Kid after kid after kid, these deaths are making regular headlines. You would think we were under assault by an unusually fatal strain of influenza.
I checked. We aren’t. Even though we’re making more headlines, the number of infected, and the number of deaths, is not out of the ordinary when compared to recent (and even long-term) history. It just feels that way. And yet, I still feel paranoid this year, after seeing all these young faces, knowing that they are no longer with us, because of the flu. And all the normal healthy adults who have also passed away this year.
This is a prime example of how the media influences our perspectives. Nothing about the flu season has changed, except our perceived sense of urgency towards it.
The impressionability of our perceptions also bolsters the importance of social media. The media may catalyze what’s brought to our attention, but it’s our reactions that make the difference between going viral vs being overlooked. It is important for us, as netizens, to share the stories that are important to us. Especially our own. Neither CNN or FOXNews can tell you jack about Chan Zilla, and what’s important to me. But I can.
In the meantime, can we please try to save a life or two? Why are so many people dying from the flu in the 21st Century?? If you have influenza, stay home. Don’t go to school, don’t go to work. Take real good care of yourself, and recover as quickly as you can. Seriously. People are dying from this. Like this 6-year-old girl.