Four. That’s the number of phone calls I got in one day asking about the meningitis outbreak. It started at 8 a.m. on Monday, with my mother saying solemnly, “I have horrible news…” Honestly, I thought someone had died. No—she’d been watching CNN and heard the news about meningitis, the CDC and the vaccine that’s being imported. Later in the day, I got a call from my worrisome aunt in Houston, my cousin in New York, and my dad, who reminded me that he’s a softie at heart when he said he is “worried about his big baby.”
I felt a combination of worry and anxiety that this was getting so much attention (should I have actually used those PHA cups?), but mostly I was just annoyed with news. What’s new? We can all agree that important steps are necessary to stem this problem—and with the PHA cups, the “Keep Calm and Stay Healthy” campaign, and now vaccinations needing importation as they’re not FDA approved yet, obviously such steps are being taken.
But I cannot help but feel like the media has managed to slightly distort what’s happening here. Many people have gotten the impression that these cases occurred all at once, or began in March and have occurred in large clusters afterward. One of my friends actually said she thought someone had died - obviously she misheard her source. There is no doubt that this is a serious health issue. But there is a responsible way to go about letting the rest of the nation know what we’re facing—I’m not so sure what’s currently happening is that way.