Friday, May 1, 2009

We Are All Going To Get Sick And Die.

Good Lord, I'm tired of the hysteria over H1N1, commonly (and poorly) referred to as "swine flu." It's getting downright silly. On my way into work this morning, I saw some jackass speeding down I-35 wearing a surgical mask in his own car. The travel department at work announced yesterday that they would make available surgical masks to anyone that was getting on an airplane. A PR agency is handing out earnest (and unsolicited) advice that urges companies to "provide information that informs their employees that the company is monitoring the situation." Seriously? Any idiot with a TV, radio, or web connection is monitoring the situation, whether they want to or not.

Let's get a grip, folks. This ain't that serious. As a former member of the media, I can assure you that there's nothing that puts a gleam in a TV producer's eye like the prospect of some exotic disease with maybe the potential for possible harm. Here's a few things to keep in mind:

  • Whatever Joe Biden says, disregard. This jackass obviously suffers from chronic foot-in-mouth disease.
  • Generally speaking, journalists were the kids who flunked out of biology class. Learning about and explaining health stories takes a lot of time, and let's face it -- our media and the public at large -- isn't willing to take the time to get it right. It's the era of 140-character Twitter posts, after all.
  • Mad Cow Disease, Bird Flu, SARS, West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, Ebola -- remember those? They were supposed to kill us all, too.
  • So say I'm wrong on all this, and we all come down with the flu. What happens? I feel shitty for a few days, I lay around at home and get my fill of The Price Is Right, and I go back to living my life. Of course, the elderly and those with compromised immunity systems are in much greater jeopardy, but not any more so than with the "typical" flu.
  • Thankfully, there are plenty of places to get sane information if you take the time. Let's use some common sense for a change.

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