Lakers lost their first game in the Western Conference Semifinals, Microsoft cuts 3000 jobs, and the swine flu continues to raise its total tally of confirmed cases to 1490. What’s the media to keep up with?
Some of it may not effect our lives directly (like the play-off games, unless you’re a Lakers fan), but the economy and our health is a different story.
The media has an insatiable appetite for the biggest, juiciest, most threatening story to instill…..um..whats that emotion that keeps us on edge and stresses out our adrenals? That’s right, FEAR! What rattles us up the most, is what the media preys on. That’s not to say they shouldn’t report the news, but give us both sides of the story. This hysteria may help serve the purpose of preparing us for the worst, but it also comes with a price.
There are tremendous real economic costs to overreaction, which can be many times greater than that of the original problem. Swine-flu has authorities closing schools and universities, countries are unnecessarily slaughtering animals, and travel and entertainment are being constrained in an already fragile world economy. For Mexico, which already has enormous political and economic issues, overreaction is paying a painful price, and virtually inihiliating all tourism – the third largest sector of it’s economy. According to the CDC, Mexico claims this epidemic has cost its economy at least $2.2 billion.
In Aspen Colorado, school district officials asked 23 sixth-graders who recently returned from San Diego to stay out of school until next week to cover the incubation period — even though none of them were sick.
The CDC reported Monday that the hospitalization rate for H1N1, (swine flu) is 4 percent, slightly higher than the typical 1 percent for seasonal flu. Seasonal flu in many communities is still around. Fortunately there is treatment for both.
It’s not just about reporting the news, but HOW it’s being reported. We live in a fear based society that can propel us into a mind-set that keeps perpetuating the problem. Stay calm, be cautious; the majority of swine flu cases are mild and being treated.