Our need to find blame

CDC published updated stats on drownings here yesterday:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6234a9.htm?s_cid=mm6234a9_x

When the link popped up in my inbox – I hesitated to click though to the article.  There have been four drownings of young children in the small town where I live during the last couple years.  Horrible, heartbreaking tragedies that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be reminded of….

I did finally open the article, and the math was immediately obvious – my town is running at about 10 times the national average for all ages, and over 100 times the national average for toddler aged children.  These were all accidents, so it is obvious that this is just a terrible (hopefully temporary) twist of fate.  

Then it occurred to me, what if this was autism we were talking about, or some specific form of cancer?  If it wasn’t obvious that they were accidents, how powerful would the need be to find some common cause to link them together?  Food for thought.  

 

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About SteveRhode

I am a career scientist with over 25 years of experience in environmental testing. I hope you enjoy my occasional comments on science and history, and how they are covered in the media.

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