Saturday, August 01, 2009

And I've been putting out the fire with gasoline....

Swine Flu mania seems to continue unabated with the unavoidable conclusion that it's just, uhhhhh, the flu or a variation thereof, and the millions expected to die are still just getting a sniffle and then mostly coming right, while Tamiflu is doing rather well indeed, being conveniently overlooked in the rush to panic, panic, panic. I suspect we are all going to look back on this with some bemusement in a few years.

Here in Indonesia the paranoia took a while to hit, mostly because a) nobody was really getting sick aside from a few tourists, and b) they have rather more pressing health issues to deal with, not least of which is the gross over population of parts of Java, mostly the more poverty stricken parts of the nation, (although any attempt to deal with this huge issue has to work against the protestations of the religious braindead who see birth control as a western conspiracy...western nations like China I guess..and are, along with the dominance of the self serving power elite, Indonesia's number one barrier to the a better future).

But the panic's here now...

So, coming into Denpasar last week, through, what is charitably described as an airport, we were all handed a yellow form to fill out. We'd missed out on the plane because they'd run out (or at least, one air-person said that, another admitted they'd lost them ....dontcha love Jetstar) and we had to grab a couple to fill out on the way in, and were witness to an incredible scene.

The two folks who charged with collecting said yellow forms were gathering these and tossing into a pile on a trestle table, with at least 50% missing the pile and simply falling on the floor. The hundreds of arrrivees, about three plane-loads I'd guess, simply pushed these form collectors out of the way and trampled the remaining pile of forms across the floor of the immigration hall. A couple of official looking people half-heartedly whimpered 'no, no' before being pushed aside. There were two temperature detection machines on was not being operated by anyone but looked to be plugged in. The other seemed not to be even plugged in, and the guy in charge of it seemed to care little, his eyes were closed, as the herd swarmed over the area, tipping over the trestle table and all on it.

It was a rather funny exercise in utter disorganization and complete chaos, a little like the roads that awaited the visitors outside the door.

If I thought there was any reason to panic, I would.

But I don't....

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