Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu Hype

The recent deaths by Swine Flu are of course tragic. Let us not forget to pray for the families affected. The World Health Organisation is still saying that we cannot be complacent. But there doesn’t seem to be the sustained spread of this flu throughout the world as we feared. And the cost of preparing to combat this pandemic, in a time of economic recession, is still not fully appreciated.

If you’ve been following stories you may have found yourself being drawn into a media distortion that has spread panic across the world. The media focus on this disease is way out of proportion to the actual threat. When you begin to look at the statistics you find that the risk of fatalities is comparable with ordinary flu but you may have got the impression it was closer to the risk of say the Black Death in medieval Europe.

Also the risk of death through many other diseases in the Third World is much greater. But when a highly contagious disease threatens Westerners, even in the midst of the worst recession for 80 years, we pour our resources into protecting ourselves. I wonder how this compares with aid we are sending to countries to combat disease and poor living conditions there. Why not see what the Church Times has to say on this?

And by the way, you don't need to get a mask!

1 comment:

Kevin Beck said...

Hi David,
Great observations. How many people w/o access to clean water do we ignore, while freaking out over a virus that a relatively small handful of people have contracted?

Each life is important, but our response to the sine flu is like the boy who cried wolf. Eventually, people just tune out.