Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Reactions are an Abundance of Caution

In watching all the news about Swine Flu, the new catch phrase has become "an abundance of caution." Apparently this is a way to say, "Yes we know we are overreacting, but you can't be too careful when it comes to the little children." We have first hand experience because our own daughter and some friends were sent home from school with flu-like symptoms.

The school administration insisted that they be tested for Swine Flu before coming back. The doctor insisted that they didn't have symptoms to warrant testing, and could go back to school. The doctor's office even called the school to try to calm them down, but to no effect. So here we are with an abundance of caution, asking the doctor to run a wasteful test so our kids can go back to school.

It does seem reasonable to take every precaution to protect the health of our kids, but is it? It is important to keep in mind that every action has a cost. In this case the cost of action is kids missing school, parents missing work, and unnecessary health care. Especially in a time of crisis, our doctors and labs should be focused on the hard work of stopping a pandemic and quickly evaluating truly at-risk people, rather than wasting time assuaging a panic.

In your teams, consider the cost of your risk mitigation actions. It's better to live with some risks than to spend the full cost of an abundance of caution.


London escorts said...

Swine flu is spreading all over the world. Actually I think it's not so terrible as it sounds. As I've heard it can be cured at the first stage.

Ken Flowers said...

It hasn't seemed to bad so far. Thanks for the comment.

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