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Swine Nonsense

What I want to know is how many of the people currently terrified about catching Swine Flu smoke?

I hate to break it to them, but smoking is a lot more likely to send you on your way to the afterlife than possibly catching flu (or any variety).

I'm always amazed by the mass hysteria over these things.

I remember when Bird Flu was the "in thing" to be worried about. One of my flatmates at the time was terrified she'd get it and die. The slightest cough set her nerves on end and imagination running wild. I pointed out two things to her. She smoked LOTS and drank LOTS. Either of those things could kill her (and were certainly a lot mroe likely to than bird flu) and she was actively doing them every day and not worrying about them. If she was really worried about dying she could quit smoking and cut down drinking and her life expectancy would probably increase.

Yes, flu is nasty and can kill. Yes they are stronger versions of it out there more likely to kill. But look at the facts of daily life and stop worrying about catching it. If you are worried about it look at the other things in your life much more likely to harm you that you can do something about. Like diet, exercise, stopping smoking/drinking/drugs, etc.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)
I feel completely mind-boggled by the whole thing. The media and the government and the WHO and whoever else keep saying that we're one step away from a pandemic, and yet only a handful of people around the world even have the disease. It doesn't even seem to be particularly contagious (in that those who have been exposed to sufferers who've brought it back from Mexico haven't been infected). It just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

I'd be really interested to see some figures for "regular" flu - how many people across the globe are currently suffering from it (I'm sure it's way more) and how many have died from it in the same time period (no idea what that figure would be like, but it'd be interesting to see).
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
Getting in a car is statistically far higher as well...

I've been annoyed at the government for pledging (I'm not sure if they've spent it yet) a vast sum of money on this illness that's only a "might happen" when thousands die every year from MRSA and C difficile, which are very real deadly illnesses, which they only seem to be making token gestures at wiping out. (At least in some places. Where my mum works they're utterly neurotic about it. Which is ironic given that it's a hospice for the terminally ill. But in some of the wards my aunt works she dispairs at the total lack of hygeine, no one seems to care and they seem to be surprised that there have been several deaths there recently.)
Apr. 30th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
Fair enough - blah pre-emptive panic nonsense - totally agree. But I'm thinking about it a lot, not from a 'oh god I'm going to sneeze myself to death before cancer or cyrrhosis can get me' way - more the fat that this is the first time the WHO has ever issued a level 5 pandemic warning. And sure - a pandemic doesn't necessarily mean everyone is going to get wiped out - merely that it is transmitting in lots of different places and groups - I'm personally thinking about possible impact on infrastructure, work etc.

I worked for a large healthcare supplier during SARS and we sold the equivalent of 100 years supply of surgical masks in a few weeks, leaving hospitals who needed them for such silly things as surgery, desperately short.

Also - 'Pig-Licker' has become my insult of the week.
Double also - one of the UK cases is in my home town (Redditch) trying to not be horrid and imagine the place wiped out, but if it does, here's hoping it takes Jacqui Smith with it..
Apr. 30th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
One of the cases is where I grew up as well - Barnet. Just up the road from where I used to live until recently.
Apr. 30th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
I'm quite enjoying swine flu, it's given the press something to panic about other than the ever depressing economy, horah!
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
I can't leave the house. I'm so afraid that swine flu is waiting around the corner to leap out and attack me. If I hear someone sneeze (even from across the street) I have to run up to them and interrogate them as to whether or not they've been to Mexico recently, or know anyone who's been to Mexico, or know anyone who knows someone else who has been to Mexico or is Mexican - so filled with fear am I.

I used to love eating burritos but now I'm morbidly afraid that by eating even a vegetarian one that I might catch it because, y'know, it's Mexican, right? I could be eating the flu or something, right? Right? Right!? I won't even touch a three-bean chilli!

I think the only way out of this hysteria is for me to sell my possessions, purchase a ticket to Mexico and go lick pig farmers so that at least the waiting is over and I can accept my inevitable fate.

Edited at 2009-04-30 03:32 pm (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, diet and exercise are really dangerous!

Apr. 30th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
The only thing about the swine flu is that my kids may catch it. Especially my daughter since she's under two. But then again I get concerned when any type of the flu bug is going around when it comes to my kids. Other than that I'm not sweating a bit about it.

I know there are some folks I work with who are freaking out over it. They are even on some twitter network that alerts them to all the news coming out on it. Guess they think this is the start of the Stand or something.
May. 1st, 2009 06:54 am (UTC)
They have been waiting for a repeat of something like the influenza pandemic of 1918 for years now because they do happen in waves - when serious ones occur they can be devastating. Its all speculative though - you dont know how bad it will be till it gets bad. The problem is that thy want to stop it before it becomes a problem, and to do that they need to people to take it seriously and be a wee bit more hygienic to prevent its spread and then they keep track of actual cases so they can see if its getting better or worse. It may well go dormant over the summer or just die out/weaken so people can build a proper immunity to it, or it might go ballistic. No way of knowing.
At the moment its not worth panicking of course, and most of the sorts of precautions people should take to avoid transmission are sensible and polite even when there is no threat of a pandemic.

Where WW1 killed 15 million, the influenza that followed it killed 50 million. They rather want to avoid that happening.
May. 1st, 2009 09:55 am (UTC)
The thing is, anyone who travels on the tube in the rush hour could catch just about anything. People in general are disgusting and unhygienic, but they are particularly disgusting in London, and spread their germs all over everything. The person sitting next to me could have anything.

But yeah, I agree about the smoking thing.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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