Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Flu, and Computer Viruses (virii)

The Flu, and Computer Viruses (virii)

Advice: Buy Glaxo-Smith-Kline - http://www.gsk.ca/english/index.html

OK. Here’s the thing. Since the invention of this thing we now love and hate called the “Interweb”, our world has permanently been changed. We are now no longer able to listen to the sage advice of the Harvey Kirk / Lloyd Robertsons or the Walter Cronkites of the evening news. We can’t go through our days with the dull bliss of reading the morning paper re-hash of the day before. NO! Our “news” is thrust into our synapses at lightning speed (even faster if on cable!) We get so much information, that we cannot afford the time to check the source (something that was done for us in days gone by). In today’s ultra-speed world, stories fly on and off the web so fast that there’s no time for the obligatory liable suits “for misquoting my client”, that would have happened just 10 years ago. With all this speed and newfound competition between “News-sources”, stories get mixed, exaggerated, hyped and pushed out before the “Value” of the items has been evaluated. Suffice it to say, the most “popular” stories are the ones that make it to airtime.

Am I being jaded? Maybe. Am I angry? After the past two weeks listening to the same crap, YES!

Let me come to some point. H1N1, sometimes referred to as the “Swine Flu”. As I work in the healthcare industry, I hear about many of the communicable diseases and maladies out there. But this one... this year... has me flummoxed. All the regular worry-warts at work have been buzzing around the coffee urn talking up this “epidemic”. “My son’s whole family has swine flu!” “My daughter’s Hockey coach has it!” “It’s so terrible!” “I got the shot, and I can’t come in to work!” “You can die if you get the shot!” AAARRRGGG!

OK, ok... After divorcing myself from the BS at work, I do a little research of my own. This latest version of the flu (that’s all this really is), is no more virulent than any of the others. Since last year, when this H1N1 version was first isolated, there have been fewer deaths directly attributed than TB (Tuberculosis) or Hep C. More people die from heart disease daily than do from this strain of the flu. Huh. Then I look back; “Asian Flu”, “SARS”, and way back in 1918: “Spanish Flu”. These also had people dropping.

In my own history (which pretty much mirrors the use of television as a media), I never can recall seeing such huge lines of people standing in the rain waiting for the chance to get vaccinated against a “Flu”. Preposterous! What makes this ever more ironic is the fact that such close contact with other strangers increases the chances of becoming infected! HA! I’d laugh if all those idiots waiting for the shot, actually contracted the flu!

I think the real “Virus” here is the viral way that this H1N1 has become the news. It has all the politicians dancing round each other, sucking at the perceived “constituent teat”, wondering which way to play this headline... Opposition: “Our leaders are rotten jerks for not protecting the people!” Government: “We’re doing what we can, but the backlog is severe!” (GSK: “Just keep those blank cheques a-coming in! ) Not that I’m a conspiracist, but If I was..!

Bottom Line: Do yourself a favour, Wash your hands, cough into your sleeve, and don’t believe all you hear.

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