“If you see 10 troubles coming toward you, you can be sure nine will run into the ditch before they reach you,” so said Calvin Coolidge and he was right. He could also have added that politicians will work the people into hysteria about those nine, take credit for vanquishing them, be distracted enough not to properly address the real one and then blame the tenth (the one that actually arrives) on somebody else.
It seems the swine flu may be the mildest pandemic ever and likely fewer people will die this year than in a normal flu season. We could credit the fast and effective action by the authorities, but there wasn’t much of that. The vaccine is only now becoming generally available.
Please let me be clear that I am not saying that our efforts to fight the flu were misplaced. I got my own flu shot a couple days ago. It is only that we had a fairly routine problem which the authorities made sound like the return of the Black Death. Unfortunately, this has become a common communication method.
According to the media, stoked by politicians and special interests, almost everything is an existential crisis. When you look back, the disasters not only did not destroy civilization as we knew it, but are not important enough to be reported a few months later. On to the next “hair on fire” crisis. This is not a coincidence.