Pity the pork producers. They’ll be taking it on the chops because of the recent swine flu outbreak. And the fact you can’t get the flu by bolting back bacon, or bolting back back-bacon, will be lost on consumers. The ‘put some pork on the fork’ slogan will not do.
Yes, I guess it’s true you can get swine flu by hanging around pigs, but it’s the mutation capability of this flu, and its leap to human to human transmission, that has us wiggling. According to authors/researchers, Richard E. Neustadt and Harvey V Fineberg, it’s a "slippery disease…you know, like a greased pig.
So, what of the endemic come pandemic? 1976 should serve as a wee lesson. When the s-flu swept through the barracks at Fort Dix, and one soldier died, President Ford ordered enough vaccination for the country. Twenty-five people died as a result of the vaccine and another 500 plus developed Guillain-Barre syndrome. Subsequently the government paid millions in damages to people and their families.
The sky was falling and then it wasn’t. At the very least this bit of history, happening as recently as it did, should serve as a caution. That’s not to say we shouldn’t take this seriously and it’s not to say vaccines don’t have their place. It is to say, relax a little. We are a panicky people. We, like the swine of old, get the devil in us and run down the steep hills and drown ourselves in the lakes.
Instead, do the practical things. Wash your hands, cough/sneeze into your sleeve…wash your shirt. Stay out the way of phlegmy pigs. And if you see the influenza virus–it’s globular in shape, and is approximately 100 nanometers in diameter–report it to the authorities. Yes, and have some pork tenderloin.
Final thought: Is it possible, upon hearing the term swine flu, not to think of Peter Sellers?