H1N1: The Fear Dollar

The number of swine flu cases in Thailand passed the 200 mark this week prompting media-induced panic to grip the country. Pictures in all the national newspapers of commuters swanning about the place in surgical masks have injected an unhealthy dose of paranoia into the bloodstream of Thai society. Many schools have closed their gates, pork sales are down, and the streets of Pattaya (where H1N1 is probably not the only contagious disease being passed around, if you get my drift) are being given a thorough hose down.

In an attempt to curb the spread of public hysteria – rather than the spread of the disease, one might add – the Thai Health Ministry has urged all provincial hospitals not to publish details of further cases of H1N1. O…K…:

General public: “how many confirmed cases of swine flu are there in Thailand?”

Government: “it’s a secret. We’re not telling you.”

General public: “why not?”

Government: “believe us, you don’t want to know. You’ll absolutely shit yourself. And anyway, what are you doing out here asking us all these questions? We told you to stay in bed.”


Hiding the truth simply does not help matters. In fact, the only person who stands to gain anything from the propagation of this hysteria is the guy who came up with the shrewd idea of flogging those pointless masks to the public. It just goes to show that even in the midst of a global recession, there’s still a pretty healthy market for fear.


2 Responses to “H1N1: The Fear Dollar”

  1. 1 oldrope
    July 13, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Now that you are ‘back’ are you going to have to rename the blog “From Liverpool To Reading”…?

    Or is it simply redundant?

  2. 2 petercharles
    November 13, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    It’s a good point. I’m open to suggestions. Serious ones.

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