Saturday, May 02, 2009


Okay, so I will readily admit that I am the type of person who freaks out at things like the swine flu. You don't have to drag that out of me.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that in 2006, I expressed mild concern over the bird flu (

My exact words were:

I've spent a large chunk of today thinking about the bird flu and wondering if this is a people-stabbing-each-other-in-Walmart-over-duct-tape-and-gallon-jugs-of-water type situation, or something I should actually be freaking out about. Let's be honest, I'm going to freak out anyway, thanks to articles like this:

Detroit what.

I also blame Oprah for some of this. I mean, not for bird flu itself necessarily (but who knows really), but for my freaking out over it. She had this frightening show where a serious-looking epidemiologist or scariologist or whatever he was told us that we're all going to die and it's going to be like a horror movie and Oprah, you better reserve your vaccination now. And Oprah acted all scared. Like anyone's going to let Oprah die from bird flu. If anyone is going to be able to secure a personal supply of TamiFlu, it's going to be Oprah, I have a feeling. She and Gayle and Stedman are going to be a-okay.

Yeah. Turns out bird flu was not that big a deal and no one stabbed anyone in Walmart over it (Walmart deaths are generally reserved for Christmas-time stampedes). Oprah also survived, thank God. And I kinda have a feeling that swine flu will probably turn out to be the same kind of deal, where it just blows over after a lot of panic. It's obviously terrible that people have died from this, but I don't think it's going to kill 90% of humanity.*

But I'll admit that when news of the swine flu first broke, I was not so sanguine about it as I am now. The arc of my freak-out went something like this, if I had to graphically/textually represent it:

Mild alarm --> Resentment over CNN's fearmongering tone --> Fear --> More fear --> Considering buying a face mask but too embarrassed once in the drugstore --> Deciding to carry around hand sanitizer everywhere but forgetting to put it in my bag --> Trying not to touch anything in the subway, even when standing --> Lots of tripping --> Slightly less alarm --> Renewed alarm when someone tells me we are expecting the next global pandemic "any day now" --> Less alarm when I see that almost no one in the U.S. is actually dying from this and it's not spreading that fast --> Irritation over people talking about it so much --> Anger over Harvard Dental School idiots that brought the virus to Harvard and spread it around --> Annoyance that the law school has not been shut down and that my finals haven't been canceled --> Apathy.

So now that peeps are saying that the disease is "stablizing" or whatever, I feel like my earlier semi-freak-out was not entirely warranted. However, I continue to wash my hands three-hundred to four-hundred times a day, even after touching things in my own room. Who knows where that book has been? Okay, on my shelf, but still. One can't be too careful with the swine flu.

Okay, gotta go wash my hands after touching my own keyboard.

* But if it does, please note that I did express some mild concern over it.


  1. HAHA. In Detroit they are no longer calling it the "swine flu" on the news. It is now called "h1 n1" or something...sounds like a play in Battleship, right? "H1 N1". Damn, you sunk my battleship, bitch.

    It's all hype. Do you know how many people die from "the common flu" every year? Something like 40,000 or something redick. Old people and infants, is the swine flu different?'s only killing people with compromised immune systems?

    On a side note, heard a funny joke today:

    "How did the pig get on the roof".......

    "I don't know. How?"

    "Swine flu"

  2. You never know-- this could be it for Oprah. She is very, very kissy. And she just had Kirstie Alley on her show-- doesn't she count as swine?

  3. Rach, they're calling it H1N1 because the pork industry (pig farmers, etc.) wanted them to stop calling it swine flu and hurting their business and they put pressure on the government to stop calling it that. So that's why Obama made the announcement that they'd now be referring to it by its "official" name. I prefer to call it Mad Pig Disease, but whatever.

  4. I know why they did it. I just think it sounds stupid. Not like calling it "swine flu" made it more scientific. But H1N1 sound like coordinates, not a virus. Or like, the missing box in the Periodic Table.

    This whole thing is redick. I don't get the overall trend on blaming animals for stuff. Chicken pox? I have never seen a spotted chicken, have you?