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Vermont's Flu Pandemic Preparedness 

Last fall, Seven Days ran a cover story evaluating Vermont's level of preparedness for the next flu pandemic. As I discovered at the time, there was a wide spectrum of awareness in Vermont on this issue, from the "Yes, we're on top of it," to "the pan-what now?" Some organizations and businesses, such as public utilities, banks and major corporations, have spent considerable time and money on their planning, in large part because the feds require them to. Meanwhile, others in Vermont, such as many small businesses and, shockingly, Vermont's funeral industry, seemed woefully ill-prepared for it.

Unfortunately, the story was poorly timed, as it hit the streets on November 5, just as another pandemic was sweeping the globe: Obama-mania. Sadly, the story didn't make much of a splash at the time. In fact, several loyal 7D readers wrote to bitch us out for dropping a monstrous turd in Obama's inaugural punchbowl. "How could you run such a bummer of a story," they wailed, "on the day after the most jubilant and historic election of our lives?"

Sorry to bust your bubble, readers, but sometimes the truth hurts. As Dr. Christopher Grace, director of infectious disease at Fletcher Allen Health Care, pointed out, "The longest time period in the last 300 years between pandemics was 42 years. Our last pandemic was 40 years ago. You do the math."

It's worth checking out the article again — or for the first time, if you missed it. And, FYI, if you're interested in tracking the coming plague in real time, here are a few interesting links for bypassing the mainstream media's coverage and getting your info straight from the swine's mouth. 

Now cover that mouth when you sneeze, and for God's sake, wash those hands!

And, for the truly obsessed...

Please feel free to send us some of your own.

[Ed. note: The video shows Ken discussing the story on Inside Seven Days.]

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About The Author

Ken Picard

Ken Picard

Ken Picard has been a Seven Days staff writer since 2002. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Vermont Press Association's 2005 Mavis Doyle award, a general excellence prize for reporters.


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