There's always a certain amount of fate-tempting any scepticism, but given the blanket coverage within television, print and radio media it hard to understand whether worry is deserved or not. The old, black stereo in the living room pours out wall-to-wall vox pops, expert opinion and speculation on swine flu. The Guardian runs another pathetic live blog. The word pandemic is used with little regard for its actually definition.
150 deaths, as I write, are being reported generally across the internet (and by the BBC) in Mexico and yet the World Health Organisation offers a total of half that with 73 confirmed cases. Not all of those are the same strain of the virus and there seems to be confusion about whether this is good or bad. There was an earthquake in Mexico city this morning - how many news sources gave time to that?
Still, the day continues here, with the writing of this. The world's major nations, include Obama's administration, continue to drive policies with pile up debt. India holds the worlds largest democratic election. The Japanese turn in droves to communism. Instability in Sri Lanka holds potential danger for 150,000 people (according to the UN) inside the 'no-fire' zone. Deutsche Bank returns to a black balance sheet. There is news, news and news, in an eternal feedback loop.
Here it is continued, not as pure cynicism, not with disrespect to those affected or indeed worried, but just as simple comment on the reliability and impartiality of news sources. The internet is now one such source. Twitter is fast in danger of collapsing itself as something interesting, let alone formative.
Let's remember that it's a limited number of people in the world who have access to the internet (23.8% according to one source), that some areas of the world will receive news drawn from a series of conversations, rumours and debates proliferated on a news-medium they have no access to. None of this purports to fact, merely a call for vigilance.