Doomsday threat scales are great at scaring us. The media is even better. Nothing gets the mainstream news networks selling ads like a perceived global crisis. The facts won't do either -- they run out too quickly. Instead we'll feast on 24-hour cable hyperbole for weeks on end. Today, the difference between the numbers 4 and 5 will determine whether or not you'll see colleagues in masks at work tomorrow.
It's hard not to panic. If you don't, people might think you're not doing your job, you're being insensitive or you just don't care (or you're an idiot, blind to the catastrophic truth.) We don't even get a chance to first be concerned and investigate the facts. We're forced into being alarmed and the bell just keeps on ringin'.
Where are the communities of reason? Celeb media docs are just not cutting it...though they are disarming and shiny. ("Who will protect you and your family??!" I will thanks...with a little help from my friends Reason and Calm.)
Let's trade in fear and sensationalism for reason, planning and cooperation, for coordinated, rational communications and truth.
Some food for thought via a tweet by "guygr" in Telaviv -- "Couple hundred ppl die from #swineflu, everyone freaks out. Million Africans/yr die of malaria and everyone could care less."