Thursday, August 13, 2009

Making a bad situation worse - the press and swine flu

I feel the biggest problem with the swine flu has not been the virus, but the press. With all the media hype and the constant bombardment of pictures of hospital beds and sick patients on TV channels 24/7, most people are scared out of their wits about getting swine flu. Public gullibility is high - and rumours spread like wild fire. Unfortunately, no one is willing to listen to the voice of reason. Sensible doctors provide sensible opinions, but these are ignored - and poorly informed politicians decide to close down schools and shut down malls, adding fuel to the fire ! These silly measures hurt the economy and make everyone even more miserable, without helping the situation even one bit ! Swine flu is a self-limited viral infection, which is contagious, but not very virulent, which means that most people who get it do get better on their own, without needing any medical intervention. I wish responsible doctors had a better way of being able to reassure the public at large, so they would not waste their money buying masks or hiding at home !

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