Daily archives: April 26th, 2009

Swine Flu: Welcome to the Latest Media Fear Frenzy

Remember, the most important thing to fear is what we don’t know.  There are things we don’t know about Swine Flu, so you should be very, very afraid.

That’s what I learned this morning watching NBC channel 5 in Chicago.

What else did I learn?  This strain of flu is no more dangerous than any other.  There are approximately 20,000 deaths worldwide from all strains of the flue annually.

What can you do to protect yourself from the swine flue?  Everything you’ve been told to do in order to avoid any other type of flue.

Is there special treatment for this strain of flu?  No.  It’s a virus, like any other flu.

So stop the fear frenzy.

Here’s what the CDC knows:

Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the U.S. in San Diego County and Imperial County, California as well as in San Antonio, Texas. Internationally, human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in Mexico.

U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
State # of laboratory
confirmed cases
California 7 cases
Texas 2 cases
Kansas 2 cases
TOTAL COUNT 11 cases
International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
See: World Health OrganizationExternal Web Site Policy.
As of April 25th, 2009 7:30 p.m. EDT

Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection and whether additional people have been infected with similar swine influenza viruses.

CDC is working very closely with state and local officials in California, Texas, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. On April 24th, CDC deployed 7 epidemiologists to San Diego County, California and Imperial County, California and 1 senior medical officer to Texas to provide guidance and technical support for the ongoing epidemiologic field investigations. CDC has also deployed to Mexico 1 medical officer and 1 senior expert who are part of a global team that is responding to the outbreak of respiratory illnesses in Mexico.

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. There are many things you can to do preventing getting and spreading influenza:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

So stop the panic.  It’s a flu virus.  Relax.

(Source: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm)

Rod Blagojevich’s Flying Circus

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

This time, Blago is really flying. 

When I first saw the video above, I thought I was watching an actor playing Blago. Turns out it was Himself, suspended in front of a green screen, arms and legs out of control.

Rachel Maddow had a blast with the footage of Blago flying:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The Illinois Legislature must be laughing hysterically. (If you’re accessing this post from one of our affiliates, click here to watch the videos.)

I have to admit, I was starting to feel sorry for Rod Blagojevich.  Then I remembered his intransigence as governor, how he ignored the legislature, governed by press conference, laughed when I told him we need school funding reform.  And then there’s that senate seat and the indictment.

And then I saw this video: Blago, trying to fly, in a suit.

In a suit, Rod? Really?

Look: Rod Blagojevich wants to make a lot of money, fast.

Strike that.

Rod Blagojevich needs to make a lot of money, fast.  Also, Rod Blagojevich lives for the camera.  In a way, he reminds me of Estelle from Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit.  Estelle, recently deceased, shares with her new acquaintences in Hell — or wherever they are — that when she was alive, she made sure to always position herself in front of a mirror.  Why?  Estelle needed to see herself in a mirror… so she knew she existed.

Blago reminds me of Estelle.  All cameras, all the time, or he fades in real life.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

On Friday, Illinois’ ex-governor was filmed suspended in midair, flying before a giant green screen.

Blagojevich was in Los Angeles Friday promoting “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here,” an NBC reality TV show that a judge said he couldn’t join. That’s because the series will be filmed in Costa Rica and the charged ex-governor cannot leave the country due to bond restrictions. But on Friday, Blagojevich’s PR agent released a statement saying that actor Stephen Baldwin was willing to fly to Chicago and ask a judge to “Leggo my Blago.” (Or, ask U.S. District Judge James Zagel’s permission to go to Costa Rica.)

“I would love for Blagojevich to be on the show,” Baldwin said in a statement. “He would add intensity and spice.”

Welcome to the party, Rod.  We all need a lot of money, fast, right now. Let Stephen Baldwin find another Spice Guy.

Penguins Rally, Send Philly Packing

Sid “The Kid” Crosby and Sergei Gonchar played an incredible game to rally the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-3 victory over Philadelphia Saturday.

From WTAE in Pittsburgh:

Gonchar scored 2:19 into the third period and the Penguins eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-3 victory Saturday in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Penguins, who beat the Flyers in the conference finals last year, have to wait to find out who they’ll play next.

I have to admit I’m superstitious sometimes.  I don’t write about my teams in the middle of the playoffs.  I know that’s silly.

Congrats to the Penguins, and hats off the the Philly Flyers for playing inspired hockey.