I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get really skeptical about all these “warnings” and “public alerts” lately.  Couple of examples that come to mind:

FLU SHOTS

Last year, with the whole H1N1 deal, there almost seemed like this mass hysteria about this pandemic that was going to seriously make a significantly high number of people sick.  When the vaccine came out, there was all this hype about people trying to get it and a huge push that there would be enough for everyone (though kind of funny that they had 1 million doses with over 33 million Canadians … somehow math doesn’t seem to work in public service).  But then it seemed to just fizzle away.  Some people claim the reason why it didn’t rise to the levels of catastrophe was because the campaign actually worked.  (Or maybe it wasn’t as huge of a deal as they made it seem to be.) This year, we had similar warnings about the seasonal flu, that this strain was worse than H1N1.  It could very well be true.  But this almost apocalyptic message of “this virus could do you in” feels like over-hyped sensationalism.

WINTER STORMS

Twice this year, we’ve had the “winter storm warnings”.  The way the media makes it sound, we should all be huddle in our homes with a burning fire going because you just may not make it out alive.  (Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.)  But yet the hype of an impending storm makes it sound like the city will be crippled.  Grant it, it’s Toronto and maybe we’re just a bunch of sissies.  A few weeks ago, there was the snow storm that shut down schools (not sure if that was actually worth doing).  Last night, it was this prediction of ” up to 4 cm before sunrise”.  I woke up this morning and there barely a dusting.  The reports this morning suggested the GTA will not get as much snow as originally predicted.

Maybe it’s just my cynicism, but it feels like the media just keeps on hyping stuff up and I’m getting desensitized to it.  Maybe the media just wants to lean on the cautious/worst-case-scenario aspect so people can prepare as needed.  But if it isn’t balanced, then pushing people towards constant hysteria can’t be good.  It feels like I’m constantly questioning, is it really as bad as you make it sound just so you can keep people tuned in?  It’s like the story of the boy who cries wolf … eventually, I just may not care what you say anymore.

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