So I thought this whole swine flu thing was well behind us now. Hadn't heard about it for a few weeks, until yesterday, when I saw a headline on Yahoo! (I can't really say Yahoo! without hearing Erasure in my head), saying that the World Health Org has declared the swine flu a pandemic. Is this not old news? I thought they had already declared it such (and undeservedly so, in my opinion) weeks ago. Did they not?
Later, at home, I watched BBC news tell the story in a rather alarmist fashion unbecoming of the BBC*. 141 people have died so far worldwide, they said. Oh, really? Because there were about 250 aboard the Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic Ocean. Now THAT is a tragedy, THAT is newsworthy. 141 people die from a strain of flu, and not necessarily from the flu itself, but from complications caused by the flu, and we need to have a grave news story about it. I bet more people than that died in car accidents yesterday. What is with all the commotion?
And then this morning I see the following Yahoo! headline:
Ah ha! Therein lies the rub. This bringing up of the non-story that is the swine flu once more is all just a ruse to rouse up irrational fear in the masses again, so that this time we can all run out and get vaccinated. And if everyone gets vaccinated, the drug companies make millions.
Well I'm not going to be one of those suckers who buys into this vaccine thing. I don't need it, and you don't either, unless perhaps you are elderly, youngerly, or lacking an immune system**. Those are really the only people who may be at risk of death with contraction of any flu or common cold virus, swine or otherwise.
*They also told a story about how the increase in gas prices over the past couple months has spurred people to go out and buy more stuff. Huh? How does that follow? BBC, I am ashamed of you.
**Of course, now that I think about it, since vaccines work by giving your immune system a weakened or dead virus to attack so it can create antibodies, I suppose a vaccine won't do you any good if you don't have an immune system anyway. So instead, stay away from sick people and practice good hygiene, but then you should all be doing this anyway.
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