Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen


Thursday, September 09, 2004  
Guest blog

I'm bringing in a guest blogger for a post. This is an old buddy of mine from DU. Say hello to "the rebuttalist":



The West Nile scare is something that has come up a few times in my office this week. I call it a scare because it is just that. See, sometimes the media gets bored. So they grab hold of the latest in-fashion disease and decide to perpetuate the fear by hyping it up. That way they can sit back and turn every press release from the local health unit into a story. And if you don't believe me, just phone up your local newspaper and ask them how often they re-write press releases in a pinch, most of them will tell you often, and if not - they're lying to you.
What few people realize about West Nile is that of small percentage of people who die from it, most of them are seniors or those with compromised health. So basically the people who die from West Nile are the same people that can die if they catch a bad cold or any other kind of illness that a person in good health would fight off. But why isn't this story being reported? Well, as was explained above, it all comes back to lazy journalists. You'll never see a press release about a situation that has digressed. I couldn't imagine tearing "West Nile cases non-existent in region" off the fax machine. Instead, I see countless releases about "how to avoid West Nile."

Avoid what?

This year in Saskatchewan (last year's West Nile hot bed) only five people have thus far been confirmed as having the disease, that is down from eight last year. So far none have been reported in B.C. In fact, of the over 4,000 submitted bird carcasses and mosquito pools tested, not one has been found positive for the disease. Across Canada, what is the grand total of those effected with the illness this year? A whopping 11.

Not only is media boredom and laziness to blame, but the desire to beat the competition is another factor. Heaven forbid your publication fails to spread fear and hype-up the scare less than the publication across the street.
So you see how the hype grows and grows. And why not? We're all buying into it. When you look at all these figures, you can't help but laugh at all the people being spooked by this virus. Especially when smoking kills 46,000 people in Canada a year.
So we'll willingly kill ourselves with tobacco, but the public gets completely irate when a small amount of people merely contract a disease with symptoms similar to the flu.

Next we'll be hearing "cull the skeeters!" from large groups of outraged activists marching down Main St. A mosquito will be burned in effigy. All the while protesters will puff on cigarettes, then drive home drunk cursing this terrible disease that threatens their lives.

posted by lazarus | 09:14 | |
Comments:
Keep it up. I enjoy your nice blog. check out my fashion industry site. It pretty much covers fashion industry related stuff.
 
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