Sign up now for Citizens Police Academy III. See below.
Sign Up For Craft Fair http://www.hollistonnewcomers.org/craft
High School Courtyard Beautification Phase To Begin on August 22.

The Parrot Flu

by The Publisher
June 17, 2009

The Parrot Flu

Submitted by Agent Graf

It is about the Parrot Flu (déjà vu, anyone?) panic-demic of 1930. In the 1930 “Bird Flu” scare, the official estimate of victims was 169 ill with 33 dying in a nation of 122.8 Million (1930 census).

Submitted by Agent Graf

This article is from the June 1, 2009 New Yorker Magazine. It’s interesting and reads quickly but I’ll summarize the key points of it. 

It is about the Parrot Flu (déjà vu anyone?) panic-demic of 1930. In the 1930 “Bird Flu” scare the official estimate of victims was 169 ill with 33 dying in a nation of 122.8 Million (1930 census). The victims all had close contact with parrots imported in 1929 from South America. Parrot Flu was psittacosis, a disease known to science for 40 years at the time. 

Scientists realized that inciting hysteria over a disease (that did not infect anyone who had no contact with parrots) was the surest way to obtain government funding for research. Newspapers and magazines incited hysteria to sell more copies. Manufacturers of sanitary products saw the opportunity that advertising their products during an “epidemic” provided. The story of the “epidemic” took on a life of its own and quickly outgrew the outbreak itself. 

Sound familiar? History is repeating itself. 

In May 1930 Congress awarded more funding to the basement laboratory where psittacosis was being studied and re-named it the National Institute of Health. 

The article helps us develop a sane approach to Swine Flu aka Novel H1N1 despite the amount of hysteria that public health agencies and media outlets are spreading. The World Health Organization has just declared a world-wide “epidemic” even as flu activity is decreasing here and in Mexico where the outbreak started. 

Maybe I should go along with the panic and hope it results in more funding for public health but it seems dishonest. People have enough stress in their lives without the government trying to scare them with new Disasters Du Jour. 

You should still wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough though. 

-Agent Graf
 

 

Posted in Comments.

E-mail This Article

Comments (0)

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by The Publisher:

William T. Sheehan at 61

Continue ...

Leroy L Kelly at 74

Continue ...

Students Weigh In on Traffic Lights

[Comments:2]

Continue ...

DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC SITUATION POSITION SUMMARY

This position paper was submitted to the Board of Selectmen by Police Chief John Moore and is, therefore, public record. In accordance with our Mission Statement which says in pertinent part, “to achieve effective, efficient, and professional policing in partnership with the community helping to secure a safe and just community…” we put forth the following Position Summary on the pending traffic issues in the Downtown Area.

[Comments:13]

Continue ...

Elizabeth Betty J(Morse) Levine

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Comments:

Police Log for Week of August 14 - 20, 2016

by Paul Saulnier

This week Holliston's Finest get writers' cramps and it's too early for Christmas goose.

Continue ...

HIB Committee Plans for National Symposium & Next Year

by Mark Ahronian

Committee meetings should not be all work and no play.

[Comments:1]

Continue ...

ART AUCTION FUND RAISER for 8 ARCH BRIDGE

by Mary Greendale

Continue ...

Trivia: Telephones

by Bill Tobin

This article was pubiished in 2009 and 2013, Trivia -- Telephones in Holliston Today it is the cell phone, but way back when even land lines were rare 1.When did telephone service begin in Holliston? 2. Where was the first switcboard? 3.When dial phones came to town, Holliston had what calling name? (Framingham was Trinity, Concord was Emerson, Boston had Hancock, Hubbard et al)

[Comments:8]

Continue ...

Getting Kids Involved in College Planning

by Ryland Hanstad

Getting kids involved in college planning may be an excellent way to teach responsibility to young people.

Continue ...

Advertisement