I'm torn. Part of me says we're so long overdue for a major, lethal outbreak it isn't even funny. The other part of me says the fear is part of a major media construct, which is doing exactly what it is supposed to: scare the pants off people and have them tuning into the news 24/7 for new updates. So how serious is it in an era where lawsuits will fly like crazy if people aren't warned of the absolute worst possible outcome at the first hint of trouble? Is it really serious or are we in litigation avoidance mode? These days it is impossible to tell which is which.
I don't know that I'm not wrong about the overdue part. Yeah, I've heard that from a lot of smart folks, but is it actually an acknowledgement of the current conditions we live in or a misunderstanding of the general health/conditions/situation at the time of the last major flu outbreak? We may not actually be due because we are generally healthier as a population than ever before.
I'm about as worried as I was about SARS and Bird Flu. There are 400 million people in this country, a couple hundred cases where even most of those people live isn't going to ring the doomsday bells just yet.
That's about where I sit, at the moment as well. It is horrible that people have already died and more may well, but we've become so completely unrealistic about how nature actually treats us that a few folks dying from food poisoning is major news. It used to be a whole lot more and something that just happened. Now its an outrage. Look back at history and you'll find we have it pretty good, especially with respect to child mortality rates. That's harsh, but it is also true.