Blog | Thursday, April 30, 2009

Most egregious abuse of a pandemic


It's not surprising that many groups have taken advantage of the swine/H1N1 flu publicity to promote their own agendas. Some are calling for health care reform, or better vaccine funding and research, or increased sales of their own patient education materials--all ideas at least tangentially related to the issue at hand.

But today I received the press release that crossed the line. It began, "The worst case scenario for a Swine Flu epidemic looks grim, according to government sources. Two million dead. Hospitals overwhelmed. Schools closed."

Are you scared yet? Don't worry, this being a press release, everything will work out happily in the end. And yes, it turns out that these terrifying predictions can be avoided simply by the purchase of a new book, "Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems--Permanently." If that scientific-sounding title hasn't sucked you in already, perhaps a glimpse at the book's advice will: drink tea and eat chicken soup. Apparently these helpful tips are as effective at preventing pandemic flu as they are at eliminating allergies.

Wow. Stop the presses and tell Joe Biden to get back on Amtrak. Problem solved--Permanently.