The Daybook offers some perspective on swine flu

April 29, 2009

Courtesy of CNN. If you hadn't noticed, there's a hot story sweeping the airwaves. The swine flu is pretty much everyone's A, B, and C story right now. Handshakes have been banned, schools have been shuttered, and general freaking-outness has gripped the populace. Then, CNN drops this gem: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/28/regular.flu/index.html

Regular flu has killed thousands since January

Since January, more than 13,000 people have died of complications from seasonal flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report on the causes of death in the nation. No fewer than 800 flu-related deaths were reported in any week between January 1 and April 18, the most recent week for which figures were available. The report looks at deaths in the 122 largest cities in the United States. Worldwide, the annual death toll from the flu is estimated to be between 250,000 and 500,000.
That one makes you stop and think. Still, we can't ignore the story since the swine flu has hit Chicago. Susie An went up to Rogers Park to gauge the community reaction. She says people were freaking out, "but within reason." Quote of the day, from a lady Susie interviewed: "I'm gonna get the hand sanitizer, but not the mask, that doesn't go with my outfit." Susie says that pretty much sums up the attitude up there. Certain staffers tell me that I'll regret this attitude once we hit pandemic state, but I figure at that point, will anyone really care about this blog post? What about you guys? Freaking out yet? I think we can do this in poll form. [poll id="39"]
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