POM, one of my favorite running and living my life blogs (next to judi) had a great title yesterday. Wine flu, not Swine flu. I wish I had thought of it. But I didn’t so props to POM for that one.
Not to be contrarian, but if you’ve been coming here at all, you know that’s the motif here. Why do we care about the freaking swine flu? It’s a strain of the flu that could kill us, but truth be told, ANY strain of the flu could kill you. As a matter of fact every single year in these United States (including the soon to be departed State of Texas…ooops, now they want Federal money to fight the swine flu… nevermind) 30,000-50,000 people are killed by the flu. Every year. Some years more, some years less. The young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at higher risk, but truth be told, it gets some healthy people too. I knew someone who was killed by the flu a couple of years ago. If it’s going to kill you, it’s going to kill you. There’s a gazillion ways for us to die. We are all going to die sooner or later. It’s inevitable, just like taxes. It might be a heart attack, it might be a crane falling on your head. It might be a bridge collapsing because we didn’t invest in our infrastructure. It might be from an infected spider bite. When the Good Lord is coming to get you, you had better have your affairs in order, because you’re going.
So why do we care about the swine flu? Because if it bleeds, it leads. Finally, last night the first death occurred even though we’ve been talking about it for days now. A 23 month old child in Texas. I’m sure Gov. Perry will be blaming the Obama administration, but I’ll bet that child had deep connections back to Mexico where the Government didn’t deal with it at all. As of yesterday there were 67 confirmed cases in the US. It’s the flu, let’s take some precautions and be smart about it. OK one of the reasons I’m so pissed off it that this is Spring Cleaning Week with the local disposal company and I was going to go get some day labor to clean up the Farm, but I can’t now. Who knows who has been or has someone near them that has just come back from the land of the Pig Flu. Where’s Carol Burnett when you need her?
All that being said, must be time for a rant on cleanliness, politeness, and generally not being disgusting. I’m so glad I’m not riding BART right now. I hate to be the canary crowing but I haven’t had a virus since last August. I haven’t been stuffed on a BART train with people who should not be going to work in the first place. I’m not sitting next to some guy sneezing all the way to San Francisco. I’m not next to some guy who just got off a plane from somewhere in the Far East and is sneezing without covering his face. I’m missing all the fun. They did a bit on Good Morning America that I saw in the gym yesterday on how far the droplets you sneeze or cough out travel. Basically you expectorate them at a rate of 100mph. That’s like ducking to miss an invisible 100mph fastball. Chances are I’m going to get beaned. So a little common sense is in order, you know, cover your face, wash your hands, don’t go out and infect everyone else when you’re disgusting. And if you’re the management at the Evil Empire, understand that people get sick and need to stay home to get well. There’s no honor in forcing them to come in and infect the whole office. I remember probably twelve years ago I was at Old Repulsive in the title plant in Alameda, on Atlantic. We had a flu run through there. It was busy and we probably had 50 people working there at the time. For over a week at any one time we were down by 50%. I remember being one of like six people who made it to work one day. It was all we could do to just answer the phones. We couldn’t get a damned thing out the door. Now imagine if the first folks who got that disease stayed home. Yeah, flu is viral and spreads in such a manner, which gets me to my next subject.
I’m going to be doing a social media, viral experiment on Friday. I’m going to ask everyone to toss in a very small amount of cash. Really not even lunch money (now that Subway no longer has the $5 foot longs), so do come back on Friday for all the fun. It will be an experiment in viral social media.