatality rate wasn’t anything worrisome once it came down to it.

We were afraid because we didn’t have all the information, and the information we did have told us we ought to be afraid. The media and faux-news outlets so many of us go to for information had bought into the hysteria and spread it as only they can.

WebMD goes on:

Even so, the new numbers are cause for relief if not for celebration. Before the 2009 H1N1 swine flu came along, planners were preparing for a pandemic with a case/fatality ratio of 0.1% — that is, for one death in every 1,000 symptomatic infections.

The Lipsitch team now calculates that the H1N1 swine flu has a case/fatality ratio no higher than 0.048% — and maybe seven to nine times lower, depending on the methods used for calculation.

They are careful to note, though, that should any number of various circumstances occur, the fatality rate will shoot skyward and civilization will be, once again, toast.

The Lipsitch team has reason to want as much FUD surrounding this subject as possible. If the situation is dire and they can convince those who control the purse strings their research is integral to the salvation of humanity, they get more money.

Once the numbers could no longer be inflated, they had to retain their credibility and so gave this nice update. But see how throughout the story they always match the good news with a “but” to keep us ever aware of the necessity for remaining ready for panic.

I’m glad that, even if the swine flu begins to fulfill all the awful claims made of it, I still don’t have to fear.

Because while the internet is a great enemy of FUD, God’s faithfulness is the greatest enemy of FUD. Trust in God does not defeat FUD by simply informing us of the truth of the matter. If that were the case then in times of truly realized terror, Christians would have just as much reason to be terrified as anyone else.

Trust in God defeats FUD because we who trust in Him know there is only so much that can be taken away from us. This world and all it contains can only harm our bodies, these mortal coils. And if the worst were to occur and we were to lose our lives, we would be alive, truly, in heaven with God.

If you believe this, there is truly nothing that can shake us or cause us to fear.

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