Only 14,000 people have died from the swine flu. In the world! Normal flu kills 12,000 a year in Britain alone. More people die on the toilet from straining too hard.
Conclusion: the press and government are keeping us all in a state of perpetual terror in order to sell papers and keep us all in line. No massive revelations there. I’m just getting annoyed with it all. On the plus side, my increased cynicism to nearly all scary news means I now fear nothing. So bring it on!
Here’s the sort of thing I’m talking about:
From the Telegraph (12th April 2008) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1570166/Mass-graves-included-in-flu-pandemic-plan.html
“Emergency plans for a flu pandemic that could kill about 700,000 people will be set out today… Mass graves, inflatable mortuaries, 24-hour cremations and ‘express’ funerals could all be used, government papers show.”
Pretty chilling stuff this swine flu. Oh no, hang on, this was about avian flu in 2008.
Here’s a story about the swine flu written a year later in the Sun:
“Chilling…report warns mass graves could be dug. Cemeteries and crematoriums may need to work seven days a week and hire extra staff to cope.”
Seems pretty damn similar! I’m just curious as to what will be about to wipe us all out this year. We’ve had foot and mouth, SARS, avian flu, swine flu, just to name a few from recent history. It’s amazing that the press can still keep pumping out stories that include millions dying, mass graves, 24 hour crematoriums, and not seem to worry that people might get a bit cynical about the whole thing. People might start thinking it’s all about money.
“Drug companies manipulated the World Health Organisation into downgrading its definition of a pandemic so they could cash in on a swine flu outbreak, it is claimed.
An inquiry heard yesterday that the WHO allegedly softened its criteria for declaring a H1N1 flu pandemic last spring – just weeks before announcing there was a worldwide outbreak.
Critics said the decision was driven by pharmaceutical companies desperate to recoup the billions of pounds they had invested in researching and developing pandemic vaccines after the bird flu scares in 2006 and 2007.”
I feel pleased that the epidemic didn’t kill us all obviously. I said this before in my marvelously skeptical: ‘The Great Swine Flu Conspiracy’ piece I wrote in August.
Of course there are other terrifying things like terrorism but it’s hard for them to scare us without actual explosions. There are a few attempts at fear when we hear that London is on top terror alert but we’re used to that by now. The climate change is useless as it will take too long before we realize we are fucked.
So any bets on the next big scare? An asteroid would be cool. But I’ll have to go with Venezuelan Beaver Plague.