Here’s Tagak Curley, the Nunavut health minister, answering a question posed on the afternoon of June 15 by South Baffin MLA Fred Schell:
Hon. Tagak Curley (interpretation): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Since there have been no cases of H1N1 virus in the Baffin region, the pandemic influenza plan doesn’t suggest stopping such festivals. If we talk to the Alianait! Arts Festival planners and if they’re concerned, we might possibly consider it. Other than that, we’re not going to be stopping the Alianait! Arts Festival. Thank you.
Curley stated what he honestly believed to be true at the time of the question. I have no doubt about that.
But at nine that evening, a Baffin doctor called a flu-stricken Iqaluit resident to confirm that the person’s infection was caused by the H1N1 virus. Three other Baffin residents now suffer from swine flu too, according to numbers released about 1:30 this afternoon.
This adds up to 189 confirmed cases of swine flu in Nunavut, as of today.
Not that anyone should panic.
The numbers also mean more than 29,000 Nunavummiut do not have swine flu. That’s worth considering before you allow your limbic system to kick your brain into a panic. There’s no reason why Alianait should not proceed as planned.
All the same, your asthmatic content provider will be washing his hands more often than Lady Macbeth over the next few days.