When people look back on the year 2009, history will tell them that this year was dominated by two stories.
One being the global recession and the second is the worldwide outbreak of the H1N1 influenza (swine flu). There is a common saying that “were there is smoke there is most likely fire.” Perhaps when speaking of the H1N1 “pandemic”, as officials throughout the world refer to it, there was mostly just smoke.
The thought of dying from something that can be transmitted by simply shaking someone’s hand, is terrifying. Since this pandemic has started 401 Canadians have died, this stat can be found HERE.
This is a substantial amount of people who have perished because of the swine flu, but it does not compare to the amount people who die each year in Canada from the seasonal flu. On the same website that is linked above which is the Public Health Agency of Canada site, this sentence can be found “For regular seasonal influenza, about 5 to 10 percent of the population will get sick and on average about 4000 people die every year.”
4000 deaths from seasonal flu dwarfs the mere 401 that the H1N1 has claimed. This begs the question, why is our Canadian government spending millions upon millions of dollars to advertise the H1N1 flu shot. If saving lives is the governments priority then why is this the first year for such a wide spread and expensive marketing campaign has taken place, that pleads with Canadians to recieve their shot?
45,000 people in Canada die each year because of smoking but that has nobody in a frenzy. Smoking is more of a pandemic than this wimpy H1N1 pandemic has been. Of course it will be argued that is because of the pre-emptive actions that the government has taken to insure our safety. Unfortunately for the officials who want to argue that point, one cannot say that pre-emptive actions have not been taken every year for decades now to protect the population from the seasonal flu, and still 4,000 people die from it this year.
Loss of life in any form is tragic, and the idea of something like the H1N1 coming into our community and killing our loved ones is a horrific thought. As the EOHU has reported on their website there have been 196 confirmed cases of H1N1. This has resulted in 93 hospitalizations and 9 deaths. For the people who have gotten sick and for families who have lost loved ones, this is a horrible and frightening experience.
On the other hand does it warrant the mass media coverage that it has commanded this past year? Which has put millions into a frenzy, also does it warrant the over 400 million dollars that our government will spend on this issue
Perhaps this is enough to stimulate a struggling economy?
Markus Noé is our Journalism Intern. To reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)
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