Is fear a control mechanism? Is it possible that the “establishment”, namely institutions and governments, are able to arbitrarily shape public opinion?
Do governments specialize in exploiting our vulnerability? If so, then nothing makes us more vulnerable than the fear of death, the terrifying fear of becoming ill.
The mass hysteria created around the alleged 2009 Swine Flu pandemic shows us how fear is, at times, greater than the threat itself. The world was panic-stricken over an illness that claimed but a few lives, much less than those claimed by the common cold.
THE EPIDEMIC ISLAND poses the following questions… How is a rumor created? Where does the truth lie? Do powerful groups control the media? Does the media control opinions? When we form an opinion, do we have enough basic elements and criteria to issue a value judgment?
The 2009 pandemic was a global nightmare, a catastrophe that not only affected the human health, but also the global economy, particularly that of Mexico. It allegedly involved a ferocious viral illness known as A/H1N1 or the “Swine Flu”.
The death toll in the capital city of Mexico increased daily by the dozens and, without a precise diagnosis, such deaths were automatically attributed to the virus. Federal Government authorities were evidently losing control of the crisis. Thirty-five thousand restaurants in Mexico City closed their doors; panic took hold of the streets because of the decisions made by the government.
Airports were shut down, masks were sold out, and vaccines were quite scarce. The eyes of the world focused on the Aztec country which seemed unable to cope with such a great crisis. France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, and entities from all over the world began to fear and point fingers at Mexico.
Humanity was threatened by that strange illness that combined the symptoms of the feared Avian Flu with pneumonia, and for which apparently, no cure existed. On April 29, 2009, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic risk that threatened the world’s entire population.
How much mass hysteria was involved? How much science? How much ignorance?
In the midst of this chaos, a Mexican province was accused of being the culprit of the pandemic: the state of Veracruz, whose governor at that time, Fidel Herrera, was a member of the opposing political party, known as the PRI. In this prosperous province, different actions were taken. No one panicked. No one died. Why?
The state of Veracruz was a healthy island in the middle of a country terrified of becoming ill. The way in which governor Fidel Herrera managed the crisis was unique in its success. The time has come for the world to learn about that which took place in Veracruz. The time has come for the world to know the truth about the Swine Flu.