Swine flu puts the boot in

A US trader get's some financial advice from his GP.
A US trader get's some financial advice from his GP.

So, not only are we all going to die from swine flu, today we learn that before we cough and splutter our way into oblivion, our wallet is going to be hit by the bug too.

‘SWINE FLU COULD TIP ECONOMY OVER THE EDGE’, shouts the Sky News website.  According to the news bully, 7.5% is how far the economy could contract if people start making excuses about ‘sniffing and stuff’ and stop coming into work.

Just as there appeared to by a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, a killer bug stomps into the pre party preparations and puts its boot square into the plate of party rings.  Thanks a lot, Mother Nature.

Well, actually, no.  I’m not having this.  I’m fed up of the doom mongering media we are surrounded by these days.  They’re not happy unless we’re all fatally miserable.  And the worst thing is, we can’t get away from them – they’re on our TV, on our phone, on the newstand and regularly the subject of water cooler conversations.  I’m not falling for it this time, though.

Why do we revel in misery?  Swine Flu is perfectly treatable; we’re not talking months off work for everyone that gets it.  Why is it any different to any other type of bug?  In 2009, why should we fear something we can predict, treat and cure?

What really concerns me is the affect this type of press has on the public.  I’m convinced the most obvious sideeffect of a recession (a drop in public spending), was exacerbated in 2009’s case by gloomy news reports every time a TV was switched on or a paper read.  Why would any of us spend our hard earned when we’re racked with fear over loosing our jobs and homes?

The R word has barely figured in headline news for the last month and as a result consumer confidence appears to have increased.  It couldn’t last though, could it?

Swine Flu isn’t the threat we face, nor is the city boy’s penchant for an immoral bonus or two.  No, the threat weighs twenty stone, wears an ill fitting suit, sits behind a news ticker and answers to the name of Eamonn.

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