Thursday, April 30, 2009

H1N1 is Makin Me Sick

Swine flu gets funnier every day. Apparently the pork lobby has protested to the Department of Agriculture over the use of the term Swine Flu. Our government of course immediately succumbed to this "logic" and is now using the name H1N1 flu. Catchy huh? Apparently the pork lobby was able to convince the Department of Agriculture that Americans actually believed that you could catch the flu from eating pork chops.

Even better than this, Orthodox Rabbis in Israel, have declared that the term Swine Flu is offensive to Jews and Muslims. They preferred to insult a secular organization (Mexico) by suggesting that the illness be called the Mexican Flu. It's great to see Jews and Muslims make common cause!

But wait, there's more! During yesterday's press conference with Our President a young female reporter asked the if it wasn't time to CLOSE THE BORDER WITH MEXICO. Actually I have heard this particularly ignorant and laughably stupid question on a couple of the talking head shows. President Obama politely replied that this would be like closing the barn door after the horses had already departed. I don't know why he didn't follow this with a brief discussion of the the serious economic and social dislocation this would cause.

The really great thing about Hysteria is little it has to do with the facts. Last year some 36,000 Americans died as a direct result of plain everyday flu. This year (at the same rate) we have probably lost about 12,000 citizens to the flu. The swine flu on the other hand has so far killed one unfortunate child who was visiting the US from Mexico. So where is the panic over our usual annual bout with the flu?

This is not to say there is no reason for concern over Swine flu, Avian flu or other new strains of flu virus to which we may have limited immunity and little knowledge about the potential rate of spread or possible severity. Seems like the CDC and WHO are doing a good job of monitoring the situation and advising reasonable measures we can take to mediate the situation.

But Hey! Let's face it. Panic and Hysteria is more fun and sells more crap on TV. Let's just curb the urge to act on it. One child in Fort Worth Texas was diagnosed with Swine flu and the entire school district has been shut down indefinitely. This over reaction has costs and won't necessarily provide any protection from the spread of the illness. I am less concerned about the actual risk from Swine Flu than I am from Panic Flu. If you are worried and want to know if you have contracted Swine Flu please click HERE.


  1. What would "close the border" mean, anyway? Would we shut down all tourism? Would the President stop making state visits there? Would trucks carrying goods stop driving back and forth? Would planes cease to fly there? How could that possibly be done?

    Also, I like that pig. He looks like a good pig.

  2. He is a good pig. If you return to this post please be sure to click to find out if you have Swine Flu (end of post)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.