Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Media Coverage is Pissing Me Off

(Wilbur?)
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Guess how many 'Mericans die of heart disease every year? --696,000
How many die in accidents? --106,000
Guess how many die of diabetes? --73,000
How many die of influenza (you know, the regular ol' seasonal flu)? --66,000

How many have died of H1 N1 variant swine flu? --1

And no, you can't catch it from eating pork. Though that's one thing I wish the media would mention every time they sensationalize and fear-monger this wanna-be pandemic. 300,000 pigs were needlessly slaughtered yesterday in Egypt, but a lot of folks think that asinine move was a thinly veiled excuse for the Muslim officials (anti-pork) to piss off the Coptic Christian farmers (pro-pork). Religion fans every flame, even pig farming.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to admit that this flu could absolutely get worse. The 1918 influenza had a few false starts, too. But can't the media panic wait for when the shit really goes down? They should be reporting on, say, Gietner's painfully tight ties to the banking industry. Or the real possible cause of the H1 N1 variant, the giant, filthy Smithfield pig factory in Vera Cruz, Mexico. Or the rapidly melting Antarctic. Or Monsanto's evil rampage. You know, real news. A girl can dream.

13 comments:

d. moll, l.ac. said...

It is all amazingly out of control. Probably more people have died from their prescription drugs and from flu shoots than will die from the so called swine flu which we are now supposed to call flu A N1H1 (or something like that). Is anyone taking down the pharmacuetical industry? Still I think I'll stay away from coughers and wash my hands.

Verde said...

Yup, you tell 'em! Besides if a person gets this mild form you are innoculated if it becomes something really serious.

PJ said...

DH and I were discussing this today. If it was "viral" like, say, TB, they would shut everything down good and tight - but, hey, we do have TB and nothing's shut down.
This is why I hate TV news.

Irma said...

At least now officals are trying to get people to refer to the flu as "N1H1" instead of "swine" but I think some of the damage is already done. The other day my business held an info session for all employees, and one of the questions that came up was whether eating pork was safe. HELLO, READ A NEWSPAPER, OR WATCH TV ALREADY, WE HAVE ALREADY COVERED THIS.

Quite frankly, I am finding this whole thing fascinating from a human nature point of view. The "fight or flight" impulse of the past seems, in the 21st century, to have evolved into a sheer panic impulse. Yes, flu is serious. And yes, this is a new strain. And YES, people are going to die.

The same way they do each and every single year.

I have one confirmed case in my city of 100,000 and it all anyone talked about today. Calm down, people.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Well, the Bird flu has sort of fizzled so time for the piggys! Mad cows waiting in the wings for an encore. Oh, and the mosquitos ... their turn is coming again. Just be patient.

Sarah said...

I'm delurking to say that I completely agree. I actually made these very points to people who were panicking, and they said...well a bunch of people in Mexico have already died. Only a few hundred, and frankly, no disrespect, but our health care, such as it is, is better than Mexico's. So until a large percentage of healthy mid-20s folks start kicking off, I am ignoring this pandemic and switching off the news until it passes!

umameer said...

Religion doesn't fan every flame. What about all of the atrocious things done in the name of democracy and freedom like torture, false imprisonment and denial of basic human rights. How many wars have been waged to establish democracy. WWI WWII Vietnam (no need to mention what is going on now) were flames that weren't sparked by religion. Killing a few pigs in Egypt doesn't oppress anyone. I will risk being politically incorrect at this point but people are more important than animals including pigs. How many Muslims have had to die for the wrongful deaths of 9/11. Way more than the number of pigs killed in Egypt. When will that rage be over. When will we stop interpreting the intention of others based on our bias against them. Egypt was badly effected by the bird flu. Everyone there raising animals lives in close proximity to the them. Being cautious to save a few human beings is worth it. I haven't met very many Egyptians Christian or otherwise who protested.

ilex said...

Unameer, if you're going to make angry comments, you should at least have the courage to make your profile public.

umameer said...

I like my privacy but to be honest I am just a homesteader in Egypt. I was born in the US in a small town in Indiana. I becamem a Muslim at University and have lived in Egypt for 20 years. I have seven children and a myriad of animals which I love. Generally speaking, being angry is unusual for me. Your comments just ticked me off because they appeared while I was googling for homesteading in Egypt. They just feed into that prejudice that the western world has that for some reasons the Christians and Muslims here don't get along and that is so totally exagerated and wrong. They have their differences but there is no strife here. When the bird flu hit a few years ago the govt. culled all of the birds and closed all of the live bird markets so both incidences were handled in the same way. The Middle East has been home to harmony between all of the 3 revealed religions until the British occupied the area at the turn of the century. The British used the divide and conquer mentality and any strife you see now has its roots from that time. Now we are living with the hellish consequences of these actions. My apologies for being so angry. I am just sensitive because my heart straddles two worlds.

Mixed Tape Gurl said...

Very, very, very well stated! The assassination of 300k pigs, when this stupid flu has nothing to do with them is ridiculous. Maybe we could name the next flu Idiot Flu, or Bigot Flu. Waster Flu? Moron Flu? Seriously... we have options!

Condo Blues said...

We're fighting the whole thing with humor and a lot of hand washing. OK, we already wash our hands but that's what you do so you won't get sick in general.

Instead of calling it swine flu or H1N1 my husband declared that we shall pronouce it Hiney (Hin-nee) from now on and call it Swiney Hiney.

a maine homestead said...

I wish more people would realize that the factory farms are the big problem and that more emphasis was put on eating meat from local farmers. We have gotten to the point that we don't eat meat from the grocery store anymore. The conditions the animals live in is just too horrible, never mind the problems we humans will face.

Elizabeth said...

Great post! I totally agree, the media sensationalizes everything and is on 24/7. I don't even have the news in my house anymore. My friends tell me if there is something I need to know.