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How Prepared Is America For A Global Pandemic?: Left of Center View

Things always seem to get the most out of hand when you least expect them. That's just the way life is. Natural disasters are no exception. Tornados, Earthquakes, Tsunami, all cause catastrophic damage because no amount of preparation will ever be able to neutralize their effects. Beef up one part of the levy or reinforce one freeway overpass and the one next to it collapses. There will be damages when natural disasters hit, hence the second part of their name - disaster.

When you think about it epidemics are a form of natural disaster. Natural forces conspire and wreak havoc on the best laid plans of human kind. Pandemics are just the natural evolution of the epidemic. Disease spreads, that's just what it does. Most truly dangerous diseases are kept in check by their own design. Kill too quickly and you run out of hosts, run out of hosts and the parasite itself perishes. So most diseases have an incubation period, where they spread. The problem now is that where it used to take months to circle the globe, with modern transportation you can now do it in about a week. This means one carrier has the potential to literally infect the world.

We have systems in place to halt the spread of plagues and other carrier based biological threats. The problem is that the threat comes from a living organism, living organisms evolve. So by the time you have a fool proof system in place to combat one potentially deadly epidemic, the cause has mutated into something completely different, unusually in direct response to the steps we have taken to combat it. It's just a natural response.

Human beings have been so successful at altering their various environments that we often forget that we are but one part of the global eco-system, a system that has survived many millennia by establishing a system of checks and balances. One species becomes to dominate, something occurs to balance out the advantage, food becomes scarce, the climate changes, or another species adapts to challenge the alphas. In the natural world, generally the higher you are on the food chain, the fewer of your kind there are around.

So are we ready? Probably not. We spend so much time solving our previous problems, that we often don't see those developing right in front of us. If we spent more on scientific research and less on executive retention we might just catch a couple of these things before they start. But with a healthcare system where cost trumps treatment the chances of staying ahead of the curve are small. But don't worry, things have a way of balancing out in the end.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Next week's subject: Is It Reasonable To Compare Immigrants Rights Issues Today To The '60's Civil Rights Movement?

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Last Week's View from the Left:
The Mexican Flu Epidemic: Are We In Danger?

Reform America Articles Archive



How Prepared Is America For A Global Pandemic?: Right of Center View

ďHow unpreparedĒ seems more like the proper question to be asking. We canít even secure our borders or ports against illegal immigration or smuggling. America is the biggest sitting duck in the world. In our efforts to be warm and fuzzy we have left ourselves completely unprepared for the worst case scenario.

One has only to look at the government response to Hurricane Katrina to see that we are woefully unprepared for a large scale emergency. That is not to say that some elements of society are not ready. Businesses across the country put pandemic plans in motion as soon as word surfaced that the H1N1 virus had entered into American schools. Businesses began putting plans in place for employees to work from home and avoid the spreading of the illness in the workplace. These plans were well developed and ready to go long before the epidemic even surfaced. Contrasting that is the staff if the Centers for Disease Control who have not even had a consistent stand on school closures when infection is detected. Apparently the CDC makes it up on the fly.

We need a government with solid ideas and plans for eventualities. It can be good to have the ability to adjust to a changing situation but there really should be a solid criteria for school and public facility closures in time of epidemic so that confusion is not the rule of the day when epidemics happen. When agencies tasked with setting policy for disease management canít give clear direction on the severity of a situation it lessens their credibility and undermines their future decisions. Even if the decision is overly cautious in hindsight it is better to be consistent giving a sense of authority to the agency and their recommendations.

This is one of those situations where government could learn from business. Business has plans in place for emergencies and implements them as soon as the emergency arises. If the emergency subsides then the plan is lifted. They donít do it half way and they donít sit on the fence. They do it until itís time for the plan to be over. If you work for one of the companies with a pandemic plan and someone in your household is exposed to the virus, you stay home. When you have been symptom free for two weeks, you come back. Itís as simple as that. The plan will stay in place until the pandemic is over. If government relied more on solid plans based on research and less on polices driven by the latest polls we would be a lot safer and much better prepared for unfortunate eventualities.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Next week's subject: Is It Reasonable To Compare Immigrants Rights Issues Today To The '60's Civil Rights Movement?

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Right:
The Mexican Flu Epidemic: Are We In Danger?

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A Legal Immigrantís Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally ďThe RaceĒ in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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