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Ireland Inc in intensive care


The "catch it, kill it, bin it" radio ads advising us how we might minimise the spread of viruses are prompted, of course, by the international H1N1 virus crisis, otherwise known (misleadingly) as the "swine flu" pandemic. What strikes me is that it's as if Ireland has finally woken up to the benefits of minimising the spread of flu: but sure, we've always had major problems with influenza, debilitating large numbers of people, and even killing some, every winter; and yet we never had the sense to run public information ads of this sort. Yes, we've had the flu jab advertised, but this new, more intensive effort at curtailing the SPREAD of the H1N1 could have helped us with other flu strains, and seems to indicate a more sensible approach, even, dare I say it: a more enlightened society. Why, though, does it take such an international crisis to wake us up to seemingly obvious ways of protecting our society? Hopefully, the ad is not too late to help us keep H1N1 under control this winter.

Of course, it's not the only swine flu we've had in Ireland. It turns out the Celtic Tiger was actually a virus; one that spread rapidly through our society (& 'culture') turning many of us not into the innovative cubs we were presented as overseas, but capitalist pigs, only interested in acquiring more and more wealth and/or power, and the rather expensive symbols that go with both (- think limousines & helicopters, palatial luxury & holiday homes). It is such a pity that, as with the H1N1, it took an international crisis (toxic, or "infected", debt) to wake us up to the obvious, sensible, rational, prudent, sustainable, balanced ways we might have gone about admitting to and managing our problems better.

Pity, though, that the enlightenment has come too late to save us in the case of the latter illness. Today, it seems, we have been forced to admit the country into Intensive Care. And it's anybody's guess when we'll be allowed out into Recovery.

We caught it. We binned it. Are we now about to kill it?

1 comment:

Penhire said...

The intensive care unit is in a public hospital manned by private health care workers, managed by civil servants, advised by independent financial consultants, appointed by frightened politicians, elected by a helpless general public, kept in the dark by an under-funded media, in an I'm-alright-Charlie culture.