The flu picture


Whether the fill-in-the-name-you-wish-to-use-here flu outbreak is overstated is a matter of some conjecture, but perhaps we can agree that attempts to graphically represent the outbreak generally fail miserably.

Take the government’s Web site’s map above. We’re a red state now and it looks bad — real bad. Severe, even. An epidemic, perhaps.

Reality: Minnesota has had but one confirmed case of the flu-that-must-not-be-named as of 11 this morning. In the great flu pandemic of 1918, it took only a week for the state to go from one confirmed case of the flu, to 1,000.