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Japanese media has been fanning the flames of panic in its breathless, melodramatic, musically-enhanced coverage of the “battle at the borders” against H1H1 Novel Influenza.

Since the first cases of H1N1 infections were detected in Japan, however, the number of people confirmed with H1N1 infection has skyrocketed, shattering the media-perpetuated myth that “it’s an overseas disease” and that somehow the disease could be “stopped at Japan’s borders.”

So, naturally, the administration of Prime Minister Taro “Dick” Aso launched an “important” public service announcement trying to calm the populace down. 

Contradicting itself repeatedly, the PSAs basically tell the public, “the sky is falling!” but “don’t panic!” 

* Don’t relax your guard against infection! If treated early, there’s nothing to fear!

* Don’t worry! Your government has stockpiled Tamiflu for 38 million people!

* If you become symptomatic with high fever and coughs, don’t go to a hospital! Call the H1N1 Fever Hotline in your neighborhood first!

Let’s hope that those suffering from ostracism, the “blame game” (and H1N1 influenza) recover quickly.

Let’s be angry at cynical TV networks that will clearly do anything, including inducing a panic, to increase their pitiful ratings. Bastards.

Let’s laugh at stupid politicians who try to “look presidential” but end up looking dorky and making things worse.

For those with a sense of humor, here’s a link to the PSA, with English subtitles added for better comprehension.

Picture 1

Japanese media has been fanning the flames of panic in its breathless, melodramatic, musically-enhanced coverage of the “battle at the borders” against H1H1 Novel Influenza.

Since the first cases of H1N1 infections were detected in Japan, however, the number of people confirmed with H1N1 infection has skyrocketed, shattering the media-perpetuated myth that “it’s an overseas disease” and that somehow the disease could be “stopped at Japan’s borders.”

So, naturally, the administration of Prime Minister Taro “Dick” Aso launched an “important” public service announcement trying to calm the populace down. 

Contradicting itself repeatedly, the PSAs basically tell the public, “the sky is falling!” but “don’t panic!” 

* Don’t relax your guard against infection! If treated early, there’s nothing to fear!

* Don’t worry! Your government has stockpiled Tamiflu for 38 million people!

* If you become symptomatic with high fever and coughs, don’t go to a hospital! Call the H1N1 Fever Hotline in your neighborhood first!

Let’s hope that those suffering from ostracism, the “blame game” (and H1N1 influenza) recover quickly.

Let’s be angry at cynical TV networks that will clearly do anything, including inducing a panic, to increase their pitiful ratings. Bastards.

Let’s laugh at stupid politicians who try to “look presidential” but end up looking dorky and making things worse.

For those with a sense of humor, here’s a link to the PSA, with English subtitles added for better comprehension.

“With an oink, oink here.

And an oink, oink there.

Here an oink, there an oink,

Everywhere an oink, oink.”

 

With all due respect to the Japan Pork Producers Association, the real problem is not what influenza A H1N1 is called but the culture of fear the media is exacerbating.

 

There are reported cases of doctors in Japan refusing to examine people complaining of flu-like symptoms AND having 外人 friends OR having travelled in 外国. Doctors should know better – the risk of infection is real but can be managed.

 

We would all be better served by less “aren’t-we-lucky-it’s-a-gaijin-problem” smugness by TV announcers. We could certainly do with much less video of masked, gowned, and goggled medical staff running around at Narita.

 

Three things you can do to significantly reduce the risk of H1N1 infection (and the regular seasonal flu, which kills thousands of people every year in Japan):

 

1. Cover your mouth when you cough.

2. Don’t go to work if you have a fever, cough, sneezes.

3. Wash your hands regularly.

 

Duh. Your おばあちゃん could have told you that.