Public Infrastructure: Health and Beyond

I just found a very sensible post at H5N1 that in turn links to another website with good advice on what to do in case of bird flu. In general, it proposes a decentralized, robust system of public health to respond to all kinds of public health disasters, rather than overly focusing on stockpiling antivirals for this one flu… The more I’ve thought about this stuff, the more I realize how woefully unprepared “we” are, and how urgently we need to fight for a public health infrastructure that can actually provide real services in time of crisis. Which means a high level of redundancy in normal times… interesting that San Franciscans voted to keep open all the firehouses in last week’s local election… it’s the same logic. You don’t need all these firehouses in normal times, but when you need ’em you better have ’em. And this is, after all, a predominantly wooden city, built on a huge fault zone running pipes full of natural gas and other chemicals all over the place… As O’Reilly condemns the city for its common sense votes on war recruiting and handguns (if only banning hand guns would curb gun violence! sheesh!), the actual story of the local election is much more practical. If we do get attacked, whether by humans or by nature, maybe with a public health infrastructure to match our fire readiness, we’ll have a reasonable chance of taking care of ourselves… I guess I must be a commonist!

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