Towards common sense
The commotion surrounding vaccinations used for waging political battles will eventually turn against communities.
The 1918-1919 flu pandemic, nicknamed “the Spanish flu”, was also caused by the A/H1N1 swine flu virus. Its first wave had a similar course to the current incidence of disease. In spring 1918, the first wave of the pandemic hit. Although highly contagious, it did not bring with it a significant death rate. The second outbreak, which commenced in September 1918, was marked by an incredibly high number of fatalities, whilst the third took place in 1919.
The course of the current A/H1N1 pandemic without a great number of fatalities (if one can describe the death of 20,000 people in such a way) is not conducive to a rational assessment of the preventive vaccination programme. For many politicians, populism and the desire to win over voters are the only determinants of their actions. Such politicians prey on the low awareness on the part of society, which notices only events, and imagining what could potentially happen is outside their visible realm. Also, a lack of knowledge about the course of the “Spanish flu” pandemic of 1918-1919 and its death toll, estimated at between 50 million and 100 million people, is not conducive to preventive vaccinations.
If an anti-vaccination attitude is reinforced in social beliefs, then the future may see the deaths of millions of people as a result of abandoning general preventive vaccinations. The message to inform people of the risk carried by an influenza pandemic is an important one. Let us hope that the situation will be different from the regularity, which often accompanies capital markets, where world crunches occur within cycles every few decades or so, and awareness of the threat dies with the generation.
We find ourselves in a place and time where the future of mankind’s existence in the conflict with mortal viruses is clinched. Let us stop the feverish bus ride, fed with political populism and short-sighted electoral perspective. Let us look at the warning signs, which mankind encountered in his path in the years 1918-1919.
If you believe that it is worthwhile doing something for the common good, then forward this appeal to others or link to: www.right-to-health.org so that the information has a chance to spread. We are the ones who can influence whether common sense prevails.
Sense is sometimes in the minority and loses out to populism, but let us not give up just yet!