Will there be a flu pandemic?

29/04/09 | Posted by Poppy

So will swine flu lead to a pandemic with millions dead just like the 1918 Spanish flu or will it be just another health scare? No one seems to know. I have to admit I'm worried as I remember watching 'Survivors' on the TV when I was younger where a group of people stuggle in a post pandemic world. It is worrying. Is this the end of civilisation as we know it?

image
 The culprit?

I’ve been listening to the radio and watching the news and no one seems to know how bad this current outbreak will be. The BBC website has the latest details here

On the negative side there are around 90 deaths from swine flu in Mexico so far. The 1918 pandemic killed around 50 million people world wide and the frightening thing was that it was the young and fit that were affected. In the 1918 version of the flu, the virus turned a strong immune system in on itself. This morning the World Health Oragnisation threat level has been raised to 5 out of a possible 6.

On the positive side it is possible that the timing of the outbreak will weaken the spread of the virus. Flu spreads easier in temperate climates during the winter and spring. The other small bit of hope is that there is a reasonable stockpile of anti viral drugs as a result of the bird flu scare last year and from what I’ve heard it seems likely that if the illness can be caught early enough then the effects of the symptoms can be lessened.

It is easy to forget that we live in a world that has change hardwired into it. Nothing stays the same. New life happens when DNA splits and reforms into a new and unique person or animal.

Creation is ongoing and that makes the world is as it is. Part of that change gives us great beauty in the diversity of animals and humans. It gives us stunning landscapes where glaciers have carved out valleys and the crashing together of continents has given us snow covered moutains. But the other side of this change is the fact that viruses mutate. In their struggle to survive a body’s immune system they evolve and then it takes time for human and animal immune systems to build up resistance. I’m no scientist but the world we live in and the people we are depends on genetics and mutations. Sometimes those mutations mean that people get ill, and sometimes they die. Each one of those deaths leaves bereaved people behind whether the mutation was one that caused cancer or one that caused a new form of an old virus,

I honestly don’t think God sits on his cloud deciding who will live and who will die. What I do believe is that prayer helps and that is why I’ve linked to the prayer modules on the site. But prayer isn’t magic. It isn’t about saying the right words in the right order and then the universe will change.

What does help me when the going gets tough is knowing that God knows what it is like to suffer, to be in pain and to loose people that are loved. In the bible we are told that Jesus cried when he was told that Lazarus had died. If you believe that Jesus and God are in some way (which I don’t claim to understand) the same person; then the same God that created the world, grieved at the loss of his friend.

I heard it said recently that God is not the one causing the thunderstorm, but he is in the boat with us. That makes sense to me and I hope that by looking at the sections on prayer it will be of help to you.

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Your comments

hello, i’m twelve years old and i’m clever enough to understand this. I live in newcastle, and 1 person so far has been admitted to have swine flu.

Is there going to be a pandemic, if so- How many people are going to die?
Will we be aloud on streets?
Will Civilisation collapse?

Is this mother natures choice?

Has god did this?


Please email back!

xx

#1. By Skye Rose on April 30, 2009

Skyerose

I don’t believe that God has decided to kill people off in a flu pandemic. At the moment we don’t know what will happen. The people who have swine flu in the UK seem to have mild symptoms and everyone is aware of it so hopefully the authorities will be able to cope. I’ve had seasonal flu twice in my lifetime and it was horrible but I survived.

#2. By poppy on May 01, 2009

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