As the hours tick by, I watch my email inbox fill up with sensationalist junk from the many virtual newspaper alerts to which I have subscribed.
First is the Star Tribune: “Minnesota reports first case of probable swine flu.” Then, hours later, “World Health Organization raises flu alert level to phase 5.”
Then the New York Times chimes in: “World Health Organization Warns Nations to Prepare for Flu Pandemic.” A pandemic? Really? For once, I bet the Times was really hoping that they could end a title with little red exclamation points.
And finally, Yahoo hits a homer with: “World govts race to contain swine flu outbreak.” They open the article with the following paragraph just to make sure everyone’s paying attention: “The world’s governments raced to avoid both a New Zealand and the United States declared a public health emergency. “It’s not a time to panic,” the White House said.” PANIC? Who said anything about panicking?!!!!!!and global hysteria Sunday as more possible swine flu cases surfaced from Canada to
Geez! These American papers could tone it down a little, don’t you think? France is currently making a mockery of the U.S. for getting into a tizzy over this pig flu and I have to agree with the Froggies on this one. I realize the gravity of the situation, but does it help to put the fear of God into all of us? I don’t think so. Especially when avoiding transmission of the disease is so darn intangible: “wash hands, avoid public spaces, stay home if you can.” Yes. This all makes sense for my daily life. And how about yours?
The worst part is, there is a large majority of people who still think the outbreak is caused by eating pork products. Perhaps the U.S. media could try focusing a bit more on clarifying this point instead of turning us all into a bunch of shut-ins. But am I really surprised? America has always operated by using fear-mongering.
Ah, I’m getting myself all worked up. And am strangely craving a BLT…