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Swine Flu - A Story of Two Countries

Swine Flu - A Story of Two Countries

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Published by terry
This is a piece I have written to be considered for publication in the national press here in the UAE, it concerns the two different ways the press have handled the matter here in the UAE and at home in GB.Alongside this I give my own and my families personal experiences of the viurus and just how it affected us.Each country has handled the crisis in quite a different way , here in the UAE the restrictions on the press are greater, so whether the more restrained approach here is through respect for individuals and families of those affected seriousely or because certain aspects of personal details are restricted from being published I do not know.However the contrast in the way this emotive subject is handled by the two respective nations in their press is great and in my opinion worthy of observation and critcal comment.
This is a piece I have written to be considered for publication in the national press here in the UAE, it concerns the two different ways the press have handled the matter here in the UAE and at home in GB.Alongside this I give my own and my families personal experiences of the viurus and just how it affected us.Each country has handled the crisis in quite a different way , here in the UAE the restrictions on the press are greater, so whether the more restrained approach here is through respect for individuals and families of those affected seriousely or because certain aspects of personal details are restricted from being published I do not know.However the contrast in the way this emotive subject is handled by the two respective nations in their press is great and in my opinion worthy of observation and critcal comment.

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Published by: terry on Sep 05, 2009
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05/25/2012

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Having just recently returned from my summer vacation in the Uk and havingexperienced the HNI flu hysteria being whipped up by the media , in particular thetabloid press, it is refreshing to return to the UAE to find the national press here aredealing with this important and topical issue in a much more balanced andinformative way.Here we have a tale of two very different ways of approaching the same subjectmatter; one that is sure to instil panic and fear into its readers whilst the otherseeks to reassure and inform in a calm and neutral manner.Cast a glance along any newsstand in the UK and you will find alarmist headlinesvying for your attention as every unfortunate death attributed to the flu is examinedin microscopic detail. Open the pages and you will find the name, age, professionand circumstances of the latest victim of the virus alongside photographs of children recently torn from their families and loved ones seen in better times.One can barely imagine the grief of the suffering families and wonder how suchintimate reporting of such dreadful circumstances can possibly be positive in anyway. Privacy for all concerned at such times is something that should be respected,but of course this does not equal increased sales in the competitive tabloid marketplace and so we are invited to look briefly into the eyes of someone else’s sorrow.Undoubtedly this kind of invasive reporting will be well read; faces, places, namesand circumstance bring home to the reader the fact that these are ordinary people just like themselves and that what can happen to one person can easily happen toanyone of us. So it is that the British press chronicle the passing of every victim,usually with the grim number and total thus far in large print nearby. The rising sense of panic created by this intimate portrayal of suffering in the pressis evident in the voices of all as people talk in worried whispers of the latest poorsoul to succumb to this dreadful illness and of course the relentless sweep of thevirus as it moves from town to town. Open the local newspaper and you are treatedwith “Swine flu reaches ........”Insert here the name of your home town and you getthe idea. Of course I found all of this of great interest, stepping off the plane as I didin the midst of such wide spread panic. In a sense I was able to take a moreobjective view as I had not at that point been pulled into the whirlwind of risinganxiety and grief being felt by my fellow countrymen.Our stay in the UK was brief, just a few weeks to catch up with family and friends,but unfortunately this was not all we managed to catch.Within days of arriving home my wife came down with the symptoms of the flu andit was at this point I really found out how chaotic things were. Arriving at thesurgery for a formal diagnosis we were welcomed with a sign outside the gatesforbidding entry to anyone with suspected swine flu symptoms and so went to the

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