Correlates of “Epidemics” and “Pandemics”

Evolution is generational. For bugs, a generation for the Fruit Fly (Drosophila) can be days. [Disclaimer: I am speaking from my viewpoint, not from the viewpoint of any experimental nor empirical scientist. From my opinion and only my present knowledge.] For a virus, very very short. They evolve, adapting very quickly to get around lethal barriers being erected by humans who are in a battle with them. They are impelled to feed to live, as with all life, parasitic or not.

Co-occurring with the deadly virus we want to avoid are certain conditions that imply their causation. Here follow my speculations.

We have:

  • what is going around
  • an outbreak (local)
  • epidemic (more general)
  • pandemic (global)

At this time, we are puzzled by the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) that is infecting large numbers of people, mostly emanating from south of our border with Mexico. Where are we on that sliding scale of extent?

What conditions seem to be related to the incidence of infectious diseases? (Leave aside those diseases associated with lifestyle habits of smoking, diet, etc., that seem also to be “going around”, and some believe to be “epidemic”—obesity, diabetes, and so on.) Are those conditions coincidental, occurring together by chance or by cause?

O Great infecting Virus, how do I help thee? Let me count the ways.

  1. Overpopulation
  2. Population Mobility
  3. Packaging the Poor
  4. Hygiene Habits
  5. Health Education (Hygiene Awareness)
  6. Preventative Medicine
  7. Global Warming
  8. Warning Skills and Sources
  9. Credibility of Warners
  10. Availability of Health Care and Providers for All
  11. Cost of Health Care and Care-Givers
  12. Virus Containment Strategies and Technology
  13. Medical “SWAT” Teams (intelligent, obscure and incomprehensible technology)
  14. Etiological Myth (“Swine” Flu)
  15. Government Responsibility/Oversight and Emergency Action Policies
  16. Forecasting and Planning (“When the house is on fire, it’s too late to dig a well.”
  17. Research Funding
  18. Vulnerabilities of Age (i.e., the aged, the very young), Race, Gender, Cultures, etc.

What have I left out?

What have we done to adapt and change what our government has promised us, our general welfare?

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