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I think yes:
I think he has killed all debate in the subject. Yes it's all risk. Yes the media were right to report it but it's not hype, it's just favouring the negative because it's more dramatic. We like risk.
and I don't think it's as simple as 'we like risk.' We are drawn to it, it sells newspapers, and there are lots of people who can view it objectively; but there are also probably lots and lots more people out there becoming unneccesarily anxious over this.
"do you really know actual, real people, normally pretty solid, who are suddenly now panicking?"
to make this seem much more dramatic is leading to us having a running commentary of how individual people are doing! It's lovely to hear that that Scottish couple are doing well but at the moment it is the beginning of what could "potentially" be a very serious problem.
outside of a few crazies. The wider issue that I find more concerning is this whole thing of 'another week, another global threat.' One of my family members, for example; still lives near to our family home in the (relative) sticks, but is pretty much well adjusted and that. But there's this feeling that all these threats have had an insidious effect; she worries when she travels, worries about her health, to the extent that it sometimes stops her doing things. She knows that it's irrational, but little worries pile up.
but if that is all we are being fed you can certainly understand people who are worried. BUT, how many people have contracted and been killed by Malaria or even HIV compared to swine flu? It doesn't even compare. We can't have malaria stories printed every day...but we could cos there are enough new cases.
so the search for fresh new threats means that smaller ones get worked up to the level of bigger ones. And there can be real negative outcomes because people tend to ignore statisitically significant threats in lieu of more salient ones: the big example being more people in the US using the roads rather than using air travel after 9/11.
And it's always worth repeating the fact that the biggest killer worldwide is getting the shits.
after the NY panic over the presidents plane flying low over Manhatten for a photo opportunity. It did make me chuckle as I can't believe whoever's idea that was couldn't predict that a large passenger plane flying unusually low over a city that has been attacked by a large passenger plane flying low over it, might cause some alarm.
getting a call from Richard Bacon.
Made me chuckle.