Swine Flu

— Aaron

People freak out about the strangest things. I guess it’s because we all generally have a really hard time accurately (and/or logically) assessing risk. Case in Point: Swine Flu. 160 people have died so far. Make no mistake, that’s very sad, very serious, and tragic. I don’t mean to make light of people’s deaths.

However, according to this wikipedia page, globally, around 58,000,000 people die, world wide, every year, from all causes. 2.09% of those deaths are caused by “Road traffic accidents”. In case you haven’t done the math in your head yet, that averages out to 1,212,200 people per year. And 0.69% of them are caused by “Falls”. Falling down. That is an average of 400,200 people per year.

The swine flu has only been identified and really spreading for a couple of weeks, at most.

On average, 46,500 or so people died in those two weeks from traffic accidents, world wide. And 15,300 or so people died, on average, in those two weeks from falling.

So, if you’re going to alter your lifestyle for your own safety’s sake, you should minimize your driving, or minimize your non-laying-down-time WAY before doing something to minimize your chances of getting the swine flu.

I haven’t even done the math or mentioned that Cardiovascular diseases (of which smoking and fatty foods are known causes), HIV/AIDS, Diarrheal diseases (probably stemming from unclean water), Unintentional Injuries (accidents), Intentional injuries (Suicide, Violence, War, etc.) and Lung Cancer (smoking again?) on average, all kill more people per year than traffic accidents.

Most of these are preventable! Maybe not directly preventable (i.e. people with nothing but filthy water to drink, and who have no options about it cannot prevent their eventual diarrheal disease-related deaths, but other people could prevent them).

In fact, everything on that previously referenced list on Wikipedia on average, killed more people than the swine flu. This includes STDs (not including HIV), Fires, Asthma, Melanoma, Hepatitis B and C, Alcohol use disorders and Drug use disorders.

Swine flu: serious, but not that risky. If you’re going to alter your lifestyle because of it, even one iota, then you are probably not assessing risks very carefully in  your life.


2 thoughts on “Swine Flu

  1. Amen to this. I have been so sick of hearing about swine flu. My mother-in-law is one of those people who is afraid of everything. Of course she heard about the first case in Spokane and called us immediately to ask us if we needed help with childcare since we would obviously be keeping Matt home from school indefinitely. Sheesh.

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