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The Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009-2010

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The Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009-2010

swine flu pandemicIn April of 2009, images of Mexicans wearing blue surgical masks were beamed onto our TVs, and people with holidays planned out to visit Mexico were advised not to travel. The reason? The H1N1 influenza, which was slowly claiming victim after victim.

By mid summer, Mexicans stopped wearing their blue facial masks. Not because the pandemic was over, far from it, but because it was proven that they didn’t help at all. Swine Flu was only just getting started.

As the summer months rolled in, people breathed a sigh of relief. Flu season was over. They were safe. The experts knew better and so, Swine Flu – as it became known due to the strain’s association with pigs – was declared a national emergency in several countries, including the US.

Winter grew closer and suddenly, all was not forgotten.

Almost every developed nation in the world began to baton down the hatches in preparation for the second destructive wave of Swine Flu.

swine flu pandemic

The Reaction to Swine Flu

Hospitals tightened hygiene procedures and anyone found to be coughing or sneezing at work was subtly asked to take a week off. Schools and public buildings in many countries decided to close or reduce their operations and many sporting events were canceled to stop the spread of the flu between people. Advertising campaigns and awareness hotlines were also set up to advise the public.

Anyone who had visited Mexico was asked to take another week off  from work to ‘make sure’ they were okay. If someone sneezed on public transport or in the company of others, you could almost cut the tension with a knife. Anyone even thought to have Swine Flu was avoided like a leper.

The Swine Flu Stigma

In fact, this led to a social phenomenon similar to what is called ‘Leprosy Stigma’. When people discover, or think they may have discovered, that they have a socially frowned-upon disease or illness such as leprosy, an STD, or in this case Swine Flu, they often keep it a secret and fore-go treatment for a few days or even weeks purely to avoid embarrassment and social relegation.

When the dreaded flu season arrived, case numbers shot up and hospitals were crowded with patients exhibiting signs of Swine Flu. Weaker patients, pregnant women and those with underlying conditions were kept in hospitals for treatment and observation. Hospitals set up designated wards for patients with the flu in order to reduce the risk of infecting other patients in the hospital. Visitors were also restricted.

That said, the vast majority of people who caught Swine Flu suffered no worse than they would have with a normal flu. They were sent home to ride it out and given extra time off work to reduce the risk of spreading. The fact remains that in order to die from the flu, or to suffer greatly, you need to have an underlying condition or already be weak in some way, perhaps from a previous illness.

How Pharmaceutical Companies Drove the Hype

The reason why social stigmas were formed and huge worldwide reactions occurred was because the WHO (World Health Organisation), under pressure from pharmaceutical companies, hyped up the risks and the scale of H1N1. The media also jumped on the bandwagon in order to sell more newspapers.

This revelation came after the worst of the storm had passed and many had already been vaccinated. The Swine Flu pandemic has now been declared over by the WHO, and governments and nations are moving on. Despite this, there still remains a Swine Flu hangover, with many still fearing a come-back, although experts have said it’s unlikely.

Hand sanitizer dispensers that were installed in schools and shopping malls across the world still remain. Also, sales of disinfectant cleaners haven’t dropped to pre-Swine Flu levels. So I guess, when the next over-hyped world germ pandemic hits, at least we’ll be somewhat prepared for it.

Originally published on

  • The swine flu is such very dangerous virus and is very bad for the health. This was really very interesting and helpful information shared here.

  • Swine flu is one of the most dangerous disease which is transferable. 
    The virus must be hijacking the immune system as part of its attack strategy, so that people with the strongest immune response get attacked the hardest.  

  • Londoner

    The agenda for spurious, harmful mass vaccinations might also be mentioned here. Check out Finland’s approach to the so-called ‘pandemic’.

  • Londoner

    The agenda for spurious, harmful mass vaccinations might also be mentioned here. Check out Finland’s approach to the so-called ‘pandemic’.

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Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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