The flu takes its toll |

The flu takes its toll

Don Rogers

The common flu is taking its turn as scariest disease in the absence of SARS – so last year – and since the mosquitoes quit spreading West Nile this fall.

Not to make too much light of one of the world’s most routine killers over mankind’s existence.

Colorado health authorities report 7,600 confirmed cases in the state through Monday. Last year, by comparison, the entire flu season racked up 2,681 confirmed cases. And this flu season is still weeks to a month from the usual peak, although there seems to be some cautious hope that the peak has passed for the Front Range.

The disease kills tens of thousands of people every year, mainly the very old and the weakened young. Colorado authorities blame the flu for up to 11 deaths of children in the state this year.

Not surprisingly, demand for flu vaccine has shot up to the point there’s a shortage now. The current batch of flu shots are not a perfect match with the strain that’s plaguing Colorado and other states. Better than no flu shot at all, though.

Meantime, wash your hands often, and you might think twice about mixing too tightly in crowds indoors for awhile.


President Bush’s re-election team ought to send former Vice President Al Gore a great big Christmas present this year.

By endorsing uberliberal icon Howard Dean as the Democratic candidate, Gore has done more than any Republican to date to make certain this Bush wins a second term.

Oh sure, Dean is the Man of the Moment, much like McCain, Perot and Tsongas at various times during long presidential campaigns past. Entertaining, even promising, until the public gets to know them better.

If the Dems are truly dumb enough to choose the former governor of Vermont as the party’s choice for president, well, he’ll make a fine next McGovern or Dukakis, fattened for the slaughter. There are a few primaries to be waged between now and then, of course.

Sure it’s revenge

In the sledgehammer simple viewpoint of neoconservatives such as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, it makes perfect sense to freeze out any company from France, Germany or Russia from bidding on a rebuilding project in Iraq.

They obstructed the drive to war, and they should pay for it. Their bad behavior should not be rewarded. That’s a deduction, since the Pentagon denies punishment as a motive. But yeah, this is that dish best served cold. It’s obvious. D.R.

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