Perhaps it is just an example of how the media over saturates us with everything lately. That are the flu season this year is especially bad, so much so that it warrants the wall to wall coverage being provided by news networks and the ‘Internets’ alike..
Regardless of why the seasonal flu is the top story, it is.. And with it comes fear.
Emergency rooms filling up!
Schools shutting down!
The economy is going to slow down!
All of these true headlines may be on your computer screen or smart phone this morning.. Your Twitter feed is no doubt being inundated with flu like symptoms . your Facebook friends are telling their tales of long nights at the emergency room. The fear is palpable. You may catch the flu..
And also with the warnings of impending doom and death from sickness comes media reminders to take you flu shot. Ironically, some news articles have indicated that this year’s whipping flu cannot be stopped by the flu shot being distributed. But that has not stopped anyone from reminding us to still take it–with the suggestion that your flu will be ‘milder’ in comparison to the real deal you can get without the shot..
The most recent example of someone in a high place getting a flu shot was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who took a break from talking about far reaching gun laws to get the jab. Hopefully the Gov has more luck that the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomburg. As CBS New York reports, Bloomburg got the shot in the fall.. And then..
Mayor Michael Bloomberg got a flu shot in October but still got the disease last month. Still, Bloomberg said that won’t stop him from getting vaccinated every year, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported. “Anybody that doesn’t think so is just missing an opportunity to protect themselves. There’s no guarantees in life. You can take a flu shot, walk across the street and get hit by a car. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your flu shot,” Bloomberg said.
The flu currently is the top story on CNN and the Drudge Report. CNBC is running an article about the flu outbreak having an economic effect. . Good Morning America had on doctors to express their desire to have you continue to wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze, and take the shot..
But why is this year’s flu so bad? As some have reported, because H3N2 is circulating, which is more severe than other strains .. And the season started early. And the weather is so weird that it’s warmer than normal…
I am not downplaying this year’s flu at all. It’s a nasty outbreak. It’s larger than last year–but obviously not the largest ever at this point. However, media online and offline alike seem to have a way to take us from crisis to crisis, from flavor of the week to tragedy of the day. They never follow up or give the big picture, instead just instigate ratings by initiating fear.
Should we fear the flu this year? I personally always fear the flu, especially the stomach bug variety. However, with fear comes nothing.. nothing to fear but fear itself. However, this is written while I am healthy and …hopefully…flu-free.