An open letter to the mega media

Dear Mega Media,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for turning me into a raging lunatic these last few weeks. I honestly feel like I have been walking through a minefield, tiptoeing through my entire life and practically drowning my family in hand sanitizer. I have even have gone as far as giving my children money to hold in every public place we enter with the strict rule that if they touch anything, anything, they will lose the money. Hands-off everything, they keep it.
I’m down at least eighteen dollars already.
You’ve done a fabulous job scaring the pants off of all of us. Or most of us. Some of us can see through your hype and just change the channel. Of course, every channel that doesn’t contain sporting events, cartoons, or classic TV re-runs has the ticker running across the bottom that spells out in scrolling letters that we’re all going to fall victim to the flu de jour and spend the next two weeks of our lives practically on our death beds and don’t even bother walking out the front door because the germs are waiting there for you and the instant they see you they’ll jump into your nose and begin infecting you, everyone you love, and even those you’ve never met.
Or something like that.
The rest of us are just trying to take it all in and do the best we can to protect our families. I know personally that in my family of five, if we all contracted the H1N1 virus I would just stand outside with the white flag and a mask. Down and out for a month at least, and someone would have to drop ginger ale and chicken noodle soup at the end of the driveway for us to pick up once they are clear and gone.
So while you’re sitting behind your news desks with your camera men and your ticker tape along the bottom, we’re all at home wondering if the very people we love are harboring this disease which you told us would shut down our lives. I personally have trained my children to cover their hands with so much sanitizer that I’m thinking of buying stock in the stuff. We’ve got it in every room, in every car. In bookbags and purses and everywhere in between, along with lotion because even their soft child hands are starting to get wrinkles from the amount of drying out that has been going on.
We don’t shake hands, we don’t hold hands. We don’t share snacks, and we don’t even kiss each other on the face before bed. At this rate we’re going to start giving air high-fives as the highest form of affection.
You’ve even managed to get your scare tactics into the heads of my children, too. One child comes home complaining that she’s surely going to get sick because their school bathrooms don’t have hot enough water for washing hands. The other gives me an entire detailed report of every ailing child in the school, complete with symptoms and predictions on who is next to get it.
“So-and-so picks his nose allllll the time. So I just know he’s going to get the swine flu.”
I have reminded him to call it the more politically correct “H1N1” but it matters not, you’ve done such a tremendous job of informing us to no end about the sheer horror that is this flu season, you’ve absolutely outdone yourselves and put the coverage of the bird flu, SARS, and MRSA to shame.
Kudos to you and yours for giving parents like me, who send their children off into germ warfare each and every day, sleepless night, dry hands, and empty wallets. I figure at the very least, you owe me eighteen bucks.

Sanitizingly yours,
Karrie McAllister


Kimberly said…
I'm in the same boat as you! Now that I'm completely paranoid (we've been battling the flu for two weeks) from the media's tactics of presenting H1N1 to the public, I tend to stay away from the news and only search out stories I want to read or hear. I think it is a serious issue, but I wish the media wouldn't make a drama out of it. By doing so it creates panic as well as uncertainty. Great post Karrie!
Anonymous said…
You go girl! Hope you feel better after your rant.
This quote came to mind after reading:
"The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."
Charles Swindoll

I don't believe we'll ever change the media. We can only change ourselves.
Kieran bout with H1N1 was only 3 days so we are thankful he's done and over with it, as he had the most risk factors. Here's hoping your brushes with it are quick and painless as well.
Ann PM
BECKY said…
Here's what I truly's all hype....the pharmeceutical companies just want to make more than their usual millions of dollars, and so they try to make everyone believe the worst, and run to their nearest "Shot Joint"!! I'm usually very optimistic and Pollyanna-ish, but this stuff, I just don't buy!!

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