Wendy and I considered canceling our 25th Anniversary trip to Puerto Rico due to the on the Zika Virus. But then we dug into research, and deduced that it would be ridiculous. The media was hyping up a scam, and the government was blowing the flames.
Our trip was awesome, and we didn’t hold back a bit. We camped on a beach, walked Old San Juan, went snorkeling, and even hiked a tropical rain forest. Needless to say, we got a lot of mosquito bites.
But the headlines. If you read them, you may wonder why on earth we didn’t flee the northern hemisphere. Consider:
- Zika virus: Will this baby be OK?
- CDC says it’s ‘now clear’ that Zika virus causes microcephaly
- U.S. officials: The more we know about Zika, the scarier it is
These headlines are scary, and the reports terrifying. Hold these images you have in your mind for a moment. They reflect a reality that I try very hard to convince people: resist the hype of the media…especially when the government is leading the charge.
That last in the list above is most disturbing. Watch the press release of the CDC officials. Can you catch the hype?
They admit at the beginning that they do not know much about Zika (“we are learning more and more every day”), yet they feel confident to speculate that “hundreds of thousands” are infected in Puerto Rico. The first official is followed by a second insisting that the CDC needs $1.8 billion to fight back Zika. “We need $1.8 billion!”
If I were to stop at the CDC’s rhetoric, I would stay home. But I did some research. Before we left for our vacation, it took me literally 10 minutes to discover:
- Adults hardly ever suffer from symptoms, very mild if they do.
- Mosquitos can be avoided with simple mosquito repellant.
- There have been only 30 confirmed cases this year in Puerto Rico.
Hardly “scary,” not “hundreds of thousands,” and likely not worth “$1.8 billion” to fight.
Let the research guide you. Ignore the hype. And enjoy Puerto Rico.