All around us are some pretty ominous signs: this has been a wetter than normal year (at least here in the Midwest), flu seems to have started earlier than normal (seasonal influenza, that is), and last Spring we saw a lot of signs pointing to the influx of H1N1 influenza – globally. If this is as bad as some folks are predicting, it could get to be as widespread as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic – when over 600,000 folks in the US alone died.
Of course, many advances have occurred since 1918, and as such it is expected that the death rate will be dramatically less than the 2.5% of the infected rate that occurred then. First of all, these days we have vaccines available, albeit fewer doses than we’d hoped for by now. Secondly, we have quite a few advance plans ready to go – school closings, business readiness and travel bans, to name a few – to help with management and containing the pandemic. And thirdly, our treatments are far more advanced than what little was available back then. But these reasons aren’t what I was referring to in the title of this post…
The Bright Side of H1N1
There are no absolutes in life, especially when it comes to global relations and economics… but I believe that in the evolution of the H1N1 pandemic to date we’ve seen some baby steps toward reconciliation – a more “normal” economic environment. While there are bound to be some short term negatives, global focus on resolving this pandemic quite likely will help to lead our worldwide economy out of the doldrums that we’ve been experiencing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s reasonable to think that we will see world markets rallying in short order. In fact, the pandemic could lead to a dampening effect – but in the end result this could be good as well, by forestalling too-rapid growth in the economy, thereby negating inflationary concerns.
It’s not a sure thing by any stretch, but it’s my guess that we will come out of this crisis in much better condition than we’re going into it… what do you think?
Photo by Dan4th
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