Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Piggy Sniffles - or The Myth of Swine Flu

On the TV news this morning was one of the two Scotsmen who have allegedly become infected with swine flu. He said it felt like having a head-cold. In other words, he had the sniffles.

Every year, flu viruses reduce the population slightly. As has been suggested elsewhere, the sales of potions to protect against such bugs generates much lucre; and the medicine itself also fills a few extra coffins.

Every so often there really is a pandemic--or so history reports. Certainly right now the press is having a merry time predicting devastation from this pig-related flu, perhaps as it conveniently distracts people from thinking about the pig’s ear which seems to have been created in the world of finance.

Medical folk keep telling us that stress reduces the ability of our immune systems to ward off viruses (and ill-health in general.) Worrying about pig flu could therefore possibly increase a person's susceptibility to it.

Anyway, whilst busily peeling the veg for tonight’s dinner, I began wondering why the name “swine” had been chosen. No-one talks about eating swine chops, or enjoying roast swine. The word can be used as an insult; as an expletive even. Yet the press adore it as it sounds so much more dramatic than “pork” or “pig”.

So, using a little dark humour to keep us all safe and well, our immunity unstressed by tales of impending bogey-viruses, how about a spot of re-naming to help keep things in perspective.

My proposal: From now on, only the term “piggy sniffles” should be used.

An excellent, rational article re. swine flu can be found here:-

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