Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Chickened by the flu

Maybe it is due to my sickness, I was very concerned that I might have come down with flu, which I did, after revelation by the doctor. But while what bought me down is nothing more than the common flu, it did set off some small alarm and that I come to realize that despite all the advancement we made, our conquest of Earth and the inner planets, we are nowhere near today as we were half a century ago into ridding the existence the one common bane in life, the brother of Death, Disease.

It is probably ironic that portray in Orson Welles’s work “War of the World”, whereby the invading aliens which destroy cities at will and tearing through the armies like putting aside toys, were to succumb to virus and to die without a fight. That gave the phrase,” The meek shall inherit the earth.” a whole new meaning and prospective. To think that a race far superior to us were to be overcome by something so small and ancient really put our own superiority into a new perspective. And to think that, at the onset of the 90’s, we believe that we mastered disease and that we believe that the advent of antibiotics would win it for us once and all and that we are left to battle aids and cancer and once that done. We would be able to make mortality especially to disease something that is rare if not a chapter in history. How ironic is that what we had almost consigned to history came back and bite us hard and to make that old maxim that history can and will repeat itself.

The greatest threat might not come out of H5N1 or its deadlier, mutated of-spring but our pride and greed. Nations had feared that the revelation of the occurrence of the thread might threaten the standing of their nation and that some poultry producer in Indonesia had even managed to blacked-out the news of the avian flu situation in Indonesia and the whistle-blower was even fired for informing the situation to WHO. This is just one of the many cases that was found splattering over the media when the avian flu was nothing more than an Asian concern. And as long as it remains that, the world can watch on, ban poultry import and just go on with their business. Which raise this question that does nationalistic pride over-rule the well being of its citizen and the influential lobbyists are allowed to let their private agendas and greed be fulfilled at the expenses of people’s life?

But when birds flew northward and westward into Turkey and Russia, things stopped becoming a detached topic on how disclosure would be. We suddenly see that the avian flu is a global pandemic. Medicines such as Tami flu is now being considered necessary for mankind’s survival and that the bottom-line and intellectual property which caused the Pharmaceutical giants gazillions of dollars not withstanding. They need the medicine, they need it now and they need a lot of it. Which make Asian Nations realized that the pills they tasted in the name of common market, protection of intellectual property tied their hands save their own people is now being disregarded by their advocators are bitter and hollow, unlikely to be a cure and now like a placebo in face of a terminal illness. This is not unlike the situation that is being faced by the Aids epidemics faced in Africa whereby countless of children suffered while being paid lip services and all the advanced to fight that deadly plague made little headway in that continent. Which begs the question that is our life cheaper than theirs? And also another question which will be that, should Dengue Fever takes root in Italy and Califonia, would a vaccine and a quick cure be developed due to market demand?

While the world is getting smaller made apparent by virus spreading without boundary, the chasm is widening between those that can move and shake the world and those which had to pay the dear price and sometime with their life in the wake of all the moves and shakes. Advancement of humane being….probably till the bitter end of obliteration.

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