Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hog Wild

MAN, I WAS REALLY HOPING this whole swine flu thing would pass and I wouldn't have to pay a lot of attention to it. I tend to avoid stories about national or natural disasters like this, such as the West Nile Virus scare a few years back or, more recently, the dreaded Miley Cyrus Virus. But here in NYC we're getting bombarded regularly with increasingly dire updates, at last count 51 confirmed cases of the virus and 5 school closings, including a few here in Queens. With a possible vaccine at least 4 months away, I have a bad feeling that it could spiral out of control and reach dangerous, pandemic levels, like coverage of the Jonas Brothers or the revival of the musical Hair.

The latest drastic responses to the Flu are almost Biblical in proportion, which is rarely a good thing for Man and/or other living things. In Egypt, the panic led to the slaughter of all 300,000 of its pigs, despite zero cases of swine flu in the country and no evidence that pigs even spread the disease. I too wondered what the hell a Muslim nation is doing with all those pigs anyway; the pork is consumed by the 10% or so of the country that is still Christian and who presumably enjoy a good ham & egg sandwich now and then. For the rest of Egypt, they'll miss the bacon about as much as we'd have trouble giving up hummus. (Talk about plagues visited upon the land: Just read Egypt is already in the midst of an unrelated bird flu outbreak which is responsible for the recent deaths of 26 people!)

The nation of Lebanon took a less severe preventative step but was proactive in its own way: wisely prohibiting the traditional male greeting of 3 kisses on the cheek, like something out of Gay Paree or gay...anywhere. But anything that even for a short while restricts men from kissing each other in public can't be all bad. Now all we need here in NYC is a nice fungal outbreak that keeps men from wearing flip-flops in public.

Update (4/30/09@3:00pm)
The World Health Organization just announced it will stop using the term "swine flu" to avoid confusion over the danger posed by pigs and will instead begin referring to the disease by its catchy scientific name
H1N1 influenza Z. -- a policy change which came a day too late to help 300,000 pigs in Egypt from meeting an unnecessarily premature end.


Chris said...

I propose a ban on flip flops. The punishment would be boiling oil.

The Warden said...

We see way too much of other people's feet on a daily basis. Boiling oil sounds pretty good -- I'm assuming the punishment would be administered feet first.

ib said...

H1N1 influenza Z.

Trips off the tongue, alright. You have to wonder at the previously preferred nomenclature, given all those pigs down in Mexico are seemingly innocent.

Naturally, one is suspicious.

The recent jihad on 300,000 porcine unbelievers while in the deadly grip of bird flu simply beggars belief.

The Warden said...

I love the "jihad on 300,000 porcine unbelievers" line. So it is written, so it shall be done.

Yeah, why even call it swine flu in the first place if it has nothing to do with pigs? At least Mad Cow Disease made some sense.

jimithegreek said...

darn tootin funny!