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March 31, 2006

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There was a wonderful article on panic that was sent to me by a friend:

Panic and why people usually don’t

There is a general and repeated perception that when facing severe and overwhelming adversity, people will panic. But what has happened in the past? Take the example of the London Blitz during the Second World War. Beforehand every expert, psychiatrist, planner and government official was firmly convinced that the ‘‘bomber will always get through’’, and that civilian morale would rapidly crack, with populations fleeing to the country in panic. Yet it didn’t happen, except in a few very specific circumstances, such as the Bethnal Green Tube tragedy, when a crowd surged into a crowded subway entrance. The myth of ‘‘London can take it’’ is no myth. London did take it (Jones et al., 2004).

Likewise, it seems clear from the research on 9/11 that panic was conspicuous by its absence during the evacuation of the World Trade Center. A building was on fire, about to collapse and the emergency services not yet present. Yet there was no panic, but an orderly evacuation perhaps aided by pre-existing social networks (Glass & Schoch-Spana, 2002).

It's from Journal of Mental Health,
February 2005; 14(1): 1 – 6
SIMON WESSELY

Dem, have you got a link for the JMH article? I'd like to read the rest of that.

I'll send it to you.

your comments are a useful response to the

"maybe it won't be so bad after all"

and

"maybe it wont't happen at all"

comments that are starting to circulate in the press.

orionATL, the press doesn't get it. And certain authoirs (Marc Siegel recently in the WaPo) seem to specialize in the message that it's all fear and hype. The thing is, it's really not. it's reasoned concern based on fact (the current condition of hospitals and medical care). And that's a problem the nay-sayers do not address.

DemfromCT, thanks again for another great post on this.
Saw an article that flu would likely hit CA first, wrt the lower 48. This seems to make sense, IIRC from what you have written before about migratory patterns and Alaska.
OT, Leibermann was booed at a big Democratic dinner last night in CT, just wondered if you heard anything in addition to what is already out there, a lot of us are pulling for Ned Lamont.

lieberman is unhappy with rank and file activists who are unhappy with him. he raises a lot of money for the party, so the regulars will l;ikely suppport him.

Lamont will do better than expected, but it's still uphill.

DoI have this right? From all I can gather googling 'round, Tamiflu has to be initiated in the first 2 days for even the smallest efficacy, and new strains are already immune to whatever little it does.

robert gordon durst, tamiflu is not a panacea. it needs to be started within 48 hours (the sooner the better), and the optimal dose is not known. It's both expensive and in short supply. it might best be used as prophylaxis. That is why stockpiling by governments is going on, as a way to contain small outbreaks.

OTOH, there are some strains sensitive and some resistant. Since the ultimate virus strain responsible for the next pandemic is unknown, it is also unknown how useful tamiflu will be.

Finally, the concept of preparedness is far deeper than scoring some tamiflu, whether by govts or individuals. Vaccines hold out much more promise, but recent forays have been disappointing, as they seem to work at 12 times the dose of seasonal flu vaccines, and only in half the patients tested. IOW, we have no vaccine at the moment.

And now you know why we started flu wiki.

Flu wiki, btw will be down another 24 hours or so as we resolve server issues.

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