Bird Flu appears to be spreading quickly in Turkey. It doesn't help that thousands of people are hiding their poultry from health personnel, who are trying desperately to contain the outbreak by slaughtering the birds.
There's been so much attention and hype placed on the bird flu viral threat since last year, that the magnitude of what we're facing is even beginning to sink through to people as thick as myself.
After viewing a PBS documentary about the flu pandemic in the early 20th century, I was left with a decidedly un-American pessimistic feeling that another pandemic is all but unavoidable. The bird flu virus has technologically accelerated means of transportation today that dwarf the transmission potential of its predecessor. With high speed trains, plains and superhighways, the spread of bird flu could be much more rapid and widespread than the earlier pandemic.
So what's your plan? If the bird flu virus begins to spread like wildfire, how will you handle it?
Businesses are unprepared to experience an economic disruption such as this. It's estimated that as many as 40% of workers could be staying at home, either because will be sick or afraid.
Preparing for bird flu should not be associated with the lunatic preparations some people took to survive Y2K. Flu pandemics have been documented in modern times, and are a natural part of the cycle of life. They're like earthquakes -- just a matter of when, not if.
Personally, I've decided that my kids have to come first. If the worse begins to happen, I plan to load up the car and head to our rural lake cabin to sit it out. I intend to pull them out of school and homeschool, and to live off of savings and investments as long as I can, or until the pandemic subsides.
Is this reactionary? Perhaps. But at least I've got a personal plan that I'll hopefully never need to implement.
The bird flu holds the possibility to wreak havoc on our social and economic infrastructure in ways that could far surpass impacts of our recent hurricane season. You and your family and business should begin thinking of a plan, while there's still time. And so should your local, state and federal governments. Any plan of action is better than none.
Let's hope bird flu is the next Y2K.