Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pass me a Kleenex and a slice of Bacon

Getting a little annoyed with this whole swine flu over-reaction. It's the flu. Call it Swine, or bird or whatever other animal name you want to give it, it's still just the flu. Old folks and babies and people with suppressed immune systems die all the time, every day, in every country from the common flu. Just because this one has a weird name, doesn't make it any more or less contagious than the regular run-of-the-mill variety. Calling it a pandemic is just plain irresponsible in my opinion. As a journalist, I am ashamed at how the press just latches on to this kind of thing and blows it way out of proportion. The medical community is just as bad. They're all just trying to cover their own asses in case something catastrophic does happen. I think they are as guilty as the press this time. We are talking about a very small number of cases here people. And don't get me started on the ridiculous notion that is spreading worse than a pandemic. The misinformed going around saying you can catch it from eating pork. The pig farmers are in a panic, and rightly so. They could face some very harsh economic fall-out from this if the rest of the world markets stop buying pork from North America. You cannot catch the "Swine" flu from eating a ham sandwich! Case in point - yesterday, I received a TwitterPic of a toddler kissing the snout of a large hog with the caption "how not to avoid the swine flu". It may have been a joke, but it was completely misleading. My daughter has had a cold all week. I felt guilty sending her to school with plenty of Kleenex. I'm sure every time she coughs or sneezes, the world at large feels threatened with death. She has not had a fever, chills or vomiting. She has a case of the common cold. I think everyone just needs to relax a bit here. We do not live in medieval times. We have access to health care and most of us have immune systems strong enough to survive it if we do get it. If you don't have a healthy immune system, well guess what?, something was going to get you eventually anyway. That's just the circle of life. Harsh reality? No, just reality. So wear a mask if you must, postpone your trip to Mexico, stop eating bacon - if it makes you feel safer. Just stop calling a few cases of the flu a pandemic. Because it's not.

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