Sunday, August 19, 2007

Keeping Death in Perspective

Once in a while, I'm urged to inform the average citizen with some relevant facts. Considering the current state of our media outlets, I feel this is becoming more important every passing day. Allow me to highlight a few excerpts from an LA times article written by Meghan Daum, 8/19/07

"On any given day, an average of 148,000 people will die. That means over a million people have died in the last week. Nearly 5 million have died since around this time last month, which, incidentally, was exactly when we were briefly bombarded with the news that 199 people were killed in a Brazilian airliner crash."

"Based on estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were about 3,500 automobile-related deaths during that monthlong period. U.S. cancer deaths hover around 42,000 a month. As for heart disease, the American Heart Assn. tells us that someone dies of cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds. And that's just in this country."

"As staggering as these numbers are, they don't seem to scare or interest us nearly as much as things like plane crashes, mountain lion attacks, deadly roller coaster mishaps or avian flu. And because the news media is savvy about (and complicit in) our fears and fascinations, we are fed an endless supply of death news that has little to do with how most people actually die."

That's all I'll quote from the article; that should be enough in guiding us to draw our own conclusions.

Have a graceful summer Sunday.

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