Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu breakout

You’ve heard it all over the news. The virus, swine flu (or the H1N1 virus) has become a worldwide pandemic. People in countries such as Britain are wearing protective masks in public areas as the media provides constant coverage on infected people and death tolls.

President Obama has issued a national concern for protecting the country against this virus but says not to be alarmed. Customs agents have been checking those entering the U.S. by land and air. Obama says he is getting regular updates from agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control are keeping Americans informed.

However, controversy has formed over remarks made by Vice President Joe Biden. During an interview today on NBC’s The Today Show, Biden commented, “I would tell members of my family—and I have—I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now,” and specifically mentioned American subway systems.

These suggestions are nearly impossible for many workers in the nation who rely on public transportation to take them to and from work each day. The travel industry, particularly, is displeased with Biden’s comments and advises travelers to listen to medical experts.

Are Biden’s comments over-the-top or is he being more honest than other government and health officials by telling us this is bigger than we think? How does this breakout and its media coverage make you feel about the safety of you and your family’s health? Do you think the media is sensationalizing the swine flu or do you think this type of coverage is necessary?

Renèe N. Gibson
Institutional Advancement Intern


Anonymous said...

Although I think the media has everyone crazy right now - it is important to know what's going on. I think Biden was just being honest about how he feels; the problem is that he is our VP and you can't talk about your personal feelings on national television when you're the VP without causing a problem regardless of the issue. I would not limit my own travel or my husband's for that matter if it were just the two of us, but I have a 6 month old who is not suppose to take OTC meds yet and if she got sick it could be very dangerous so we have always - swine or no swine - washed our hands frequently, keep the house clean and keep her in her car seat when on outings (or another clean space). To make a long story short - everyone needs to just relax for now.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I appreciate the fact the Joe Biden made that comment. How often do we hear measures to protect us from attacks whether violent or medical, until the day it hits the United States.
I would jhave to agree with Biden, this may ne the way the disease is spreading. How many times do people touch handles, (after they just sneezed, rubbed their eyes, coughed in a hand)and the next person comes behind them. THAT IS SPREADING GERMS!!! Or people even at work, who are coughing over keyboards, pens and wont sanitize things afterward. EWW!
The only problem with this epidemic is that it is starting to focus on Mexican immigrants. And what is coming up in a few days? Immigrant festivals and parades. This may turn into pass inccodents where Americans begin to segregate themselves from the other. Look at it, America is already preventing immigrants from coming into the U.S.
I dont know, maybe I am going a little too deep into thought, but Biden's commment makes a valid point to me. Based on the fact that public atmospheres produce the most germs.

Brittany said...

I do think the Vice President was being honest but unfortunately he is creating confusion in a time where people are already alarmed and nervous. All the tips and reports I have read advise people to be extra cautious but that it is very similar to the "normal" flu in the effects that you should be staying at home and getting rest if you feel symptoms BUT that most cases will not require hospitalization. I don't think the VP should have made his comment I think it only adds fuel to a fire waiting to spread.

Anonymous said...

They really need to shut down all of the schools or it is going to get a lot worse with the next couple of weeks. I just feel really bad for the little kids that have to suffer this. They need to shut down all of the other schools because now it spreading rapidly all over the country.

Steph said...

I think Biden's comment is just him being a regular guy he has to stay to true to himself and the people however he also has to "think" before he speaks. We all have to be responsible about what comes from our mouths. However I think America should not rely on the media to tell them what to do. I think we should use our own judgement...especially since we know the media is known for its dishonest, and often times biased views ....

Anonymous said...

I believe coverage is obviously necessary to keep the public informed. However so often as you stated the media tends to sensationalize anything that they can for ratings.