Finally there is some sanity in regards to the H1N1 virus. According to this well written and factually supported article on WebMD, “H1N1 Swine Flu No Worse Than Seasonal Flu.” No shit. I don’t profess to be all-knowing, all-seeing but when the various news outlets, networks and alphabet channels got hold of this, it just felt … wrong. They forced the excitement, the panic, and continued to feed the public half-truths and commentary thin on fact. It was frustrating but I never got the sense it was real. This just about ties it up and I think I’ll stop banging away on what is now proved to be nothing more than media hyped panic for ratings rather than information. Moving on.
It has been a while since we heard anything about the H1N1 virus. Based on last winter’s reports, it appears that the end of the world was neigh. If you believed the press (any version, CNN, MSNBC or FOX) then catastrophe was impending. I saw reports on potential body counts, the impact of deadly bugs on history, and just how dramatically viruses have adapted to modern medicine. According to the “news,” all of these indicators would lead to the super-bug science has been warning the world about for years.
In fact, the H1N1 hysteria has been replaced with tacit acknowledgment of news room missteps. The panic is gone and the end of the world appears to be in the hand of another supreme being or calendar. However, the worst may not be over. According to this Washington Post article, the H1N1 vaccine may do more damage than the actual virus itself. In recent findings, the vaccine may be responsible for a higher rate of other diseases, some much more dangerous than the flu. Studies are ongoing but time will tell if the “crisis” of H1N1 lead to poorly executed and rushed-to-market vaccines that may continue to disable or kill.
Huh. Notice anything interesting the last few days? H1N1 or the Swine Flu has all but disappeared off the radar. Why? Because it was media-hyped and calamity reporting that went, uh, no where.
We’ve had fully one confirmed death from the H1N1 virus since the media blitz over a week ago. For the record, that is the same death as was reported at crest of this exaggerated wave of caution and fear mongering. Meanwhile, the standard influenza virus continues to relentlessly claim about 200 people per week. And when I say claim, I mean kill. Why haven’t we heard about that?
The the media won’t seek forgiveness. No, instead the experts now drone on about the concern is displaced until this fall, that’s when the virus will really strike and strike hard. Once more, the media, regardless of its polictical affiliation, whether it be conservative or liberal, uses the same engine to grab viewers and preach a little fear. “Researchers find something in your fridge that will kill you in a week. Report at 11!” Come 11pm, you dutifully plug in and watch. At each commercial break the tease continues and finally, at 11:26pm, the story breaks that if you have a leak in your freon refridgerant line and you breath that in, it will eventually kill you.