ARRL Section Manager Mike Neilsen, W1MPN writes:
Just some thoughts about what is going on. It is still early in the public health investigation of this outbreak, and our government officials seem to be working hard to gather as much information as possible about the situation nationally and here in our state. Some of the cases in Mexico have been very serious, but the confirmed cases from California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York City have been reported to be mild. We don’t know yet why the cases in Mexico and the U.S. seem to be different in severity, but answering that question will be part of the larger public health investigation. There is still much to be learned from the little evidence that the world authorities have accumulated. The CDC has now confirmed 64 cases of swine flu in humans in the U.S. There have been no cases identified yet in Massachusetts, however, like other states we are increasing our surveillance activities to see if cases develop in the Commonwealth.
In the coming days, patience will be the best approach to this problem. Hams can demonstrate calm by controlling rumors and encouraging people to stay plugged into authoritative sources. I have found information on the media to be relevant and balanced. Good updates are also available on the mass.gov site, and for more information on swine flu, visit the
CDC’s new web site at www.cdc.gov/swineflu. There is also have some very good information on how to care for someone at home who has the flu on the DPH web site. MDPH and MEMA will be utilizing Mass211 as a information center. The goal was to have Mass211 operational by today.
Consider that if the worst scenario should materialize, widespread flu will greatly impact already thin workforces causing supply disruptions and real service problems, even with light casualties. I strongly recommend that you quietly but persistently ensure your readiness for challenges ahead by procuring at least two weeks worth of canned food, clean water, and other supplies for your home. Please encourage your relatives, friends, and neighbors to do the same.
Our ARES Team is standing by to assist in any way we can in the weeks ahead. ASM, Carl, N1FYM, is actively reviewing the news to see, what if anything, is specifically pertinent to us. Whatever we find out will be promptly added to our website at ema.arrl.org, so please check it often.
Best regards to you and your family.
Office Answering Service/FAX 978-389-0558
ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN