"The swine flu is a pandemic now," my mother said in a concerned tone. I gave her my typical "oh please" look.
"It's a big deal. There hasn't been a pandemic in over forty years."
I had no idea what a pandemic was, and I also had no real idea how big this swine flu thing was. I know people talk about it constantly, but I avoid the news in general.
So I looked up how many people had died from the swine flu. We just topped one hundred deaths in the United States.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
How in the world is anyone worrying about this? Let's be generous and say that one hundred people died in a month from the swine flu (it's actually been longer than that).
In that same period of time more than a thousand people died from tobacco use. Ten times the deaths, but swine flu is all over the news. Almost two hundred people died from anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. I didn't even know people died from those.
Yet we all know about the swine flu. The bird flu from a few years ago was the exact same sort of thing - only about one hundred people died.
We all know that wasting time is bad and that wasting money is bad, too. What about wasting our focus, getting sidetracked by hyped up issues like swine flu that are wholly insignificant?
(on the plus side, pork consumption went down because people incorrectly thought that it could cause swine flu)