swine drowned when they rushed into the sea because they were suddenly
possessed by demons.
They have since become an appropriate metaphor for mass
Certainly the metaphor is applicable to all sorts of things
that are happening at the moment – but it is particularly neat when applied to
the panic over swine flu.
It is probable – because this is what happens with most
panics – that the fear of swine flu will prove more dangerous than swine flu
itself. After all, it seems we are threatened by some sort virus every other
year – be it SARS, or bird flu, or Y2K – but we are still here.
However, we must not be too complacent: one day a virus is
going to get through, and we will learn the true meaning of “pandemic” – a
human tragedy on the scale of a world war combined with an economic disaster
that makes this recession look like a bad day at the races.
We are assured that the British government is “prepared” –
it is stocking anti-virals
to keep public services running.
In other words, the public sector will be treated and the
private sector ignored – as usual.
While it would be over-reacting to start stock-piling now,
entrepreneurs should at least start researching where they might go to get
private supplies of anti-virals to protect their families, their employees, and
possibly even their customers, should the need arise, bearing in mind that supplies
will disappear quickly once a real need becomes apparent.
Dare one suggest that there might even be a business