From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

WHO, Flu and Panic

In my email the other day came this notice from my denomination (UCC):

Friends,

There will no doubt be questions about what to do now that the H1N1 Flu has been declared a pandemic.  Please help by sharing this information within your Conference.  I have provided here a link to National Disaster Ministries resources with CDC facts that was posted previously: http://www.ucc.org/disaster/national-disaster-resources.html ; and, an update from the CDC as of this date: http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1FLU/.  Also, I have provided below information received from the NVOAD about what it means to declare a pandemic.  Thanks for your help.

My first thought was skeptical – here we go with another panic/crisis du jour. Actually the above-noted resource was fairly calm and balanced. But I keep seeing headlines like “U.S. Swine Flu Deaths Hit Double Digits” (msnbc.com 3/21/09) and “Swine Flu Kills 7 In New York City” (video from msnbc.com 3/21/09). Look at those articles a little more closely and you realize that MOST of these deaths were due to other causes that the flu complicated. I just can’t get away from the idea that the media is trying to scare people – again.

So it was a pleasure to read this article in the in the Washington Times titled “A Pandemic of Panic – Are We Dead Yet?” To give you the flavor, it begins:

We were all supposed to be in the graveyard by now, done in by AIDS, SARS, bird flu, poisoned peanut butter, Hong Kong flu, killer tomatoes, global warming and strangulation by kudzu. But here we are, proof that there really is life after death.

Don’t panic. Just read it. Could it just POSSIBLY be that God is in charge after all?

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