Health Canada has been releasing bulletins on swine flu since last spring. H1N1 or swine flu has killed exactly 115 people in Canada as of November 5, 2009.
To help put this in perspective, the 2003 – 2004 flu season killed 7,708 people.
I talked to a woman yesterday who was terrified at the possibility of death by swine flu. She was talking about staying home with her family until the swine flu epidemic passes. I attempted to reassure her – I told her that I was absolutely sure she and her family would not die of H1N1. My assurances didn't seem to comfort her in the least.
Today I could have mentioned that
Dr. Richard Schabas, chief medical officer of health for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties in eastern Ontario, said the H1N1 influenza outbreak needs to be put into proper perspective. About 200,000 people die in Canada every year from all causes combined, including about 4,000 from seasonal flu."By the time all the dust has settled on H1N1, somewhere between 200 and 300 people will have died in this country," Schabas said Thursday during a panel on media coverage of H1N1 on CBC-TV's The National.Schabas criticized the media for not trying to put the story into perspective, and for being "a little too easy to spin sometimes" by public health official.http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/11/06/h1n1-media.htmlThe person I was talking to zoomed off in her car after our conversation. I watched her beetle off - and I wondered. Why are people so bad at assessing risks? My friend is far more likely to die in a car accident than to croak from the flu – and she drives every day on a long commute. Moreover, she doesn't worry about climate change. In fact, hardly anyone I know worries in the slightest about climate change. But anthropogenic global warming is a clear and present danger to all of us. It is likely to destroy you, me, our families, and the world as we know it completely and utterly. And it is a problem with solutions - as my earlier posts have discussed – so why aren’t people rioting in the streets ? Why isn't inexorable pressure buidling to force governments to take meaningful steps? Is it possible that the media is a little too easy to spin on climate change as well as swine flu?
It is incumbent upon us all to educate ourselves about the lies the climate change denial industry spreads. Once educated, we must do everything in our power to awaken everyone who prefers to ignore the truth about climate change.