Pandemic

April 27, 2009 Uncategorized 18

Thought is an infection. In the case of certain thoughts, it becomes an epidemic. Wallace Stevens

A
pandemic (from Greek παν pan all + δήμος demos people) is an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide.

What thoughts race through your mind when you hear this? I envision total pandemonium and people racing through the street? I think of the movie “Outbreak” with Dustin Hoffman, and how all the medical personnel were running around in complete safety suits…..it was scary.
I know medical emergencies and diseases exist, but do we think the news and media is on high alert?

Swine Flu….I know we had a scare of this sometime in my past, I’m not so young so who knows when it was. We had the SARS epidemic in 2003 and we worried about it’s spread.
Seeing these face masks all over the place in Mexico is frightening, and each day hearing of many confirmed US cases is cause for concern, but not mass hysteria. I feel the media may be doing a bit of that.
As I watched my beloved “Today” show this morning I listened, it appears that all or most known cases have been traced back to Mexico. So lets me smart, lets wash our hands, lets be aware of anyone who has traveled to Mexico and lets be vigilant, but calm.

I’m not a medical person, nor do I play one on TV, but it really bothers me when I hear “pandemic” I worry that we are encouraging some sort of hysteria.

18 Responses to “Pandemic”

  1. Pam

    You read my mind! I completely agree. Remember the Bird Flu pandemic from a few years ago? No me either. The media had everyone on high alert in a state of panic over THAT as well. And in any case, all we can really do is take reasonable precautions (like you suggest). Creating a panic (over someting that will most likely never happen) is not going to accomplish anything.

  2. Anita

    Pam and Tammy, I swear I am not paying you two to agree with me…ha ha! I just get unnerved by the panic the media often invokes!

  3. Mnmom

    The media LIVE on panic and hysteria!!!
    I read today that the normal old seasonal flu kills THOUSANDS every year, but you don’t see the media getting all hysterical about it. Thousands die in car crashes every single day but the media isn’t running around screaming that the sky is falling. No, because they couldn’t sustain that sort of attention-grabbing panic over something that happen every single day.

  4. Alex the Girl

    I concur (and I play a doctor on TV…well…not really, but I watched enough Star Trek to know). I also remember outbreaks of the Swine Flu, but like you, can’t remember when. It was scary though.

    By the way, you are the reciever of the HONEST SCRAP award. ha ha ha…

    Tag!

    You’re It.

  5. kel

    You see… I am one of those people that totally freak out when they hear about stuff like that!! I am a worried mess! The news makes everything so much worse!

  6. Kristen

    I agree with the rest….minus the last poster 😉

    I work in an ER, so likely, I will see some of these people if there are any in my area in Texas…but I don’t freak out about anything.

  7. Crazy Mom of Three

    The media loves drama as it ups their ratings. The general media also only reports what it wants to and they quite frequently leave out the big picture. The Today Show is one show like that more than others in my opinion.

  8. Casey

    It amazes me how the media will find something and cause mass hysteria. Like SARS, worrying about bird flu, Y2K. Yes if you get swine flu it could be bad but it is really necessary to cause mass hysteria and make everyone scared? I mean seriously shouldn’t we be washing our hands and aware of others who are sick anyways?

  9. My name is PJ.

    You’re so right – The media does it to encourage hysteria. We are on the bleeding edge of May, the HUGE Nielson ratings period for tv AND newspaper sales have gone down because of the economy and computer access…it all spells “Let’s scare everyone so they watch the news and buy more papers.” Unless a huge tragedy occurs that they can jump on, they will ride this swine flu thing til June 1.

  10. The Kramer Angle

    Hi Anita,

    My airline pilot husband was actually in Mexico City last week on a layover and he has not spent a minute worrying about the swine flu and neither have I. (That is except for the effect it will have on airline travel!)
    So, I totally agree with you.

    I hope you got the Allison Strine pendant and love it!

    Gail

  11. Terra

    I mostly agree. I do wish their was a way to tame the media. I will say though, that in this case – with no-one having immunities and the rapid spread from country to country it IS better to be safe than sorry. Besides if you get some masks and toss them in the closet they will still be there if you need them in 2020 right?

    anyway – when I had my dd at the dr today they immidiately swabed her for influenza (negative) had to because of CDC guideline and her sudden onset of fever and cough..it was CREEPY. I didnt like that moment in time.

  12. Denise K.

    I get worried when I watch the news everyday and hear about more and more cases being confirmed daily. Just like you said, we can take resonable precautions, and have confidence. I like a saying our parish priest once used…”80% of what you worry about will never come true, and the other 20% you can’t do anything about anyway!” 🙂 I like that perspective!

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