Hey, never mind about that flu pandemic

Image credit: Pixabay

Here’s a headline on Chron.com:

Dire warnings were premature, experts suggest

When the World Health Organization raised its swine flu threat level last week to suggest the first pandemic in more than four decades was imminent, the group’s director warned that “all of humanity is under threat.”

Across the country, it’s looked like that. School closings will keep more than 300,000 Texas students at home this week. Stores have sold out of masks that experts don’t recommend. Sports events and concerts have been canceled. Headlines have warned that “Outbreak Threatens Global Recovery.”

By the week’s end, an increasing number of experts were questioning whether it was overreaction.

“I don’t see anything to justify this panic,” said Robert Krug, a flu researcher at the University of Texas in Austin. “From all the evidence, this doesn’t look like a particularly lethal virus. People need a little more perspective.”

Great. Thanks a lot, hysterical media. This news will surely disappoint one Chron editor who found the swine flu a source of happiness in her otherwise (apparently) dull life:

The swine flu panic has had an unintended consequence, but not an unexpected one. It has made people a little happy. Now I am not making light of death, especially a toddler’s death, but really, we are all a little in love with anything that takes us out of our daily lives.

Normal people are not made “happy” by the swine flu, and normal people have daily lives that are fulfilling enough, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, if a student has the H1N1 virus strain, the federal government is forcing school districts to shut down affected schools for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! At the end of the school year. For the FLU!

Every year the CDC estimates 36,000 Americans die from the flu, but do schools shut down for two weeks every winter whenever a child gets sick? Of course not.

But it has given the media something new to cover wall-to-wall for a couple of weeks, and it brought some happiness to a Chron editor’s life.


(Old) Forum Comments (5)

About Anne Linehan 2323 Articles
Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.