Thursday, April 30, 2009

of Bread and Circuses

I dunno...

I know the economy is bad... but the Canadian economy wasn’t nearly as bad as some other countries who got hit.

However, the media really worked the story... all the gloom and doom news, all the time.

Media: Economy is bad. Businesses are closing! You’re all going to lose your jobs.

Public: ZOMG the economy is bad! We’re going to lose our jobs! *rein in spending*

Media: OK now the economy is in serious trouble people have stopped spending... * throw in dire financial stats and make direct references to soup lines and dust bowls of the Great Depression* you’re all going to lose your jobs and die penniless sleeping in your car

Public: ZOMG the economy is in serious trouble... we’re all going to die *stop spending entirely*

It made me mad that the media really “enjoyed” the story and whipped up a “self-fulfilling” gloom and doom mentality in the public.

There is a difference between 'reporting a story' and 'reporting a story with lurid glee'.

Same thing is happening with the Swine Flu... oh pardon me - the H1N1 flu.

The media has latched onto it with frightening ferocity ... anything to get our minds off the economy.

Now we’re not worried about dying penniless in the streets... we’re actually worried about actually dying.

The swine flu is a serious health threat – no question!

The WHO is increasing the pandemic alert levels alarmingly fast, and that is news, however, I do NOT feel that an hourly update about suspected cases is helpful. People are beginning to panic.

Pandemic alert levels are more “heads ups” to public health agencies, and governments around when to implement their pandemic plans and the mobilization of resources... and not public indicators of how soon we’re all gonna die.

I’m not saying there is no cause for concern – there most definitely is cause...

· Keep in mind that the last global pandemic (Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918) killed between 50 million to 100 million people worldwide – more than did the Black Death.

· And that flu epidemic came in two waves... the original mild form that quickly mutated into a much more virulent, fatal version within weeks....

There is cause for concern and precautions but there are no causes for panic ... However, if you feel you need to panic, please panic constructively.

There is a difference between panic, being cautious, and stupidity; Stupid should be painful.

A radio reporter pointed out to a guy at the airport on his way to Mexico that there was a travel advisory and that WHO and the Government were recommending only emergency travel to Mexico... “Who cares” he said “This is an emergency – I need a vacation”.

Ethical dilemma: Do you have to treat someone that arrogant and cavalier about his own health and the health of those around him?

Thoughts? what's it like where you are?


just Micael... said...

You rock like Rain Man. I read

" you’re all going to lose your jobs and die penniless sleeping in your car"

as "and die PENISless sleeping in your car"

and LOST it! I was not even thinking rationally - and thought to my self "what the hell do they want with my penis?!??!"

And after last week at the bar...

And don't get me started on the swine flu horseshit if you haven't seen my blog (or the 90 other posts of it) yet...

Thanks for the laugh!

What was the question?

Nariane said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand once again I have the "Detachable Penis" song ear worm roaring through my brain, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand once again I blame you. LMAO

the question was "what the hell do they want with my penis?!??!".... *grin*

Trude said...

This is why I don't watch TV news here anymore, I just listen to NPR (National Public Radio) and read either the Guardian or a Norwegian paper online, because their reporting on American news is so much better! As for all the "suspected" cases (which they keep freekin reporting here in California), its crap and I'm tired of it. Everybody has recovered in the States except for a baby!! But these news outlets feed the frenzy because of the efforts to one-up each other - if they don't report it, someone else will. I believe the word "retarded" is appropriate for the whole thing.

Nariane said...

every year during the "regular flu season" thousands of people worldwide die; young children, immunocompromised, and the elderly are most susceptible.

Yesterday it is estimated that 1000 people globally died of malaria, and in the USA more people than are currently infected worldwide die of heart attacks.

Today's news seems a little saner - Public Health spokes people are out in full force to gentle rebuke the media for their frenzy and to calm the public.