The Swine Flu: Genuine Threat, or an Hogwash Excuse for Protectionism?
I am no doctor or scientist. I could not say for certain if the recent furor over the outbreak of Swine Flu in U.S., Canada and Mexico is over a genuine threat. But I cannot help but share Mara’s ambivalence on this. Indeed, being located in New York during this Great Swine Flu Threat, as I was in Toronto during the SARS Super Scare, I have to say: sometimes it takes being in the eye of the storm to see how silly the outside world looks spinning, churning, and hand wringing itself into a Category 4 hurricane of absurdity.
Now, I might live to eat those words. But in international moves like this, and this, and this, I see less concern with health and more with protectionism and economic gain. You see, I can understand trying to keep flu infections from spreading, and, additionally, limiting the movement of suspect livestock across borders. But I fail to see how a package of Canadian hot dogs is a threat to Ukrainian health and national security, which today requires a Canadian “pork product” ban. Why might that be? Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with unruly regulations on Ukrainian travelers to Canada.
Someone prove me wrong.