Lots of people never made it to Woodstock, in part because the 400,000 who did caused the most famous traffic jam in New York history. But for those of us who missed it because of the inconvenience of having not yet been born, the concert’s 40th anniversary is instinctively less a cause for celebration than an excuse to plug our ears. We know the basics or think we do.
The World Health Organization on Monday raised the pandemic swine flu alert level from phase 3 to 4, two levels below the declaration of a full pandemic. The elevated alert means there has been sustained human-to-human transmission of the new A/H1N1 swine flu virus, and that scientists now believe government efforts should focus on slowing the spread of the virus rather than containing it at its source. “We have taken a step in that direction, but a pandemic is not considered inevitable,” said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s interim director-general for health, safety and environment