Monday, May 4, 20099
The H1N1 virus itself has claimed less lives than a normal flu outbreak would be expected to kill, but the architecture of martial law in the form of draconian measures readied to combat a pandemic has been firmly locked into place.
Health authorities are now toning down their apocalyptic predictions of a swine flu pandemic, after the virus proved to be milder than originally feared, but officials are warning that a deadlier form of the illness could return in autumn or winter.
The gargantuan fearmongering engaged in by western governments, despite the virus killing just one 23-month-old toddler in the U.S., has set the standard for what we can expect to see when the next outbreak occurs, which officials are already proclaiming will be later this year.
“With pandemics you get two phases. A first that is often very mild and then a much more serious one in the autumn and winter,” said UK Health Secretary Alan Johnson, “So we have to not just deal with this outbreak now, but prepare, perhaps, for a second phase.”
We know now what that preparation will entail – the creation of a vaccine to combat swine flu which, if recent history is to go by, will be more dangerous than the virus itself. Naturally, the vaccine will be voluntary to begin with but once another pandemic is unleashed and the fearmongering kicks into warp drive once again, calls for mandatory vaccination will reach a crescendo, and the media are already preparing American to accept that premise.
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has established an outline of how BATF, FBI, and U.S. Marshals will be called upon to impose mandatory quarantines in the event of a widespread swine flu outbreak in the U.S. Under executive order 13375, if citizens attempt to free themselves from “involuntary isolation” they will be subject to a $250,000 fine and one year in jail.
Saturation media coverage of the H1N1 scare has acclimatized people to seeing images of armed soldiers on the streets giving orders and working with the police. Endless images of troops handing out face masks to citizens in Mexico City has entrenched the notion in the minds of the population that troops are there to “help” in times of crisis.
We also learn that, “Regional governments can invoke “draconian” powers if the swine flu virus reaches a worst-case scenario, from monitoring people in their own homes to seizing control of entire economies,” according to an AFP report.
The Australian government’s plan “allows for “extraordinary measures” including the power to manage the supply of goods and services, giving it effective control over the economy,” states the article.
The swine flu virus has proven less deadly than the common cold in Britain and the U.S., yet the media is still awash with stories about school closures, cancelled events and every little detail about each individual case. Why is this still even in the news? Would it normally be a major national news story if you got the sniffles? The swine flu hoax has been a perfect beta-test for how the media will hype doomsday scenarios when the next pandemic occurs.
Governments could not have established such draconian response plans without the aid of media scaremongering, and now that these measures have been set in stone, we can only wait for them to be fully enacted the next time a deadlier outbreak occurs, as officials are so enthusiastic to promise.