Thursday, February 7, 2008

Where Is Our Concern Level Now?

When multiple daily threats compete for our attention and adrenalin supply, it's often difficult to keep all the causes for concern on the front burner, all of the time.

Many of the day-to-day warnings and predictions have come from someone's interest in making money. We are too often bombarded with scare tactics and sensational reportage because someone, somewhere, wants to sell us something. It may be a product they are selling; it may simply be the news they are selling.

Needless to say, we are exhausted by analysing our personal vulnerabilities at every turn we take. A new study tells us that Canadians have lost interest in the influenza pandemic. It no longer "sells".

We are told that fewer than half of Canadians think a pandemic disease outbreak is likely in the next five years, and only one in 10 has drawn up any sort of emergency plan for how their family would cope if one occurred (based on a survey of 4,463 of our friends and neighbours). Science and history assure us that the pandemic event is not an "if" event, but a "when" event.

However, preparation can replace that low level anxiety we experience when we are facing a threat that is not immediate, but real none-the-less. A few simple sheltering-in-place precautions can give you the flexibility to reduce your time spent in public spaces during an influenza crisis. Many internet sites outline supplies to have on hand that could be vital for any emergency from an environmental one to a public health event.

The Calgary Health Region provides one at:

Preparation = pre-prepare.

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