Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long Time No Smell Press

There is a desk in our office on which everyone places baked goods when they extra to share. Or bagels, or pizza, or candies. Anyways, there is usually a stream of goodies placed on this table throughout the week. But for the last few days, there has just been a single, large, brown bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide.



The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says:

Every year, about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes in the USA

Every year, about 14,000-16,000 die of AIDS in the USA. In 2007, 14,105 grownups and children died from AIDS in the USA ( 14,561 if you count dependent areas).

Why, why are people freaking out about swine-flu? How is 100 people actually more exciting and nerve wracking than the 36,000 people who die every year from the regular flu?

Right now I feel like 90% of media is used for evil instead of good. By evil I mean focused on celebrity-centric topics, minor accidents, gossip, sit-coms, negative portrayals of women, parenting, racial and ethnic stereotypes, etc and are in no way actually trying to inform citizens of pertinent issues that could help transform our society or how we conceive of the world outside of our living room and neighborhood.

Swine flu.

Pull it together, people.

Pull it together, Media.


Matt said...

I think it's really because of the specter of the 1918 pandemic, which people have kind of forgotten about even though it killed something like 50 million people worldwide, 500,000 in the U.S., I think. (I saw a show about it on PBS a couple years ago and it scared the crap out of me.)

The reason I worry about it is because the 1918 flu killed young healthy adults, our demographic, and apparently that's been the case with the Mexico deaths. Also, in 1918, the flu was mild when it first appeared in the spring, but then it came back in the fall flu season in a more potent form, and that's when it really went insane.

Plus I'm kind of a hypochondriac. Anyway, it's good news that Tamiflu works. Let's just hope the virus doesn't mutate in a bad way.

Julia Cohen said...

I'm hypochondriac too (like, for real). But the thing about the flu is that if you actually get your ass to the doctor when you have early symptoms you'll be fine. Most deaths happen because people sit at home and wait to long, and then they stagger into the hospital at the last minute and keel over.

Also, I don't get the sense that many people actually relate this back to 1918- I think they just like buying into the hype and only remember back as far as the bird flu and SARS. We have a short term collective memory