I graduated from Hope College two days ago. Several local news representatives attended the ceremony on Sunday, but they were more concerned with the president’s decision to shake the graduates’ hands than with the actual accomplishment of 700+ students.
Today, I talked to two little girls who were biking around the street. When I asked them why they weren’t at school at 10am, they said it was because of the “disease” and they had six days off.
I found this statistic about car accidents today. Then I found this statistic about swine flu deaths. I know that comparing a flu scare to the lack-thereof with our automobile systems is unfair in many ways, but it’s also revealing about how unfair the media can be. Why are we so focused on a flu? Do we perceive it as more preventable? Are car crashes truly preventable? No. No driver is perfect. No driver can be perfect. I won’t even mention the destructive presence of alcohol–we all know this. But we can increase the probability of safer transportation by the way we plan our cities. Most roads are made to make driving easier and quicker, but these same qualities make it more unsafe.
People are more apt to be incredibly afraid of flying, even though it is safer than driving. If fear is such a controlling force in America, why can’t urban planners just scare people into supporting better cities and towns?
My answer: because they know it’s unethical! 🙂