Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swine Flu / 2009 H1N1, and Having Someone to Blame

I've read that "The reason the border isn't closed is all about politics. It is truly disgusting." (a comment by that prolific correspondent, Anonymous, to an April 30, 2009, post). Elsewhere, I've read that the swine flu 'scares the [redacted] out of me,' and that it's just media hype.

As I wrote in another blog, "There seems to be a widely-felt need to have somebody to blame." Sometimes this need blossoms into a full-blown conspiracy theory. I haven't, so far, read anything about Zionists, the CIA, or the lizard people being to blame for influenza 2009 H1N1 and/or its spread, but I haven't looked very hard, either.

Public Hysteria? Must be Happening Somewhere: Everybody's Talking About it

A common theme in many remarks about this year's flu outbreak is that 'they' are hysterical - or are feeding public hysteria. I'm not entirely clear where that public hysteria is. I've noticed that some people are getting what I think is excessively emotional about the situation, but my observations are pretty much in line with Reuters' - "In US, there's anxiety over swine flu but no panic". (Reuters (April 28, 2009))

There's the public figure here and there, who's made a daft comment or two: like the vice president's 'avoid enclosed areas' recent remark - which gave the current administration an opportunity to display common sense as they cleaned up the mess.

I don't, though, think that "they" - news media, politicians, or lizard people - are 'feeding the public hysteria' all that much.

It's true: there's quite a bit of coverage about influenza 2009 H1N1, or "swine flu," as it's still called. There is, I think, a reason for it.

Influenza 2009 H1N1 is a new disease. It didn't exist until very recently. There's no vaccine specifically for it. And, more to the point: nobody, except people who have gotten it and survived, has an immunity.

Damned if They Do, Damned if They Don't

I think the news media and politicos are in a 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' position.

If they do what they're doing, letting people know what's going on (or, in Mr. Biden's case, giving crazy advice), they're guilty of fear-mongering.

If they kept quiet and let people be happily ignorant of what may turn into a moderately lethal pandemic, they would be heartless curs who allowed people to die by withholding vital information.

And, anywhere along the continuum of telling and not telling, someone's not going to like what they do.

Nothing new here: there seems to be a deep-seated need to blame someone, or at least be angry at someone, when something bad is happening.

The Lemming plans to be back, later today, with some of what's happened since yesterday - and a look at the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic. And, yes: there is reason to be concerned. Not worried, not distraught, certainly not panic-stricken: but concerned.

List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources:

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