Saturday, May 2, 2009

Who benefits from the Swine Flu scare?

Here is a conundrum, we have a huge avalanche of news stories hyping a global pandemic of Swine Flu, closing schools, stopping airplane flights in mid-course, disinfecting skyscrapers, and scaring old women and children, and where is the substance? After more than a week of a constant barrage of threats and statements, who benefits from this diatribe?

I thought that this was another of those manufactured crisis designed to divert attention from some other more difficult and political issue, but there is nothing much new going on that seems to merit such a huge outlay of drivel. As of May 2, 2009 there are 160 confirmed cases of the flu in the U.S. and there has been one death, a baby from Mexico. But who is benefiting from this manufactured bogey man?

Here are a few thoughts about those who might benefit: drug manufacturers, more allocated government funds, news outlets (paid trips to Mexico?), Johnson & Johnson sells out their inventory of Purell, bloggers, school officials (it gives them something to say that doesn't relate to a budget), mothers (who told their children to wash their hands) and other related entities.

But was that enough to justify the hype and exaggeration? Not really. I think the whole world is looking for an out. Something to justify not going on with business as usual. An excuse for taking a day off. A way to avoid thinking about financial disaster, war and poverty. A good flu scare is just what the doctor ordered to give us something else to talk about for a week or so. Then we can get back to reality (whatever that is).

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