This public service message is brought to you by the WHO and CDC: To avoid besmirching the good name of pigs everywhere, health officials ask that the general public and especially hyperventilating media types refer to the recent influenza outbreak strain as H1N1, instead of the more memorable “swine flu.” Curiously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still refers (refer? Plural or singular?) to the flu strain as “swine flu.”
As the H1N1 flu continues to spread, WHO officials are doing their level best to head off a global panic, which coincidentally is timed with their announcement that a pandemic is inevitable if not already happening.OK, that’s helpful.
We have confirmed cases spreading throughout the United States and talk of closing the Mexican border (yes, it has worked so well at keeping out illegal immigrants) has been brushed aside as, well, a waste of time and effort. I mean, how do you stop something that can travel through the air with a sneeze or cough when we can’t stop a truckload of impoverished farm workers?
Meanwhile, our fearless leader, President Obama offers shockingly sane advice:
“Wash your hands when you shake hands, cover your mouth when you cough. If you are sick, stay home. If your child is sick, take them out of school. If you are feeling certain flu symptoms, don’t get on an airplane.”
That’s just crazy talk.
More crazy talk: Influenza of various strains in an average season kills 30,000 or so Americans. Every year. The majority of fatalities are people over 65 or with already weakened immune systems. If you are reasonably healthy and take a few steps (See: Obama crazy talk, above) you are unlikely to suffer anything worse than feeling really crappy for a few days, maybe lose a few pounds, and go on with life.
Meanwhile, this really scary map makes the H1N1 outbreak look like nuclear attack. Maybe this is what the folks at Fox have in mind for next season’s 24: “Just as doctors cure Jack Bauer’s weaponized Mad Cow disease, he starts grunting like a pig! Jack and his team (it’s pretty much down to just Chloe — blame the writers) have only 13 episodes to stop the Swine Flu attack and uncover the conspiracy that comes to be known as Bacongate.”
The American Red Cross has some words of wisdom as well.
And I’d like to ask this of the shopping public: Please, stop sneezing on my wife.