Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oink oink

Edited: It turns out that while the infected person works in D.C., he/she lives in Maryland, therefore it doesn't count as an official case in D.C. Whatever, influenza obviously doesn't respect state or national boundaries, so it at least semi counts.

Today brings reports of DC’s first case of swine flu. I guess the man I saw yesterday coming off the metro wearing a surgical mask knew something the rest of us didn’t. Or he’s taking this more seriously than I am. I’m just not completely convinced it’s any more serious than the avian flu hysteria from a few years ago. I’m still steering clear of coughing people on the Metro, and washing my hands like crazy, but you won’t see me in a mask anytime soon. Except, perhaps, if I could get my hands on one of these designer ones:

I personally think one with a pig snout would be hilarious. I’d buy one of those just for fun.

There are also sad reports of a backlash against pigs. The Time article says Egypt has ordered the slaughter of more than 300,000. I feel bad for them. It’s not like the birds, who are pure evil and who I absolutely believe are plotting to take out humanity, these are just little piggies! I mean, does this look like it could ever cause you harm?
(If you haven’t read this article from Britain about the little pig who is scared of mud, you must. I actually had the picture as my desktop background for awhile last year. If it doesn’t make your heart melt, you aren’t human, sorry.)

I am, however, very interested to see them discover exactly how it started. I took an environmental ethics class my senior year - which has come closer to making me a vegetarian than anything else - and we talked a lot about animal conditions, including the Smithfield company, which was cited in one article as a possible source.

In the meantime, I will continue to remind the people who cower around me as I sneeze and cough, that it's allergies, and not the flu. I hope.

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