Wednesday, August 26, 2009


There are people who claim 'There is too much focus on swine flu. Road accidents [replace this with other common illnesses such as fever, cold, etc etc] kill more per day than the 60 odd victims that swine flu has killed in the last month or so'. And then they sort of give that look. A look, which supposedly should let us know that they have made a logically correct and smart point. Apparently this is an insight that has escaped everybody else but them.

If we have an outbreak of Bubonic plague and it got its first 50 victims in 1 week. It should not be taken seriously because at that time it would have killed less people than road accidents and other miscellaneous diseases.


ஆளவந்தான் said...

I think, you don't understand the main point here. This disease are SPREADING in nature, thats why people advised to take precaution. Just comparing the count doesnt make sense here.

Padmanabhan said...

Would you prefer a million dollars or a lottery win that could potentially get you 10 million with an 1/10 probability?

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

I think the core point here is that ppl read Freaknomics, the tipping point kinda books quite seriously (the gun - swimming pool analogy) and are applying it to a wrong scenario. Agmark Indian-ness.

Hawkeye said...


i surrender to you. I would like to correct you, but I dont know where to begin. so best thing to do is complete surrender.


if you know its 1/10 probability doesn't that alter your definition of potential?

Anonymous said...

It is funny when Mr. Alavandhan says "I think, you don't understand the main point here" .

Biggest irony I have seen in the blogworld.

ஆளவந்தான் said...

but I dont know where to begin

You can follow Anony for this. I am sure that will be a good TRY.


It is funny when Mr. Alavandhan says "I think, you don't understand the main point here" .

Did you get a chance to laugh?

blackaccord said...

All I can say is 'Ignorance is Bliss'...

Anonymous said...


Instead of responding to me you can read the post again and understand that it was you who completely missed the point.

Its like after listening to entire ramayan you come out and say "no no I think, you don't understand the main point here. Ram and Sita are husband and wife" .

Ivalavu nerama vera ennatha sollitu irunthaangalam?

Anonymous said...


Onnum sollrathuku illa.. After reading A's comments.. "Naann appadiya shock ayeiten" :-)


ஆளவந்தான் said...

post'a vida ennoda comment romba popular aaguthu pola.. nadakkattum.. nadakkatum

Dot said...


If you plot the number of deaths versus time, you can see an exponential rise in the deaths after a while when so many have caught it, no such trend for accidents.

Accidents pretty much stay constant and they record only a small increase every year. But an epidemic like swine flu can kill everyone if one is careless.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, but the comment-avalanche that followed stole the show! :P
On the one hand, it is good that awareness is being generated, and some people are being precautionary. But the darned thing has just been over-hyped, and it appears that the media has made full use of it to raise their TRP's (full use, so far) - like I wrote a few months back, on generating mass hysteria.

ms said...

after we lost the first person to swine flu, everyone went into a frenzy and bought all masks they could lay their hands on. thanks to the media which has now moved on to fresher pastures and the focus is lost. people don't realise that the disease is still claiming lives, 83 so far. see, human nature has this defence mechanism, "it only happens to others", and some have made it their motto in life. how do we spot these people? they are the ones with their backsides up in the air while their heads are buried deep in the ground. i bet they said similar things when AIDS suddenly was identified.

Venkat said...

nan nenachen... neenga soltingo :)

Rastafari said...

"i surrender to you. I would like to correct you, but I dont know where to begin. so best thing to do is complete surrender"

blackaccord said...

Interesting note from CNN's Sanjay Gupta.. :)

Point 4. Yes, hearing between 30,000 and 90,000 could die from H1N1 is scary, but keep in mind -- around 40,000 people die from the regular or seasonal flu every year. The numbers may not be that much different, yet there is not panic about the regular flu. As things look now, H1N1 is causing only mild to moderate illness, not the widespread deaths people are worried about.