When to be alarmed.

I’m glad that everyone is washing their hands a little more, covering their sneezes, and let’s hope anyway, actually using their sick time when they are sick. These are all great things that have resulted from the recent outbreak of a new flu strain, the Swine Flu. As much as I like all of these things and I’m doing my part too, the media frenzy that has resulted is absolutely crazy, bordering on obscene. The television news in Chicago is particulary sickening. The days leading up to the first outbreak in the city had television anchors looking almost forlorn about the fact that there were no local cases. When the first local case did arrive the expected media storm exploded. Trucks parked outside of the school where the student went, reporters there until the 10pm broadcast, all in an effort to appear on top of the story, an effort I still don’t understand. It’s 10:15, the school has been closed since 8:00AM what in God’s name is the use of sticking a reporter in front of a closed building? A building that the child hadn’t even visited that day? The flu sucks, and I’m guessing the Swine Flu sucks even harder, but I don’t think that it quite merits the panic that the media has brought upon us.

Having said that, there are, of course genuine times to be alarmed and concerned for ones safety, like yesterday for example. As I was sitting here, minding my own business as is my modus operendi at work, I noticed that armed security began circling around the greater office area. Soon they were followed by EMT’s, with all their squawking radios and jangling equipment in tow. I’m quite clever and I soon realized that something was up. Turns out a young person first mentioned that they were feeling very ill, hence the ambulance, then they proceeded to make death threats toward a person they felt treated them unfairly, hence the security. After two hours of deciding whether to hospitalize or arrest said person, the decision went toward hospital “rest.” This morning we were notified that said person signed themselves out of the hospital and is now out and about. We were also told to call security if we see said person, which is great, provided they don’t see us first. I’m much more alarmed about this than the fucking Swine Flu.

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