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Our Response to Bird Flu

10.20.2005

Far be it for me to get carried away on a mighty flight of hyperbole and overreaction, well, not today anyway, yet I was listening to John Gormely of the Greens last night and he mentioned the whole impending destruction of our species thanks to killer migratory birds. All the broo-haha seems at one moment justified and the next a wanton feeding frenzy by those who get paid to churn out type irrespective of actual news occurence.
So why am I moved to type about the latest threat to human kind, well to bring it all back round, Gormely mentioned he has been in a meeting with the Health Department, once they got prised away from their IT systems dont you know, and other members of the Dail. At the meeting a question was asked about preparation for a impending flu pandemic should it occur.
The response he received was paraphrased as follows;
"the plan will be a non-hospital plan,"
"so there is no current plan?"
"not yet but we will be reviewing our plans and issuing guidelines in January."
I am not sure whether, again with our government, to laugh or to cry. How exactly is one expected to use a "non-hospital" plan to solve a flu pandemic? Is this an allusion to another iodine-tablet style plan? I hope so those things tasted yummy (what do you mean we werent meant to eat them yet?), perhaps they will seal all our doors in the hope of keeping us from hospital anyway.
Seriously though, despite the rather inept approach engendered in any non-hospital agenda, there is a desperate lack of forward thinking, strategic planning and responsiveness on display across the cabinet table. There is little political guidance being offered in any constructive manner and a willingness to swallow bamboozling amounts of consultant jargon on websites, ppay systems and a liquorice allsorts of wasted endeavour.
As I outlined, this is paraphrasing of some conversation/briefing with the Health Department, choose to believe or otherwise. I think that this shower's track record makes it highly plausible that when it comes to our health and our hospitals, they havent got a clue. Cmputers? Ah they've loads of those though.
To be fair its not simply the whole bird flu thing, its not our job to get worked into a lather every time some news outlet clasps to a major potentially world ending pandemic to fill 23 of the 24 hour news cycle. It is however, the job of our government to look at the potential for damage being exposed to flu risk as we are. Its their job to quickly evaluate options, put plans and responses in place and coordinate agents. Its not their job to wait till January. At least I didnt elect them to do that. Plans like this arent built in a day but some effort to show preparedness for contingency would be nice, even the back of an envelope with some scribbles, anything. Please.
Also, can anyone tell me what exactly is a "non-hospital" plan in response to a flu pandemic or any other pandemic of communicable diseases? More specifically how is this the best way to treat our problem? Id be mighty interested to know.
Not to worry Bertie is on the case. For more on a similar vein, try Planet Potato's very excellent post from yesterday.
RR

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  1. Blogger EWI | 1:11 p.m. |  

    I see that Vancie is confidently predicting that he'll be eating raw chicken just to prove how all this "bird-brain flu" business is nonsense.

    Muppet. (The only question is, which one? I seem to recall that Ernie was orange - does that make Andy, Vancie's co-blogger, Bert?)

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