Saturday, 2 May 2009
Just after seven this morning I switched or the wireless. They were talking about people arriving back from Mexico. While offers of early return had been made to hundreds of UK citizens (Where did they get the money from?) only eighty had bothered to take up the offer. The programme then began to talk about this, as indeed all news programmes have talked incessantly about 'Swine Flu,' for days now. (Why is it not called 'Pig Flu?') Sky News have almost nothing else to talk about, the BBC likewise, the papers have panic headlines on the front page and hospitals are preparing for millions of deaths (750,000 in the UK alone some say).
And yet how much do we actually know about this 'Flu?'
There is almost no information that we require being given out just the number of deaths expected, the number of masks being obtained (32 million) and how hospitals are acquiring the anti vaccine in readiness. But I still don't know how this is different from the flu that kills 12,000 every year in the UK, or the one that flattened me last month. Too much screaming 'Don't Panic' and not enough calculated information.
Where would the desperate for cash news media be without a panic?
Consider where the flu started, Mexico! Near the US border thousands have been killed by gangs intent on smuggling drugs into the USA and yet 149 die from this flu and it is a possible pandemic! Now a sober assessment would agree that this indeed is a possible pandemic, but it would also talk of the thousands who died in Mexico from other diseases, often caused by poverty, smoking or just being fat! A few years ago the 'Sun,' that vile tabloid paper, had no news to speak off. No actress was getting divorced, no anti politician headline was available, and no other actress was getting divorced so they found an almost true story and built it up. 'Killer bug eats people,' they screamed! And there was some truth in this. A bug, found in hospitals does indeed get into the person and kill them from within, there is as yet no cure. Eight people have died they claimed, and they were right. However around eight die every year in the UK from this, and they missed this bit out! It was well known to the NHS and no cure had been, or indeed has been found, yet the exaggeration of the story hindered many from entering hospitals to be cured of their diseases! Folk withdrew because of this scare, which if never printed would not have bothered them. 'What the ear doesn't hear the eye doesn't see,' kind of thing.
The same with 'Swine Flu.' Of course it is dangerous but do we need hours and hours of coverage on this every day? Do we need panic instead of knowledge? Do we indeed need to worry as yet?
I am sick of 'Swine Flu' and I have, as yet, not even caught it!
p.s. I read the other day 83% of those who catch it survive. It was a fact hidden in one of the panic stories!