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As the media pounds the drums of fear regarding this latest outbreak of swine flu, and the right wing establishment uses it as an excuse to demand the closing of the border and further limiting legal immigration and even free passage, it is worth pointing out that this is just the flu.  The US has just had its first death from this strain and as I write this CNN, Fox, and MSNBC are all leading with this fact.  Schools are being shut down, sporting events canceled, and public gatherings are being suppressed.  As Shakespear might have said, this is much ado about nothing…or more precisely, much ado about nothing much.

The fact being overlooked is that people die from the flu all the time.  We have already had 13000 deaths from the flu in the US this year, a typical year sees 30000 flu deaths.

So can’t we turn down the hype, quit calling for the shutting of the border, stop with the surgical masks, and just get a grip.

Want to avoid the flu?  Then remember to wash your hands.  That’s it, just wash your hands with soap and hot water…Louis Pasteur will be impressed with your modernity.

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