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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Scared to Death

According to The New York Times, a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests it is impossible to calculate the pain that terrorist attacks inflict on victims and society. But when statisticians look at cold numbers, they have variously estimated the chances of the average person dying in America at the hands of international terrorists to be comparable to the risk of dying from eating peanuts, being struck by an asteroid or drowning in a toilet.

But being constantly reminded of the threat and the pressure to be aware, generally worrying about the chance of a terror attack may well be taking a toll on the hearts of millions of Americans. According to the study the most fearful people were three to five times more likely than the rest to receive diagnoses of new cardiovascular ailments.

3 Responses to “Scared to Death”

  1. May says:

    People are scared of flying, of meningitis, of aviary flu when they should worry about the pesticides contained in the food they eat or about the air they breathe twenty-four hours a day.
    Like you, I suspect that we are induced to turn our attention to certain threats instead of to others.

    Do not believe too much in medical studies, they are often in contradiction. To extract information from data is a much harder task than one might expect.

    jb says: Yeah, statistics; but it was another way of looking at us looking at our problems.

  2. Paul says:

    People seem to be scared by what they’re told to be scared of. Fear seems to be the medium of choice for selling news.

    jb says: The medium of choice for selling government, too.

  3. Pearl says:

    heh, the bump in rate we can lay firmly at the feet of newspapers who flog the terrorist angle for sales, and gullible people who feel obliged to be thrilled.