The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

EVERYBODY PANIC !!!

Swine flu … we don’t know where this thing is going, and it could end up being very serious, or it could be something we’ve forgotten about by June. So far in the U.S., we have one reported death, and none in Canada. But, as my online friend Karen points out, 36,000 people die from the flu in North America every year. That’s the commonplace flu we take for granted, because it always happens. More people than that die from falling in the shower, yet we continue to take showers. One person died from swine flu in 1976, too — and 30 more died from a disease associated with the vaccine. I remember this very well, because I was fresh out of college, and getting that vaccination was one of my first significant adult decisions. I remember wondering about the complications.

For the record, I believe that most vaccines do far more good than harm and that they save many more lives than the number lost to complications. It just wasn’t the case with the swine flu vaccine in 1976.

So, as I often do when posting about something other than a book, let’s move from the serious to the comic, the comic having more to do with misinformation than anything else. Adrienne, like Karen a friend from House of Fur (a site for cat lovers, since I feel the need to qualify everything today), offered this informative link on the swine flu and rumors. And in that article is a link to another article, about how rumors cost lives.

Of course, looking back 33 years, the 1976 public service announcements seem quaint and dated. Are you scared yet?

If not, this take-off on how Twitter spreads misinformation should scare you — not about swine flu, but about modern communications, with credit again to Adrienne, who found it at someone else’s blog:

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April 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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