The Swine Flu (Potential) Pandemic of Aught-Nine: Day 6–No News Is More News Anyway

Here are today’s updates from the CDC and the WHO, which I know you can find for yourself, Gentle Reader. The WHO keeps its updates separate, but the CDC is just updating the same table, so I am keeping track of the numbers each day because it is interesting to see how they change:

The CDC Update on US Cases of Swine Flu A (H1N1):
April 30, 2009, 10:30 AM EDT
Arizona: 1 person
California: 14 people
Indiana: 1 person
Kansas: 2 people
Massachusetts: 2 people
Michigan: 1 people
Nevada: 1 person
New York City: 50 people
Ohio: 1 person
South Carolina: 10
Texas: 26 people, 1 death

For example, two cases were being reported in Michigan yesterday and 51 in New York. It is good to see that the flu–which is awaiting a new name–is not quite as rampant in some places as thought, and that there has still been just the one death.

This is Update 6 from the WHO:

The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 17:00 GMT, 30 April 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 257 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 97 confirmed human cases of infection, including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (19), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

So it’s pretty safe to say that there is no new hysteria to report today. What people have done, then, is gone to making comments about the facts. The press is to blame now for whipping up fears into a global frenzy. The AP credits the flu for less crime and better air quality in Mexico City. People have stopped thinking of the poor children and have started thinking of the poor pigs who are being unfairly preemptively slaughtered in mean and backwards nations like Egypt. It was all astonishment and outrage at the Israeli government official who was complaining about the name “swine” flu on account of kosher, but now it’s all reason and precision that they are looking for a new name to better incorporate the human/bird elements in the swine flu and to protect the pork markets. I’ve finally seen, too, people busting out with the batshit crazy, like the conspiracy theories about how the swine flu was engineered by world governments in order to boost the profits of pharmaceutical companies producing vaccines and treatments, and how the government is suppressing a natural treatment that would cure not only flu but also viral cancers because it doesn’t want competition for Tamiflu. I know the batshit crazies were talking about all this even the day before the first person got sick from this flu, but the Joe Yahoos of the world have started repeating it here and there in online message boards.

So because I’m sure you’re worried, my symptoms are more or less the same. I feel less stellar than yesterday, which wasn’t that stellar. My neck is still stiff and and my throat is still scratchy, I’ve started sneezing and blowing my nose. My mother thought I sounded scratchy on the telephone before I’d said anything. My left leg has a weirdness, which is hard to describe, but it vague seems not so much weaker but like the joints are loose, and only proper alignment keeps them together (like a set of cylinders balanced on top of each other). I have no loss of functionality, but it’s odd. I doubt it’s anything but mental, but I’ve never had it before and since this is my week to play hypochondriac as part of keeping up with world events, I thought I’d mention it. I don’t have a fever. I would like to take a nap, but that’s my default setting.

Tomato Update
The red currant that was the first plantling to go into a full-size pot has been sprouting quite a few flowers, and the first one turned into a tomato bud today, which is pretty exciting. The yellow pear that got planted upside down is flourishing, much more so than the red currant one paired with it in the hanging container, and sports a few flower spots, too, although they aren’t anything approaching flowers yet. The romas are growing much bigger as plants, and have nothing to show me yet, but they went in last. The cilantro is a hit with Fella, so I might plant a few more seeds in the empty openings of the herb pot just so he can snack on more. The basil and oregano are still sprouting, but the plants are so tiny and the larger basil ones (the larger oregano ones died when I was gone, so I only have seedlings, really) seem to have stalled. I wonder how much of that is using leftover seeds from last year and how much is me not sending them enough love. I bought one of those “just add water!” basil plants from the grocery store today that I might put in the planter instead, but I’ll see how it does indoors. I am never planting mint again. It didn’t do well last year (probably all my fault) and it isn’t doing at all this year. I wanted mojitos last year but they just aren’t calling anymore. When all is said and done, I’m a margarita girl. What I guess I need is a blue agave plant and a lime tree.

The Kitchen
We are awaiting our two estimates from two other discount kitchen cabinet places that I hope come in tonight or early tomorrow, because if we want to get in on this IKEA sale–which I do–we need to do it by Sunday. We have pretty much settled on quartz countertops, although I have no idea how much those cost, and we looked at tile for the floor. I found out that I am afraid of color contrasts, which I sort of already knew from my experience with my Tommy Bahama quilt made entirely of beautifully coordinated medium tones and no darks, and that I am too inclined to match a neutral counter to a neutral floor. We found some very cool-looking, stone-looking, giant porcelain tile that would be good, and then we found some other tile that is a lot more expensive but looks like travertine, which turns out is Husband’s dream tile. The things that home remodeling reveals to you!

Freedomain Radio

I don’t even want to be talking about it, except to speculate on how long it will be before new user Mouldfinger will last before being banned. He appears to have too much actual knowledge about actual economics to not cause offense, and he is probing weak spots in some of their thought experiments. It seems that he listening to a podcast on a specific topic and joined up yesterday to ask for clarification or to examine a problem, and all ten of his posts have been on specific economic stuff. Maybe he’ll just get bored.

In Conclusion
I ate too many store-brand chocolate pastries in the car. Now I am feeling too sluggish to put the non-perishables away, but put them away I must. I hate tripping over boxes of pasta.

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