Mass Hysteria, Mayhem, & The Media
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I work at a health food store. And for those living under a rock with no access to TV, internet, newspapers, telegraph, or the pony express, Japan is having shall we say, “some issues”.
As most of us are turning our thoughts and prayers towards those unfortunate people, a select few are selfishly concerned, as usual, with themselves.
I have had a barrage of people pouring into where I work, bombarding us with phone calls asking frantically, and often rudely, if we have iodine pills. What does iodine have to do with anything you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Iodine (ours is from kelp) helps alleviate radioactive sickness by protecting the thyroid from the damage that would normally occur with radioactive poisoning. The best form for this purpose is potassium iodide which specifically targets T131 radioactive iodine, but I digress!
The point is, the Japanese people are THERE. The danger is in their backyard, they have lost countless loved ones, with many still unaccounted for. And yet, they are calm, polite, and respectful. They have not lost their humanity or their dignity. The people I am dealing with, that are so panicked, probably haven’t suffered anything more tragic in recent months, than mustard on their burger when they ordered ketchup only.
A woman became irate on the phone today, when I couldn’t tell her for certain, the impact this disaster will have on her food and water, or what she should put on her skin to protect herself. She went on to say, she had already called the health department and they were as unhelpful as I was. (We health nuts have known all along that a huge disaster was coming you see, but since you always look at us like we’re bananas, we’re keeping the secret of survival for ourselves! Muahaha!)
Besides her charming self, I probably had 15 to 20 similar phone calls throughout the day. I find the mass arm flailing panic fascinating, if a bit annoying at times. Here’s the thing, everyday the sun beats down radiation on our heads. Frankly, plastering your nose against the glass of your WalMart special microwave, in eager anticipation of your incinerated TV dinner isn’t exactly healthy. Nor is the gluttonous consumption of the high fructose corn syrup, MSG, preservative, sodium, and hydrogenated oil – laden TV dinner in question. That beloved friend of all friends, the one none of us can live without, the cell phone, emits radiation.
But do you think it sunk in when I mentioned any this in passing? Or when I pointed out there are numerous reasons, this won’t be another Chernobyl? Yeah, you guessed it, in one ear and out the other. Common sense is sadly uncommon these days!
I’m not saying there is absolutely no danger whatsoever. I’m just saying it’s interesting how we ignore health risks that stare us in the face everyday, then panic right on cue when the media tells us to. They’re the news, it’s their job to sensationalize, to make a bad situation seem ever so much worse than it is in actuality. Heck, they’re STILL dragging out Lindsay Lohan’s alcoholic train wreck of a life!
So here’s my professional advice to all you habitual Lemmings out there, following others over the proverbial cliff of mass panic: First off, get some aluminum foil on the old cranium to protect that precious gray matter. Adults first, then children. Kind of like the oxygen masks on airplanes, that way if anyone passes out, it’s all good baby! Next, get you, your family, and those 2,000 bottles of kelp I know you’re hoarding into your basement ASAP. Oh, and I wouldn’t eat or drink til all this is over, because the threat of contamination is simply too great a risk. As for the rest of us, we’ll keep up with what’s going on, cautious but optimistic.
And in closing, here’s a thought to ponder as you sit in your cold leaky basement, with your family staring at you like you’re a madman: Kelp grows in the ocean…all that radioactive vapor is floating over the ocean….just a thought……………………………….