Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Schwein On Sterioids

I heard on the radio yesterday that the CDC is tweeting the Swine Flu situation. Children’s Hospital Boston is reportedly doing the same, as, no doubt, are hundreds of other hospitals and local health departments. Meanwhile, the rest of us can keep track of swine via the omnipresent, CNN Surgeon Generic Sanjay Gupta, who also tweets (a few minutes ago 13,557 people were following Dr. Gupta, who posted that the rate of deaths in Mexico is “starting to taper down.”) Not everyone is enthralled with instant illness updates, however. This morning, newscasters are all atwitter with reports of why medicine via microblog can be a very bad thing. I'm still back on Saturday, trying to figure out what qualifies as a certified “Swine Flu Pandemic.” Surely, it’s not the 40 reported cases in the U.S. that represent .000013 of the population. When media meets fear -- hyped further with the hurricane of self-produced media -- where does reality go?

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