Sunday, July 08, 2007

3. Profit!!!

As with any winter, there are always a few good influenza viruses that get passed around and we all get sick at least once. Some of these viruses give you a headache and make you feel crap for a few days, while others that hit you and you are confined to bed with fevers for days on end.

Last weekend Calvin (3 and half now) came down with a massive fever and slept for nearly all of Sunday. His fever was quite severe but we did what you should do and gave Nurofen or Panadol to bring the fever down and if necessary put him in a tepid shower to help bring the temp down.

By Wednesday he was back to normal, although he has had a nose like a dripping tap for the last few days.

Then on Thursday the news came out that 3 children under 5 died in Perth due to the flu and issued a warning through the media that medical help should be sought if a child started showing signs of respiratory illness. The full announcement by the health department gave details on how to spot the symptoms. Now the fun starts...

The news, at their sensationalist best, reported the 3 deaths and that parents should be on the lookout for a high fever and a cough. Pretty much standard fare for any good flu.

Here is the result:

Hospitals packed in flu scare

HUNDREDS of concerned parents have packed hospital emergency departments across Perth following an influenza warning from health authorities after the deaths of three young children.

Their action was prompted by a call from Western Australia's Department of Health urging parents to seek early medical attention for young children showing signs of respiratory illness.

What a wonderful way of making sure you have something to report over the weekend.

Now multiple news outlets are reporting that hospitals have been inundated and have started turning the reports into attacks on the government for not funding the hospitals properly. Of course, the media don't accept any fault in the panic they caused.

The 3-step program for mainstream media:
  1. Half-report and sensationalise a potentially serious issue
  2. Sit back and watch the panic
  3. Profit!!!

I hate mainstream media...

No comments: