From the Los Angeles Times:
"After proliferating globally, a historic wave of avian flu has entered Southern California, where it is worrying farmers and bird lovers and could add to complications with supply chains and food prices.
"Already, poultry operations have had to euthanize domestic flocks of chickens and turkeys, while thousands of wild birds have also died. Wildlife experts say they are seeing a wave of dying birds moving south — already as far as Irvine — as the fall migration begins.
"Authorities describe the surge as 'unprecedented' in scope, breadth and lethality. In North America alone, an estimated 50 million birds have succumbed, which experts say is probably a vast undercount. And though government officials are primarily concerned about poultry farms, the epidemic has struck wild birds, too — from waterfowl to raptors and vultures … Humans are not thought to be at risk for infection, but the fact the flu has spread to some mammals concerns experts, given that humans are mammals."
- KC's View:
I've had a variety of conversations with retailers who have suggested to me that there could be a real shortage of turkeys for Thanksgiving this year because of bird flu-related issues. They're trying to figure out alternative sources, and maybe even how to encourage customers to embrace alternative options - a new tradition of steak for Thanksgiving, perhaps? - going forward.
(Not a problem in my house. We made steak and short rib macaroni and cheese our holiday tradition years ago.)
I do think that as a culture we need to retire the word "unprecedented." The one thing that is not unprecedented, it seems to me, is that we're going to get slapped upside the head by something almost daily. A pandemic here, potential nuclear armageddon there … it's always something, as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say.