I’ve been thinking a lot about what to say about the Swine Flu, or H1N1, or the Mexican Flu, or whatever it is that we are supposed to call it today. And, really, what can I say that hasn’t been said already by an endless stream of know-nothing TV pundits. According to CNN, as of today, there are about 853 cases of the flu worldwide. That means 0.000001% of the world’s population is infected. Compare that to AIDS, which 0.48% of the world has. I wonder which disease should be getting more of our attention.
In all honest, I will admit to being a little concerned about the Swine Flu. I live in Toronto, which bore the brunt of the SARS outbreak five years ago, and I also have Baby Man, who is only 15 months old. Goodness knows I would do anything to keep him healthy. And then there is my aunt and uncle, who are on vacation in Mexico. (Actually, they should be on their way home today, assuming they can find an airline flying out of Mexico.) But even with all those factors, I’m still not overly concerned. We do our best every day to stay healthy, and short of isolating ourselves in a sealed bubble, there isn’t much more to do.
I know that this outbreak has the potential to be serious, but none of the previous Swine Flu outbreaks lead to a large number of deaths. I can’t help but feel that a lot of the panic this time around can be laid at the foot of the 24 hours news channels that need to find enough content to fill all of their on-air hours. Kinda like the Global Economic Crisis reporting of the past six months… which has seemed to slip off the radar a little bit.
Oh, and one last thing, I’m super tired of all the emails floating around saying that eating pork is what caused the Swine Flu. Seriously, someone believes that? And even if it was true, you’ve have to pry the bacon from my cold, dead hand.