Don't be scared

ABC New reported tonight (12/15) that this flu season has been mild. There is now enough flu vaccine to go around and hospitals expect they will have to throw some away come March. Federal, state and local governments, doctors, hospitals, individuals and private firms acted well to make sure those who needed shots got them.

The flu was a big issue during the election. We all talked about it. Pundits predicted thousands of deaths. People stood in line to complain about the lack of shots. Now that people can actually get them, not so many want them.

This is a good example of the non-issue in the media. The scare was in and remains in. Subsequent good new means little. Hypothetically, the situation is always possibly horrible and speculation runs to the worse case, not the most probably, scenario.

I read a similar article today about hurricanes. This year was the worst hurricane season in a long time. The article quoted experts saying how bad things had gotten and how they were going to get worse. Hidden in the text was the fact that last year and the year before were some of the most benign years for hurricanes. This year is an exception, not a trend. Last year, I don’t recall articles telling us how surprisingly good things were. Of course not. Media tends toward bad news. It is the media’s job. Ours is to balance it with our own experience and don’t let the scaremongers get us down.

Posted by Jack at December 16, 2004 12:10 AM