Speaking to themselves this morning, media stables confirmed that they were now bracing for a catastrophic non-pandemic, as reports continue to flood in of areas unaffected by swine flue.
"It's worse than anything we imagined," said spokesman Heinrich Shank. "They assured us this thing would kill millions within days. Apocalyptic horror, they said. People bleeding out of their eyes in every city on the planet.
"And now you wake up to read this kind of stuff. Four kids coughing in Hong Kong and two blokes who feel a bit sweaty getting off a plane in Brazil.
"It's really disturbing, and a lot of people in the industry are pretty frightened at this point."
He said the media had had its entire pandemic strategy mapped out, with many networks already bidding against each other for any potential CCTC footage of stampeding mobs or close-up soft-focus shots of toddlers bubbling from their noses, while Josh Groban had been commissioned by CNN to write and perform a signature dirge to be used as the soundtrack for all mass funerals broadcast live by the network.
However, Shank said, the shocking and rapid spread of good health around the planet had forced the industry to scramble for survival.
"We don't see a way out," he explained. "The credit crunch just isn't selling papers any more. The public doesn't understand economics, and frankly falling property prices are so 2008. We needed swine flu to go Biblical. We needed the Four Pig Farmers of the Apocalypse. We needed bleeding eyeballs."
He said that many journalists now faced a "dark future" and would be forced to start writing their own stories instead of publishing press releases from estate agents explaining why the collapse of property prices was an optical illusion.
However, he said the media would remain proactive, and urged Mexican pig farmers to indulge in more high-risk contact with their pigs, "just in case one of them hits the viral jackpot".
He declined to elaborate.
Meanwhile the South African media has echoed Shank's sentiments, saying that glossy Pam Golding supplements had propped up most media stables until now, but that they too had desperately needed swine flu to "get bubonic on our ass".
"Unless Jacob Zuma gets swine flu and explodes all over the podium during the Inauguration, we're looking at absolute carnage in the industry," said an insider.
"All those healthy people…it's so unbelievably sad."