Interesting comment at the Guardian, but people are taking this very seriously:
We appear to have lost all ability to judge risk. The cause may lie in the national curriculum, the decline of “news” or the rise of blogs and concomitant, unmediated hysteria, but people seem helpless in navigating the gulf that separates public information from their daily round. They cannot set a statistic in context. They cannot relate bad news from Mexico to the risk that inevitably surrounds their lives. The risk of catching swine flu must be millions to one.
Meanwhile a real pestilence, MRSA and C difficile, was taking hold in hospitals. It was suppressed by the medical profession because it appeared that they themselves might be to blame. These diseases have played a role in thousands of deaths in British hospitals – the former a reported 1,652 and the latter 8,324 in 2007 alone. Like deaths from alcoholism, we have come to regard hospital-induced infection as an accident of life, a hazard to which we have subconsciously adjusted.
MRSA and C difficile are not like swine flu, an opportunity for public figures to scare and posture and spend money. They are diseases for which the government is to blame. They claim no headlines and no Cobra priority. Their sufferers must crawl away and die in silence.