One from many

The Age of the Pandemic

The second wave is coming, anybody watching wikipedia's Swine Flu page or Dr Niman's Google map or healthmap on twitter, will be seeing signs of that now. The pattern in the information is changing context and scale. Ask any systems administrator. We are in a pandemic, whether this is a lethal pandemic or not is another question, that will only be answered in the near future.

This is no longer spreading rapidly, we already have spread it rapidly, a lot of the network is suspected of being infected (20% and more all the time). We do not have a patch yet (or do we?). Regardless of that fact, we cannot spread any patch fast enough to people, the network has a virus. It is spreading in the subnets that it has reached and we are finding it in new subnets all the time. We have a virus! We have not and CANNOT shutdown all the gateways, so we can assume that the entire network will be infected.

Welcome to the age of the pandemic. I challenge someone to refute this statement (without the virus weakening naturally), which is not something to bet on as the risk is too great. Therefore, any logical and sane person must believe that the pandemic has arrived (without the virus weakening). The only way we will act intensively, collectively, is if we believe it has arrived. There is nothing like, action which is spurred by belief. What we really need is data on the transmission rates and ratios, I have not seen that around. it is a number I am interested in, how many suspected cases are being confirmed as negative, what is the doubling time? That would give an indication of the efficiency and growth rate of the virus. We know it is spreading, just not how successfully in real terms, much although the data is there we have just not utilised it yet. Wikipedia is the best and only consolidated numberical respresentation of the virus I have encountered yet. Google trends is not very useful at the moment. I am sure that Google Experimental Flu Trends may be useful at the moment, but they are not syaing much on it since it appeared on the radar. So perhaps the wikipidians can capture that data they are doing such a good job of the other numbers at the moment, they may not be 100% accurate, but they are a fair representation.

41 of 203 countries in the network are suspected of being infected, that is 20% of the countries in the world in week 1!

They could not stop it, maybe Cuba has, they stopped all flights to and from Mexico on Tuesday. Ironic, a lot of the world seeing Cuba as being a backwater country now living in the past, however in the new globalised world, Cuba, that backwater country, did the most sensible thing of any country in the world. Argentina a close second, but only doing Mexico City flights.

Interesting that, perhaps Cuba's social system has saved them after all. But all tongue in cheek aside. Cuba did what the WHO maybe should have done on Tuesday, but it was probably to late by then already, maybe Friday. Anyway, really, shutting down a country? For how long... months? Not really practical in today's world. The pandemic WAS evitable at some point, that point is now (without natural weakening). Our pandemic plans are not preventative, it is not practical to assume we could actually stop a pandemic today. we would love to be able to, but that really ins not going to happen, not all the time. So our pandemic plans are for pandemics. Perhaps containment should be exercised as soon as a pandemic trigger is identified, whether there are gaps in information or not. Perhaps only a society with hindsight can make that decision.