I, for one, have had it up to here (picture my feverish forehead!) with all the H1N1 Swine Flu hysteria. If I receive one more e-mail, one more Tweet, one more panicked phone call about the so-called swine flu, I’m going to cough – WITHOUT COVERING MY MOUTH.

I just want to suffer in peace. Without the world weighing in on whether I should get vaccinated, whether I should stay home until spring or whether I should shroud myself in linen and get thee to a leper colony.

I had a fever for 24 hours. I had a sore throat. A cough. Aches and pains. But, frankly, I’ve had PMS symptoms that were worse. Heck, I’ve had hangovers that were worse.

And though I’m a member of the media, I’m not a particularly proud one at the moment, feeling unwittingly complicit in the peddling of fear in the name of news.

In no way am I diminishing the experience of anyone who’s under serious threat from the virus. I know people have died. I just know that the likelihood of that happening is…well…low.

Yet the airwaves, television stations, newspaper columns, Twitter, Facebook, etc. etc are all utterly preoccupied with the H1N1.

Ahem. Excuse me, folks. Are you aware that a climate conference is scheduled to take place in December in Copenhagen (unless, of course, it’s cancelled amidst fears of the H1N1 pandemic. Maybe world leaders could schedule a conference call instead!)?

Are you aware that the health concerns related to unmitigated climate change will make H1N1 look like a case of the sniffles? Have you considered the increased spread of disease? The drought? The creation of millions of environmental refugees, displaced because their homes are underwater?

Of course not. Because mainstream media isn’t reporting on that. Instead, it’s fussing about fevers and flu. How I wish H1N1 was the worst of our problems…

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. ??m

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