“Sure, But What Have the Romans Done for Us Lately?”

As is his want, Bruce Sterling talks sense, this time, about Swine Flu:

*You’re not ACTUALLY gonna die unless your lips are turning blue, you have bad chest pains, you can’t swallow water, you can’t stand up, you’re having seizures and you don’t know where you are or what your name is. As this document suggests, you’re gonna want to watch out for those symptoms.

*If you already suffer those medical conditions for any other reason and you ALSO get swine flu, then yes, you are in mortal peril, because that extra kick from Little Sister can do you in.

*One other big-government tip here. If you live in one of our planet’s new health-service-free zones, the “Non-Integrating Gap,” the “Failed States,” the “Hollow States,” the impenetrable favelas, barrios, feral cities, the Al Qaeda mountain valleys and the yo-ho-ho nouveau-riche guy Somalian Pirate Zones, and so forth…. And it this new flu turns out to be one of those variants that breaks the test-tube and stomps around the landscape at will… well, you and your nearest-and-dearest are especially in for it.

Take note of this last one, anti-government Libertarians. Uncle Sam starts looking real friendly when he’s handing out Tamiflu by the bucket load. Mot to mention: competent and useful, all the things a government should be and can be, if properly funded. Keep this in mind the next time you start railing against the infernal machinations of Big Government Socialism, because the Invisible Hand doesn’t have the resources to keep people alive the way our vast and ponderous bureaucracy does.

[insert rant about Universal Healthcare and the failure of the Republican party here]

link via Charlie Stross.