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[Opinion] H1N1: Preparing for The next plague.
Fear of H1N1 takes on a terrifying dimension worldwide
Michael Werbowski (minou)     Print Article 
Published 2009-11-02 11:27 (KST)   
This article is lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
It really amazes me how the mainstream media is whipping up the hype and hysteria over the H1N1 virus as we move into the autumn season and closer to doomsday.

Is the H1N1 virus more severe than the common flu by which hundreds die each year in the U.K for instance? Perhaps it's not. In North America (Canada) nightly broadcasts show reporters interviewing various health officials who look like they just got out of bed. If there is such urgency, then it is not evident on the faces of these various talking heads and so called medical experts who may possibly be well-paid shills for pharmaceutical industry, warning us of the impending disaster if you don't get the flu shot. Is this another hoax to coerce the citizenry into a state of absolute submission and compliance towards the authorities?

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Is this latest flu going bring a windfall of profits to big pharma? If this panic continues, then wouldn't the authorities realize they have to resort to harsh measure to control its citizens? Do mayors of big North American or European cities wish to resort to the same draconian actions as was the case in Mexico City this past spring?

Are they prepared to order the shut down of schools, universities, government offices, sporting events, and restaurants, in case of a very "deadly" contagious outbreak? By "outbreak" I refer to Mexican medical standards which means several thousand reported cases of individuals showing symptoms of the illness is classified as a pandemic. The Mexican government's warnings of an immanent plague certainly sufficed to create total terror among the populace.

Are health officials in the industrialized world aware (in times of a worsening global economic crisis) of the economic devastation of such measures similar to those taken in Mexico?

This spring throughout the height of what was then called the "swine flu", I reported from Mexico City. I saw entire neighborhoods bustling with activity, emptied overnight for several days in one of the world's largest cities.

If you want to close down a huge metropolis, then the best way to it is to instil great fear (which leads to things like panic food buying at supermarkets, which believe me is quite a nuisance) among its inhabitants. In May and June in Mexico City, I experienced a sense of terror among the population which was very similar to what I witnessed during martial in Poland in 1981 and during the aborted coup in Moscow in August of 1990.

The only difference was that unlike during those classic military crackdowns in the former communist countries, in Mexico City, there weren't any visible signs that an actual oppressive operation was underway. There were no tanks, no troops on foot patrol or armored personal carriers roaming the city streets. In the Mexican capital, there was just raw fear and unbearable uncertainty, as most people stayed at home, cowering in their flats and waiting and watching for the next update on the news show.

Many of the inhabitants of the capital listened obediently to their officials' warning and stayed home, avoiding gatherings and so forth. As the next wave of the greatest plague of the 21 century approaches, I wonder how we in the wealthier developed world will act and react; with fear and panic. Will we dare to go out wearing mouth masks covering those terrified faces or just stay quarantined at home like they did in Mexico earlier this year? We shall soon see.
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Werbowski

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