Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Clinic's Warning

I admit it: I've been a terrible blogger.

What with new job responsibilities, more Facebook and Twitter interaction, and sheer negligence, my blog has suffered.

I humbly beg the forgiveness of the legions of people who wait with bated breath for my every new blog post. (Uh, note: sarcasm there. :))

I hereby resolve to be a better blogger. Here we go, with a brand new edition of CyberSnoop!

The Case of the Clinic’s Warning

Did the famed Mayo Clinic warn its staff members to expect a massive swine flu pandemic, affecting over 45-thousand people in a nine-week period and causing hundreds of deaths among Mayo Clinic employees alone?

That’s the subject of an e-mail that’s currently circulating. And according to Snopes.com, it’s FALSE.

All health officials, including the Mayo Clinic, are taking the H1N1 virus very seriously, and planning for every contingency.

However, this e-mail…which reportedly originated with a Mayo Clinic employee…is unnecessarily alarmist.

The e-mail begins like this: “Dear Friends, My mother works at the Mayo Clinic and she just informed me of some alarming news concerning the H1N1 virus.” The e-mail goes on to give a lengthy note from the person’s mom, who says she just got out of a Mayo Clinic staff meeting in which some very dire warnings were issued about the virus…including the fact that the clinic was expecting 106 of its employees to die from the virus EACH WEEK!

The quote from the mom ends with: “This is real dear family. This is not me going overboard. I just came out of a meeting. This is real.”

Actually? It’s NOT real. Snopes.com contacted a Mayo Clinic public affairs spokesman, Kevin Punsky, who said, “The employee describing the H1N1 pandemic took hypothetical statistics used in internal planning scenarios, mis-stated them, and presented them as real.”

Punsky goes on to say: “Please ignore the information contained in the errant e-mail from a Mayo Clinic employee. The information is wrong.”

Yes, we should all be very careful to keep our hands clean and keep ourselves healthy…but freaking out and panicking, and spreading alarmist e-mails? Not a great idea.

Clearing up another Internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that send button!


LauraLee Shaw said...

I love it, Cindy. I get dozens of these alarmist emails a day, courtesy of people who care. I don't want to live my life in fear, rather by faith in the One who holds it all together.

And I was cracking up at your first paragraph, cuz with all the twittering, I get used to sharing info and messages in short sentences. Blogging isn't as easy as it used to be...I have to refresh myself each time on what a paragraph looks like! ;)

Mac-a-noodle said...

I'm with you LauraLee. I can't stand anything that smacks of alarm or conspiracy. I've seen way too many of these histrionic things come and go during the course of my life. And here we are.

Lisa Samson (I'm signed in under Gwynnie and don't want to go through all that to change it! ha!)

Naomi said...

All emails like this do is just spread panic and fear in people Cindy. We can't live our lives in fear of something that may never happen.

Unfortunately blogging and the pressures of "real life" don't always go together Cindy. I've been a terrible blogger just recently too!

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