When I flew to Shanghai in May a scene from CSI: Wherever broke out.
Three people, dressed as if going into a clean room, entered the plane with instruments at the ready.
Each passenger had their temperature taken, remotely, and anyone measuring over 99 degrees Fahrenheit got further testing. (PoliceOne sells some nifty bio suits.)
Throughout my trip the panic spread. People handed out masks on the street. Every food service worker, and many public safety workers, wore them. It wasn't until we were flying back into Chicago, and I watched a Chinese passenger finally remove his mask, that the panic subsided.
It's unlikely that there have already been 1 million U.S. cases, as one CDC official recently estimated. But there have been a bunch. And there are more on the way.
All this proves the limits of modern health technology in the face of a global market. This flu spread mainly via the air, literally, following global airline routes. It then spreads from person-to-person through the air. Those masks don't help.
One thing our rising health care bill in the U.S. proved is that treating only the rich and middle class does not make a healthy society. This realization will eventually prove global, thanks to A1N1. We need a lot more global coordination, and every type of technology deployed, if we're to keep the global economy alive.
Biohazard suits won't work.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com