In India, the Swine Flu deaths rose to twenty from ten in a matter of a couple of days. The number of Swine Flu infected people rose to more than 1000 for the first time. The hardest hit state is Maharashtra with its two mega-cities, Mumbai and Pune on the top of the list of the victims. And now it seems that panic is spreading more than the virus itself. In Mumbai, schools have been ordered to close and in Pune the traffic is unusually lean. The sick people are lining up at the crowded limited H1N1 testing centers. Bloggers react on this tense situation.
Techno360 blog posts images to depict how Indians are embracing this Swine Flu panic.
Some blogs are posting informative articles on how to cope with Swine Flu. Some are posting information about the Swine Flu test centers across India. The Kanpur Schools Parents Association blog posts a detailed FAQ on Swine Flu.
But its the Indian media which is sensationalizing the news with its 24-7 coverage without trying to calm down the situation. The Revolutioners blames the media for creating the Swine Flu scare:
We all Indians are victims of Indian Media bullshit. We can’t escape it though till the time our own government is not willing to do anything. There has been several instances where the impact of media could have saved us Indians from a lot of miserable events. But our Indian Media chooses to be the utter crap. Just for the sake of TRP they are showing anything and everything. I don’t know when will this stop. I wish I could do something about it.
Dr. Suraj A. Dhirwani writes about the panic and panic management:
The Swine Flu is here – Believe it or not… but it is around…
But you know what else it has brought along with it? FEAR & PANIC.
Its very funny to see that in spite of 26th July & innumerable terrorist attacks, Mumbaikars have not learnt a single lesson in Panic Management.
Firoz Shakir speaks of another sad fact:
Life is incomplete without the politics of opportunity, the swine flu will be politicized, as the assembly elections are round the corner.
The economics of Swine Flu is quite intriguing. Already the price of surgical masks has gone 20 folds and still its unavailable in many places and it has not even been proven that these masks can stop swine flu. Opportunists are lining up with claims that Tulsi (a common herb in India) scares away Swine Flu or Yoga can cure Swine Flu.
Agnitrisha at Lazy Ponders blames the government for not doing enough:
How can a government be this clumsy? Do they know what is the net result of inviting a disease like this in India? Where people proudly move around with contagious diseases, without being least bothered about the danger they are causing to others.
Or in a country where people don’t have the money to go to doctor unless they are extremely sick.. how many people will be infecting before visiting the doctor?
India caught day dreaming wonders:
We are planning to launch 3G services to empower Indians with the small piece of gadget in their hands. People like Nandan Nilekani have been appointed for UID (Unique Identification Development Project) to give a unique identity to every Indian. On the other side, Indians are losing their identity to the dreaded disease, from which we have failed to contain ourselves.
Why is it that India as a country always wakes up after the thief mopes the place? Why can’t we equip ourselves beforehand to prepare and fight such a menace? Do we lack a reason or conviction?
Hariharan at Just a Regular Blog asks people to face this problem with logic, not panic:
At Pune … There is a mass hysteria about the Swine Flu … Why Pune … All over India … People are calling us with concern and worries asking how we are doing … etc etc … The news channels are adding fuel to the fire by flashing news after news about it (with background music that would add to the panic) and newspapers showing only the negativity of the whole issue (Photos of people standing in line for a test and people in masks .. deserted roads etc) !! But do we need to really worry so much ?? 17-18 deaths in India out of 100 crore population … more people die every day of other diseases … Ok … I am not trying to undermine the seriousness of the issue but also so much panic is also not at all required …
Most cases if you note the people who died either were kids (with a weak immunity) or people with other complications …
So lets resolve not to panic and face this problem with maturity and composure and without getting into a frenzy.
Here are some reactions from the Indian Twitter users:
‘More than 1000 people die of tuberculosis every day’ in India – ‘#swineflu death toll – 17′ – think about it.
Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Twitter user Shashi Tharoor:
battling a cold and cough so will call it a night. No reason to suspect swine flu, though! Media-led panic is unnecessary & disruptive.
And last but not the least, Deepak has this advice:
Government and media needs to be more sensible and should do more to make people aware about the flu's symptoms, information about testing and testing centers across the country, protection and cure of the disease than spreading panic.