Come Flu With Me

I remember as a kid back in the 70s how swine flu was supposed to be the next big epidemic, and there was some monumentally mismanaged vaccination program that didn’t seem to do a whole lot of good, and what do you know, there wasn’t an epidemic.

Now, like most everything else from 70s culture, swine flu is in again, and the panic is almost reaching the point where mobs of outraged citizens will take up arms against our porcine oppressors and reduce them to curled burnt rinds that are indescribably delicious.

It’s SARS all over again. Remember SARS? That plague that killed, oh, seems like 300 million people or so a few years ago? Oh wait, that’s right, it didn’t. It only made 300 million people look like idiots for wearing surgical masks all over the place as no one realized the vast majority of those who died from it were those who would have died from a good case of pneumonia.

A friend pointed out that while swine flu has killed 150 people so far this year, your regular good ol‘ fashioned flu has killed 13,000. That’s 86 to 1 in favor of the non-panicky strain of flu. So why isn’t everyone running around flailing their arms about that?

Look, if it makes you feel better, get vaccinated. Go to the doctor the instant you feel sick if you’re worried about it. Remind yourselves that medicine has advanced a fair bit since the 1918 flu pandemic. Continue to enjoy your ham and bacon products. Just relax.

Because the bird flu is coming, and you’ll need your strength to panic for that.

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