Bird flu stages a comeback

Remember how dazed and crazed everybody was over bird flu not so long ago – all that talk about the next global pandemic and tens of millions dying? It was so captivating, allowing us to fully indulge in our perennial quest for extreme sensations. All those experts were lined up saying we were long overdue and that this looked like the real thing. And then…radio silence.

I won’t predict that the experts were correct. But I will predict we are about to be hit by another, even more overwhelming avalanche of bird flu news, prophesying and hand-wringing. And I also predict China will be at the center of the maelstrom, though certainly not alone – Indonesia will continue to hold center stage for the foreseeable future.

This isn’t based on fancy or whim, nor is it based on science. I just tend to watch the media and the blogs and listen to lots of sources, and I’m sensing a renewed concern over the disease, this time with a bit more panic added to the mix. Today’s news from Japan reminds us the virus is alive and well and loves to travel, and Indonesia’ s had four new bird flu deaths in the past two weeks alone. I attended a presentation by a renowned journalist and author specializing in China last weekend, who said bird flu is one of the CCP’s biggest concerns, because if anything could threaten the nation’s [veneer of] harmony and stability it’s a devastating pandemic that would make SARS look like an irritating skin rash. Suddenly, bird flu is back on people’s minds.

And to clarify, since I always seem to get misquoted: I’m not saying we are necessarily on the cusp of a pandemic. I’m saying that the hysteria (which may well be warranted) we all thought was over is about to be revived and the decibel level increased. Bird flu is coming back as a dominating issue.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

Dear Richard, yours posts are the first things I read every day. I’m grateful for your continued efforts and wish you only the best in everything you undertake.



January 17, 2007 @ 10:10 pm | Comment

Thanks Toni – but haven’t you heard, I’m a crazed China hater who, when I’m not busy torturing small animals, works for the CIA in a never-ending conspiracy to tear down the Chinese government through online taunting?

Seriously, thanks for the comment. I hope I can live up to your expectations now that my job has become more demanding and difficult.

January 17, 2007 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

Heck, Richard, and all this time I thought you were a CCP plant…

January 18, 2007 @ 1:23 am | Comment

You quacking canards will be the first to feel the impact of a bird flu revival.

January 18, 2007 @ 2:46 am | Comment

You are more likely to hear no bird flu news from China other than some dead flocks in the middle of nowhere while full disclosure occurs in ASEAN.

January 18, 2007 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

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