UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

April 30, 2009

When Pigs Fly

Filed under: discussion — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:06 am

I live in California. We have tremendous numbers of legal and illegal residents of Mexican citizenship and an extremely porous border. Even if we wanted to, we cannot close the border between California and Mexico. We could not manage it even though it is obviously a threat to national security when people drive whole truckloads over the border without going through the official checkpoints. There is no possible way to hold a porous border against disease.

There are a number of cases of Swine Flu already. Schools are being closed. 

I am looking at my flight confirmations for Yarn School and thinking, “Do I really want to get on an airplane?” 

I have subscribed to the news feeds from several official sources and will make a decision over the weekend.

I was surprised the WHO raised the Pandemic level to 5 (of 6) without grounding all non-emergency flights. It must be one of those exponential scales because I understood that P-level-6 means “Humanity will self destruct in 5 seconds.” Or, “We’re f****d!” It rather seems like restricting the flow of people should have its own level. Or maybe there was grade inflation and the f****d level is now the invisible number 7. 


It turns out that “Pandemic Level” is actually shorthand for “Pandemic Index” which is the phase of whether a contagion can be considered pandemic. It is NOT the “Pandemic Severity Level”, which is graded like hurricanes and a Level 5 means there will be widespread mortality (and therefore shortages, rioting, and tangential issues). There is a vast vast difference between what I was understanding “pandemic level” to mean and what the media is indicating. I was hearing, “A minimum of 2% of the population worldwide will die. 30% or more of the world population will be infected.” But the WHO was saying, “This is actually a pandemic, really, we’re really sure this time.”  Pretty much you need a Phase 6 Pandemic Index before there is any point in measuring the Pandemic Severity Level at all. I also blame the media for interchanging a specific term… because Index ≠ Level.

[Continuing with the original post’s ending because I still think it is hilarious.]

And brought to you by the macabre… for all of you who said you would give up traveling when pigs fly.      swine flew.



  1. Thanks for the clarity on the level v. index. As sick as it is, the media LOVES the drama of a pandemic and the more people they can get panicked and glued to the news, the better. I can’t do anything to stop it, but my husband and I did refrain from going to the 2 major festivals held in my area this weekend. Why take chances by being surrounded by thousands of people when sitting at home and not spending $ is better anyway? :)

    Comment by Tara — May 3, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  2. We were all set to cancel our trip because the news said the WHO was raising the Pandemic Level to maximum. And honestly, if they raised the Pandemic Severity Level to maximum, we would not have had a choice whether to travel due to mandatory restrictions.

    I do think the media got something mildly conflated and decided to run with it because it is getting better ratings than any other kind of news.

    I can see staying home. That is my normal default behavior. Any excuse to stay home will be grabbed with both hands. I congratulate you on your dual purpose frugality though.

    Comment by UndyedYarnpire — May 3, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

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