Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Scares Us This Week...Pt. 1

I've managed to get through four-plus decades of my life and can honestly say that I've payed zero attention to anything in the media (or car rides, party chat, and lunch table round-robins) related to infants and child-rearing--I've long subscribed to the old adage that "there's nothing more interesting than your own kids and nothing less interesting than everybody else's". Although I thought "Mr. Mom" was pretty funny back in its day. But of course, with our own double-helping of unbridled infant instinct on the way by year's end, my antenna's a bit more tuned in to the subject than usual.

What I've happened upon is a 24-7 emergency broadcast frequency masquerading as nightly-news offering a glut of manufactured doom and gloom that rivals that montage of apocalyptic fear mongering that Michael Moore cut together to hilarious effect in "Farenheit 9/11" (if killer bees don't get you, killer escalators will!)--and my inner Howard Beale isn't terribly happy about it.

Earlier today, CityNews sent roving "health specialist" Laura DiBattista out into the urban wilds to unearth the latest threat to our comfortable, middle-class lives, and subject and timing couldn't have been more apt: Ultrasound! Specifically, the relatively new process of 3-D medical imaging, which Lidia and I were planning to do once the infants were farther along in their development.

Harmful? Health Canada, the story goes, has posted a warning about the use of ultrasound for "commercial and non-medical purposes". But while the President Of The Nova Scotia Association Of Radiologists admits that "there really has been no proven harm", he's quick to add a "who knows?" The operator of one private imaging service offered: ""There is nothing that shows in 40 years of studies that it's harmful to the fetus or the mom. But just to be on the safe side, I suppose Health Canada put that (warning) out."

So what the hell, exactly, was the point? It doesn't seem to be harmful, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be? So's taking a walk--damn it, if you're gonna terrify me, give me something I can use...

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