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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tymoshenko, Yanukovych Battle Flu Epidemic

Tymoshenko walks around and calls it California flu. (Read: Not Originated Here — Not My Fault.)

Ukraine entered the epidemic without appropriate test labs and thus had to send all its tests to the UK.

And by the way, now that the death toll has reached 71, our Sanitary Doctor General says there’s no swine flu epidemic in Ukraine — just the regular flu.

Yanukovych talks about taking regular cold showers that boost his immune system. The man also prides himself on ice-swimming during the Orthodox holiday of Theophany.

Meanwhile, people are dying because the hospitals don't have enough oxygenators. But who cares about oxygenators now that we have Tymoshenko's Louis Vuitton dresses, Yanukovych python leather shoes, not to mention their oligarchs’ cars, villas and jets.

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alan said...

Swine flu, California flu, whatever flu they are just putting a happy face on something they dont know about. She looks as though she cant wait to get out of the lab they are walking through. Afraid of catching something I'm sure.
Hope you and yours are well, you are in our prayers.


elmer said...

Why are they not wearing masks, like Tymoshenko said they should?

What - is she exempt?

Even if they are superman, like Yanukovych?

elmer said...

Tymo and Yanuk and the rest are not battling swine flu - they are battling each other.

Meanwhile, the Harvard Crimson has weighed in on this. They make an eminently good point:

on Swine Flu

The Ukrainian government’s response to H1N1 is excessive
Published On Monday, November 02, 2009 10:14 PM


The Ukrainian government’s policies on swine flu make quarantines and Purell dispensers look like amateur efforts. Due to rising fears about a possible swine flu epidemic, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya V. Tymoshenko announced a nationwide ban on public gatherings, the closing of all schools for three weeks, and various travel restrictions. The strict measures come at a critical time in the Ukrainian presidential campaign, with Tymoshenko closely trailed by opposition leader Victor Yanukovich in the polls. Although we realize that the spread of H1N1 is a serious health issue, these measures seem extreme and dubious given the election climate. Ukraine’s swine flu policy needs to be better justified or called off.

We realize that H1N1 is a serious health problem for many countries. H1N1 is a new virus whose timing, duration, and severity are still uncertain. Moreover, the treatment of this disease is difficult, especially in countries like Ukraine whose medical infrastructure does not equal that of other Western countries. The severity of the disease in Ukraine, however, does not seem to merit the drastic steps the government has taken. Although national health officials have cited 33 flu deaths in support of the measure, they have not definitively specified how many of these deaths were a result of swine flu and how many were a result of other viruses. Additionally, to put this count in perspective, the Centers for Disease Control reported 292 swine flu deaths in the U.S. from just August 30 to October 10, 2009. Ukraine’s anti-swine flu measures are also markedly more extreme than those of neighboring Russia and Poland.

Furthermore, the H1N1 virus should not become politicized. The government should prioritize health in its response, not politics. In Ukraine, combating swine flu seems to have turned into a contest among politicians to see who can be most aggressive when addressing public-health issues. However, the most extreme political response is not always the best one, and the ability to calibrate a measured response is as valuable as the ability to execute a far-reaching one. Public health is not a political game, and Ukraine’s leaders must realize that the cost of an overblown response is more material than a few points at the polls.

Regardless of the intentions behind these measures, though, we have further concerns that these steps may become undemocratic, especially given the ban on public gatherings during an election season. In losing the ability to gather in large groups, supporters of Yanukovich have lost their best avenue to advocate for their candidate. The free and easy public discourse that is vital to a democratic election in this instance seems clearly impaired. Ukraine’s troubling recent history with elections makes it especially vital that this campaign proceed as fairly and smoothly as possible. Otherwise, the same election uncertainties that engendered the “Orange Revolution” four years ago may this time around cause a “Swine Flu Revolution.”

Unknown said...

Well, I thought in the 21st century regular flu can't cause such chaos.

Taras said...


Thank you!

Except for news of the first H1N1 fatality in Kyiv, it looks like death toll figures have been “put on hold” for a few days.

They all are afraid of catching something deadly, something that only mortals — not kings and queens like them — should catch.


I don’t consider the preventive measures excessive. Our healthcare keeps failing us like no healthcare system in any Western country.

Once a non-VIP Ukrainian catches H1N1, his or her chances of survival are slim.

We have 10 weeks to go before the election. Rather than die like that, it’s better for Ukrainians to remain vigilant and for their kids to stay at home for a few weeks. Better safe than sorry.

Btw, there’s an interesting theory making the rounds online.


If we had 21st century healthcare in Ukraine, people wouldn’t be dying because of the lack of oxygenators.

elmer said...

Tymo and Yanuk both have telephone hot lines.

Tymo even answered one herself - you posted it, Taras.

I wonder how those are working?

Taras said...

Oh yeah, their hotlines must be soooo hot! And yet they leave Ukraine out in the cold.

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