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They then spend inordinate amount of thought and energy on making the stories viral. In just a few days, the whole country is quaking in their shoes in fear. Over what?
Over imaginary goblins.
First there was the bird flu, then the swine flu. While these diseases are real (not imaginary) and dangerous, the danger has been blown out of proportion. The victims don’t count as many as those killed by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, nor by suicide bombings in Iraq or Pakistan.
Lately, in the birthday party business, another scare is spread around. Latex balloons can cause allergy, so moms don’t buy balloons to decorate your child’s birthday party venue.
While allergies may not be taken for granted, the latex balloon scare should also not be blown out of proportion, especially because no empirical data support such scare. (At least no empirical data have been cited so far for Philippine parties.)
Imagine what will happen to party decorating business if the scare tactic works and parents stop ordering balloons and start shying away from balloon decors. All for what? Because we heard of a story of a mother who has a friend whose cousin’s neighbor has a child who got sick from a latex balloon?
I think it’s unfair to the balloon industry and to countless performers, artists and decorators whose livelihood depends on balloons, to lose business over a small danger that is magnified out of proportion.
Allergy is a health issue. If balloons really pose problems to children in a big way, the DOH should have already stepped in and started banning them. But so far they have not. Maybe that could mean balloons are not more dangerous than crossing the street. In that case, the threat is in “permissible zone,” to borrow a Jun Lozada term.
I agree. As performers, we magicians in the Philippines have to follow the house rules of the performance venue. Sometimes I try to negotiate, but if they insist on banning some stuff like tigers, danger tricks, or latex from my show, it’s no big deal to me. Anyway I don’t use tigers, danger tricks and latex in my program.