Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're All Going to Die!!!

I don't have a lot of time, I have to go hide under a rock because of the latest crisis that will certainly kill us all. The swine flu coverage is comical with pictures of people walking around with surgical masks everywhere. My personal favourite is the couple kissing with their masks on. I suppose it's not just the media's fault, when the US administration declared a public health emergency, and the President says "it's not a cause for alarm."

I'm reminded of my first day of media training starting a new job almost 10 years ago. The instructor said when you say, "don't panic" the message received is "PANIC!!!" Anyway if this isn't overblown, I don't know what is. First off there are only 40 reported cases of the disease and nobody has died in the US or Canada. Second, it's the flu let's put things in perspective for a second:

"In the U.S., you want to focus on the fact that no one has had serious illness from this," said Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning infectious-disease expert with the Council on Foreign Relations.

In all known American cases thus far, "They got well, just as would be the case with the common garden-variety flu," said Garrett.

Thank you Laurie. I should also mention that you don't catch swine flu from eating pork. The US Centre for Disease Control states:

Q Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?

A There is no evidence to show that swine influenza can be transmitted through food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills bacteria and viruses.

So it looks like we'll survive another day. I think this might become a regular theme. I've created a new category, 'hype.' Something tells me there won't be any shortage of material.


Owen said...

I wore a mask while reading this post so I am somewhat confident I will not contract the flu from you. However, just to be safe I am going to log out n-

Anonymous said...

call me when you have 100 million dead. with 6.5 billion people on the planet it doesn't even come close to a pandemic unless you exceed such numbers.

Patrick O'Neil said...

Owen, Good thinking! Stay Safe.

Anon, yep I wonder how many people get the flu normally each year. I don't think this is a story.