David Hines
One flu over the cuckoo's nest
By David Hines
May 21, 2009

Many are of the opinion that President Obama should seal us off from the swine flu. Well, maybe. As with anything else, actions have consequences.

Native Americans died by the millions from smallpox and other European diseases. These ailments began as sheep flu, cow flu, horse flu, etc. To the original suffering people they were inconveniences. But flus mutate, yielding more virulent strains. When later populations encountered the pathogens, they had no antibodies. Far from being merely inconvenient, the disease was deadly.

Though many blame conquest on greed and aggression, far more conquest has taken place inadvertently. Populations with antibodies replace populations without them. In a way, those who expose us to pathogens might be doing us a backhanded favor.

Of course, developing antibodies is no fun. When bubonic plague killed a third of Europe, the survivors had ugly scars to show for their survivability. The plague resurfaced several times in several places, but with nowhere near the lethality of the first wave.

Sterility is overrated. It's thought by some researchers that the increasing incidence of asthma is a result of too much cleanliness. Our immune systems were designed to combat a plethora of diseases and parasites. In the absence of anything to fight, a system designed to fight starts attacking itself — rather like the infighting of political parties and religious sects.

I'm more concerned about the cuckoo flu. A symptom of this virulent disease is delusion. Sufferers believe that savings can be encouraged by making borrowing cheap; cheap credit can be had by removing recourse of creditors to remedies against default; prosperity can be had by investment in bankrupt companies with lousy fundamentals; investment can be increased by penalizing investors; and real resources can be created by printing Monopoly money.

This compendium is by no means exhaustive. The delusions take many forms. The suppression of common sense is the predominant symptom.

You can take precautions against most flu strains, e.g., bolstering your immune system with vitamin C. Taking precautions against the cuckoo flu will get you on Janet Napolitano's terrorist watch list. There will be no government-created vaccines against this deadly pathogen.

© David Hines


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

David Hines

Born in a mill town, David Hines has seen work as a furniture mover, computer programmer/analyst, and professional musician... (more)


Receive future articles by David Hines: Click here

More by this author