One of the blogs I read (link here), Junkfood Science, has a funny take on the flumania permeating the news media. "By the end of the day, panic over swine flu had reached pandemic proportions, with more than 117,607 news stories appearing on Google News." (emphasis mine)
Ok, I think we should all be concerned about the flu (I am). CONCERNED. Not HYSTERICAL. Take reasonable precautions (make a conscious effort to wash your hands more frequently, avoid--if possible--airports and other big gatherings. Our church is suspending wine at Communion; some of the conventions have been cancelled or postponed (a good idea in potential pandemics); avoid people who are obviously sick. And if you do get sick: STAY HOME.
Other than that, there's no reason for this mass hysteria. Sensible precautions and then do the best you can and take your chances.
The Mexican toddler who died here in Houston ("CHILD DIES IN HOUSTON HOSPITAL FROM FLU!!!!!") was the grandson of the "Mexican Rupert Murdoch", a very wealthy gentleman who owns a huge string of newspapers, briefly owned United Press International, and is a member the board of the International Olympic Committee. His brother owns a string of radio stations and hospitals. His daughter was vacationing at South Padre with her family when the child became sick, and doctors there suggested he be sent to Texas Children's Hospital. There is an ugly rumor here that the family stopped off at the Galleria for a little shopping with the lad before heading on to the hospital, but I've not confirmed that with anything in any reliable news reporting organization.
In any event, it's sad he died, but it's not like the virus is spreading like wildfire through the barrios here. It's just more fun to report it that way. Channel 11 devoted 15 minutes of its morning news cast this morning to flu hysteria. I guess they're taking a break from gloom-and-dooming the economy.
3 hours ago