I may not need to address this to our regular readers, who seem to be an eminently sensible, educated lot, but as we’ve seen, we get a lot of weird search terms, and I hope that someone searching “OMG I’M GOING TO DIE OF SWINE FLU!” will happen upon us and take me seriously when I write the following:
PLEASE, CHILL THE FUCK OUT ABOUT SWINE FLU.
Can we call it H1N1, too? It isn’t strictly “swine flu,” it’s a hybrid virus, and the “dangerous” element is a strain of the avian flu that freaked everybody out a year or so back.
If you want to feel like you’re doing something, then listen to the president, who asks that we “be vigilant” how? By washing our hands and not sneezing and coughing on each other. You know, just like we should be doing every other goddamn day of our lives. It’s fucking common sense. That is all we need right now, and yet it seems like sense is far from common.
Too common, utterly non-sensical: stocking up on Tamiflu or Relenza–or sweet fancy moses, Cipro; slathering yourself in alcohol-based germ-killing goo; quarantining yourself or your family members at home, or wearing flimsy face masks when out in public, throwing out your pork products, panicking about your possibly infectious neighbors with Mexican heritage, or mistaking your seasonal allergy sniffles for the Beginning of the End.
I mean, seriously. There is ZERO need for freak-outs. Thus far, there are only 51 cases in NYC, and approximately 95 confirmed cases in the States. OUT OF MORE THAN 304 MILLION PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY. I am not discounting the deaths that have occurred in Mexico and the one in the US, I’m asking for a little fucking perspective.
Think about how many people die of the regular old, nothing-to-do-with-pigs flu every year, on average: 36,000. OMG PANIC!!! THE NOT-SWINE FLU WILL KILL US ALLLLLLLLLL!
No. No it won’t. It will kill a small percentage of the very young, the very old, and the very immuno-compromised. Just like the flu always does. That doesn’t make the deaths that occur “no big deal,” but it does mean you can stop online shopping for HazMat suits and calling your family across the country to make sure they haven’t started sprouting tusks and bristles, or whatever other fearmonger-y nonsense is going around.
Turn off the 24-hour news feed, make yourself a nice dinner, and instead of Tamiflu, you might wanna get your hands on some Klonopin, or maybe just a bottle of wine, and take.a.powder.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled feminist caterwauling.