Peter’s book, American Fever: A Tale of Romance & Pestilence is due out this month. I’m eagerly awaitning it. I would like to say thank you to Mr. Hall for taking the time to talk to us Flubies.
I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Mr. Hall about Flublogia and the movie Contagion. Here is an excert:
“”These nuts exist and the Internet gives them an audience and microphone,” says Scott McPherson, chief information officer at the Florida House of Representatives and host of Scott McPherson’s Web Presence, an IT-and-infrastructure-oriented flu blog. Calling the Krumwiede character “a 21st century snake-oil salesman,” he hails Contagion as “an intelligently written movie. I particularly liked the fact that the feds decided to shut him down.”
“The majority of us didn’t like the movie, didn’t find it hard-hitting enough,” says Cottontop, an upstate New York mother of two who posts on the Flu Wiki bulletin board and blogs at her Flu News Network. As for Contagion’s Krumwiede, she says: “We are not like that. Flu forums and flu blogs are 24-hour public health services — first responders to getting the news out.”
Bestselling author Laurie Garrett (The Coming Plague, I Heard the Sirens Scream), who as a paid consultant contributed a lot of ideas to more than 30 drafts for Contagion’s screenplay, says that Krumwiede’s character was inspired by her shock at seeing how many people posted false information about “life and death matters” during the swine flu pandemic.
Still, says Garrett, “there’s a whole bunch of very good blog sites. You can’t believe people have the time to do all this.” As she and Contagion screenwriter Scott Z. Burns worked hard to whip up the movie’s MEV-1 bat virus, she was tracking Flublogia. “Revere was way ahead of the curve. You’d think: ‘How did he find this out?’ You have to admire the tenacity and the digging.”
On the plus side, the flu bloggers — who universally complain that gas, electricity, and food never runs out in Contagion — agree that the movie has spurred interest in their work. McPherson, who until recently hadn’t blogged much about flu for more than a year, says he’s “fired back up again,” with five posts in various stages of development.
“My blog has picked up a lot of new people since Contagion,” says Cottontop. “And the number of Indonesians reading it and going to Flu Wiki has really picked up, too. Something’s going on over there with H5N1.”
No, I don’t have the time to spend on FNN. I truely wish I did. I am a very busy mother of two (18 and 9.) I work and write, in that order. I also post on Flu Wiki with the Indonesian newshounds as we find and translated these “flu burung” articles to keep abrast of the H5N1 situation. I also translate and post H5N1 news from Egypt when it’s available. These wonderful Indo news hounds are History Lover, mojo, bgw in MT. These ladies work hard to find this very important news, inspite of their very busy lives. And last but certainly not least, is Carol@SC. This lady delivers the daily news faithly everyday even when she’s had an accident, this chic keeps on keeping on. The drive these lady have, has truely inspired me. We all do this when we can, but we certainly try to make sure it gets done. Had I not found Flu Wiki almost 7 years ago, I would not be as educated as I am now, and I certainly wouldn’t have made the wonderful friendships that I have.
For those of you who roll your eyes at another pandemic novel (which I’m hoping will be a movie from what I’ve read) it has, can and will happen. It’s a fact of our lives. With each passing year we increase our chances. Not that I’m interested in one happening (I’m quite content with my daily life and conviences thank you)but I do know that the more I educate myself the more I can be aware and awareness is a powerful tool. I prep for emergencies. They don’t happen all the time, but I’m aware that they do. Pandemics don’t happen all the time, but they do happen. H1N1 was a new, novel virus and we had no way of telling just how severe it would be. Yeah, I was very nervous, but I didn’t panic because I was informed on a daily basis thanks to Flublogia. I kept prepping and going on with my life while still paying attention. I think many people could have avoided getting the flu if they took percautions, like wearing a mask out in public. People we have got to get over this phobia of seeing mask out in public!!! It is a good thing!
And yes, I definately think there’s something going on in Indonesia with H5N1. We all in flublogia know it. The press just can’t report it.
And for you who think it’s hype and we spread hype; get over it or get educated!
As always, thank you for stopping by FNN. I sincerely appreaciate it.