Diggin’ on Swine Flu

that must be one charming muthafucking pig

I pretty much ignored the Ill Pig story until yesterday when I saw the front of my high school on CNN. The 8 students in NYC with the swine flu — 8 of the 20 confirmed swine flu cases in the U.S. are students there. Talk about shit hitting home.
For years now public health officials have been warning that the reality of a devastating flu pandemic was a matter of when not if. It’s left to be seen if this swine flu is the “big one”… on some hundreds of thousands of body bags type shit. If it is… we’re in a shitload of trouble. Ground Zero of the virus is in Mexico, in North America (yes rednecks, Mexico is in N. America). When SARS broke out in Asia, it was pretty much contained to the East, save a few deaths we heard about in Canada –because they were in North America. A widespread Mexican flu outbreak will freak people the fuck out. “OH Noes! Infected Mexicans! Batten down the hatches border fences!” I think the assumption most non-epidemiologists (and maybe some of them too) is that a widespread and dangerous strain would originate from Africa or Asia. But this bad boy is right next door to us -er downstair from us? And lots of people already think our borders are too porous… I wonder if Republicans will have the balls to politicize this shit. I can’t wait to hear what Chuck Norris has to say.
You know what would really freak people the fuck out? -If the swine flu got its name from a gruesome side-effect: the victim’s face goes through metamorphosis and ends up looking like some fucked up pig-faced freak. Like that “Eye of the Beholder” episode of the Twilight Zone.

twilight zone - eye of the beholder

The craziest part of that scenario is that it would be the best way to prevent spread of the swine flu! If people turned on the news or the internets and saw pictures of people who’d died of the swine flu looking like that, they’d only go out when they absolutely needed to and they’d be suspicious of everyone and anyone who coughed or sneezed around them. To most people in our society *any* flu is a bad thing… and death by flu really sucks too… but we don’t take it seriously because flu isn’t a major killer.  But if looking all fucked up while you’re dying is in the equation -ie: the possibility of looking like Señor Pigsly… people would fucking riot.

If I were Barack Obama, I’d say this:

“To show the gravity of the swine flu situation, I’ve declared a public health emergency. We are working with leading doctors, scientists and public health officials as well as Mexican authorities to ensure the safety of our citizens. We are also working with Middle East public health officials for containment. If you think having a shoe thrown at you is an insult, imagine catching swine flu.”

*** UPDATE ***

Damn. I knew that asking if Republicans would politicize this was rhetorical, but it didn’t take them long:

From the Huffington Post:

“Conservative media hosts, including Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck, have placed the blame for the spread of swine flu to the United States squarely on the shoulders of undocumented Mexican immigrants.”

And of course, a statement about border security:

“On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that stricter border control was not necessary at this time. That would be a very, very heavy cost for what epidemiologists tells us would be marginal” in terms of containing the virus, she said on NBC’s “Today” show.”

I coulda told you that.

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~ by Chief Racka on April 27, 2009.

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