Media pandemica

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Is swine-flu all just a media induced fever?

Bless-you. You know it’s hell to get flu. Days of feeling lousy, aching and too hot or too cold. Course if you’re a bloke it’s great ‘cos you get to hang around home and watch daytime TV (thank God for digital recorders) and read and do sudoku or whatever floats your boat.

But you also know, right, that flu annually ‘kills’ thousands of people. You did know that, right? I think it’s about 6,000 annually in Britain. I’ve got to admit I didn’t know it was so many but I knew it was a killer.

So, I ask myself (and now you), why are we being media-swamped with hype about Swine-flu (H1N1)? It’s killed a few hundred worldwide and probably will (sadly and regretfully) claim more victims as winter closes in on the Northern hemisphere.

But how is that different to ‘normal’ flu?

Numbers dear boy, numbers.

Numbers are the pandemic part of the equation. The flu of itself is no more than a sniffling irritation, but the rate at which it is spread and the numbers being infected mean that the proportion of the population that will catch it will be much higher than with normal-flu.

So, I deduce, the death rate might be proportionally higher too. Blimey, and here’s me thinking initially this was all just a media invention.

But where are the medics with the vaccinations? We’ve been told they are coming for months. Why are they waiting till Autumn?

Is it in case the virus mutates? Or is it another government botch up?

We should be told.