Category Archives: Fear

Death Of FUD: Swine Flu Not So Bad

The Swine Flu Virus
The Swine Flu Virus

The internet is a great enemy of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), and there have been many things this year about which there is great FUD.

FUD is the friend of people who would abuse their power, because there is nothing quite like a good catastrophe to rationalize sweeping change. People who live in FUD are enablers and empower the abuses of those who lead by them.

One of the great fears this year is Swine Flu. It was the end of civilization, the plague that would wreak havoc on our society and it’s systems.

There was breathless analysis of how our society would plug the gaping holes left by the multitudes of sick and dead from this beastly flu.

And now we’re quite sure it’s not really all that bad.

When the fall/winter wave of H1N1 swine flu is over, it will have been no more severe than an average flu season, predict Harvard researcher Marc Lipsitch, DPhil, and colleagues from the U.K. Medical Research Council and the CDC. (from WebMD)

Why were we afraid?

Sure, H1N1, the “swine flu”, tends to affect people traditionally considered low risk for such illnesses. But it’s fatality rate wasn’t anything worrisome once it came down to it.

We were afraid because we didn’t have all the information, and the information we did have told us we ought to be afraid. The media and faux-news outlets so many of us go to for information had bought into the hysteria and spread it as only they can.

WebMD goes on:

Even so, the new numbers are cause for relief if not for celebration. Before the 2009 H1N1 swine flu came along, planners were preparing for a pandemic with a case/fatality ratio of 0.1% — that is, for one death in every 1,000 symptomatic infections.

The Lipsitch team now calculates that the H1N1 swine flu has a case/fatality ratio no higher than 0.048% — and maybe seven to nine times lower, depending on the methods used for calculation.

They are careful to note, though, that should any number of various circumstances occur, the fatality rate will shoot skyward and civilization will be, once again, toast.

The Lipsitch team has reason to want as much FUD surrounding this subject as possible. If the situation is dire and they can convince those who control the purse strings their research is integral to the salvation of humanity, they get more money.

Once the numbers could no longer be inflated, they had to retain their credibility and so gave this nice update. But see how throughout the story they always match the good news with a “but” to keep us ever aware of the necessity for remaining ready for panic.

I’m glad that, even if the swine flu begins to fulfill all the awful claims made of it, I still don’t have to fear.

Because while the internet is a great enemy of FUD, God’s faithfulness is the greatest enemy of FUD. Trust in God does not defeat FUD by simply informing us of the truth of the matter. If that were the case then in times of truly realized terror, Christians would have just as much reason to be terrified as anyone else.

Trust in God defeats FUD because we who trust in Him know there is only so much that can be taken away from us. This world and all it contains can only harm our bodies, these mortal coils. And if the worst were to occur and we were to lose our lives, we would be alive, truly, in heaven with God.

If you believe this, there is truly nothing that can shake us or cause us to fear.

In Favor Of A Modicum

“(U)nless you’re a character on “Heroes,” genes don’t mutate fast enough to have caused an 18% increase in childhood food allergies between 1997 and 2007. And genes certainly don’t cause 25% of parents to believe that their kids have food allergies, when 4% do. Yuppiedom does.”

Joel Stein in the LA Times points out the psychosomatic aspects of the significant majority of food allergies.

I don’t have an answer to this: How did the fearless and free generations who so enjoyed their hyper-sexual and hypo-responsible ’60’s and ’70’s fall into so much fear and fearmongering?

Brain cells fried by drugs perhaps?

Global warming? Bring it on. Warming trends have more often than not accompanied times of incredible growth and wealth and social development and health and general prosperity. Besides, the science is not ‘in’ in the way many claim.

Nuclear energy? Your children will not grow two heads or three arms. Trust me.

Lead poisoning? From clothes? You’ve got to be kidding me!

When did we get so far into this culture of fear that we’re requiring lead testing of second-hand clothes? I wore hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes for most of my youth… wait, maybe that’s part of my problem.

The people who are affected by such broad-reaching policies are those who most need access to inexpensive resources. Not those who are up to their necks in consumer debt and buying $50 shirts for their kids sporting the latest tawdry ‘popular’ entertainers name or likeness, but those who are making ends meet by shopping at consignment shops and second-hand stores. Instead, many such stores are being forced out of business after February 10th.

Fear and extremism go hand in hand. Extremist ideas are born from fear and breed fear.

I choose not to live in fear and instead act with reasonable consideration for real threat and no consideration for imagined ones.

Disturbing musings

I was rather disturbed recently when reading about the Democrat’s need to suppress right leaning speech.

Here are a few quotes from the articles.

Yes, the Obama campaign said some months back that the candidate doesn’t seek to re-impose this regulation, which, until Ronald Reagan’s FCC phased it out in the 1980s, required TV and radio broadcasters to give balanced airtime to opposing viewpoints or face steep fines or even loss of license. But most Democrats – including party elders Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Al Gore – strongly support the idea of mandating “fairness.”

 

Liberals, Rasmussen found, support a Fairness Doctrine by 54 percent to 26 percent, while Republicans and unaffiliated voters were more evenly divided. The language of “fairness” is seductive.

 

But Obama and the Democrats also plan other, more subtle regulations that would achieve much the same outcome. . . One such measure would be to impose greater “local accountability” on them – requiring stations to carry more local programming whether the public wants it or not. . . The measure is clearly aimed at national syndicators like Clear Channel that offer conservative shows. . .Finally, the Democrats also want more minority-owned stations and plan to intervene in the radio marketplace to ensure that outcome.

It might just be me but does this sound like a direct attack on a multitude of the basic rights that freedoms that are supported and coveted by conservatism. Is this an attack on ideas like say . . . free speech, free market, free enterprise. Wait, I think I just had a revelation . . . Isn’t this a DIRECT attack on freedom.

Honestly, what are the liberal puppeteers trying to accomplish? Isn’t it clear that this is the suppression of dissention, the bridling of local choice, and forceful creation of unsuccessful enterprises in the name of equality (that last quote really sounds like what happened to housing in the United States).

To sum it all up, I know that tomorrow will be better because of what I have done today, but why does today have to be so bleak? I am sorry if this offends some, but I am almost at the point where I cannot look at the presidential candidates without a measure of disdain, distrust, and disturbance.

In other news . . . A government funded scientific study supports industial advances. However, the English government cannot stand the truth they themselves found and so there is a cover up (sounds like the fair and representative government has an agenda).

I love my life and am going to have a great day today. I just wish my loving, protective government would stop getting in my way.

Medical Myths

These were no surprise to me, and most of them should be well and truly disproven for most people, but it still surprises me that we have so little understanding of our own bodies and yet claim to have such great knowledge of things outside ourselves.

Some of the myths debunked in this article are:

Daily Fluid Intake

There is no evidence to support the need to drink eight glasses of water a day…

The myths’s origin may have been a recommendation in 1945 which said 2.5 litres was a suitable fluid intake for adults and that most of this comes in prepared food. If the last part of the recommendation is omitted, it could imply the fluid intake should be in addition to normal food, suggested the researchers.

Eating Turkey

…Many experts say that the effect of tryptophan in turkey is probably reduced by the fact it’s eaten with other foods. The more likely explanation is that turkey is often eaten as part of a large solid meal, for instance at Christmas with stuffing, sausages and various other foods, and followed by Christmas pudding and brandy butter. Add to this the probability that wine is often consumed at the same time and it is not surprising that the myth has caught on. Eating a large solid meal like this decreases oxygen to the brain which can lead to drowsiness said the authors.

And a favored bugbear of ludites the world ’round:

Mobile Phones in Hospitals

…[The researchers] found scant evidence to substantiate the myth that mobile phones cause substantial interference with hospital equipment. They tracked down one journal article that listed 100 reports of suspected electromagnetic interference in medical equipment from mobile phones before 1993, which the Wall Street Journal made into front page news, after which hospitals banned the use of mobile phones.

But there is little evidence to support this policy said the researchers. In the UK early studies showed mobile phones interfered with as few as 4 per cent of the equipment and only when within one metre, while less than 0.1 per cent showed serious effects. Rigourous testing at a number of other laboratories and medical centres have also come up with very small percentages and again only when within 1 metre of the equipment.

A more recent study carried out this year found no interference in 300 tests in 75 treatment rooms, and in contrast the authors give an account of a survey of medical staff where use of mobile phones to stay in touch with each other was linked to reductions in risk of medical errors and injury resulting from delays in communication.

Technology has always been and will continue to be a favorite scapegoat and target for fear-mongers. What we don’t understand, we tend to fear.

In many ways, though we consider ourselves to be far beyond those dreary days we know as the Medieval times, the Dark Ages, we are still as profoundly ignorant and fearful as ever.

There really is nothing new under the sun, including mankind’s self-delusions of enlightened grandeur and his reality of befuddled fear.

The good news is that the mortality rate is still 100%. It has never wavered more or less. When we remember there is no promise of tomorrow and that to pin our hopes on that lustrous sunrise is to exercise maddening futility. We ought to appreciate each moment while living in such a way as to be prepared for tomorrow, should it come. Then we can live a life free of fear and deep with rich fulfillment.

Read the original article here.