Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

Trucking meets swine flu in a variety of ways

| April 30, 2009

Reports on trucking and swine flu have proliferated this week. Many media outlets picked up the Knoxville, Tenn., newspaper interview with Professional Drivers Medical Depots (cited here earlier), but other angles have followed.

First, two on the lighter side:

Everitt Mickey, one of the writers who contributes to International Trucks’ Life on the Road blog, cautions readers to take the alarmist news accounts with a grain of salt: “The business of the news media, as they practice it, is to spread panic, hate, discontent and unease, while at the same time claiming otherwise.”

This one doesn’t involve trucking, but it does a thorough job of expanding Mickey’s criticism. My colleague Carolyn Magner showed me this on humor site The Gawker, with a label we both wish we’d coined: Aporkalypse now. The story itself, “Five Ways the Swine Flu Story Is Dumb,” takes the media to task.

The Fox affiliate in Memphis, Tenn., interviewed drivers across the Mississippi River in West Memphis, Ark., and found the flu was on the minds of many.  One was Veronica Martinez, who’s based in border city Laredo, Texas.  ”You see this napkin here?” she said. “I don’t even touch the door.” The station’s website also has video of the West Memphis interviews.

 The City Wire of Fort Smith, Ark., is among sources reporting a statement from the American Trucking Associations: “ATA is aware that, depending on how aggressively the Swine Flu continues to spread, certain government actions might be taken which could impact trucking operations, especially cross-border operations with Mexico and Canada, and potentially at a domestic level.”

 The Journal of Commerce notes that work toward a new cross-border trucking program will apparently take a back seat to working on the flu.

– Max Heine

While OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions, it does not welcome comments reflecting racism, vulgarity or spam. Violations of this policy can be grounds for removal of a comment or banning a user from the comments system.