Friday, May 1, 2009

When Swine Flew

Wow. Leave it to a possible outbreak of a flu virus to allow the media to just run rampant and exemplify one of two things, possibly both. This whole swine flu dealio has enabled the media to either show us a) how stupid they are or b) how stupid they think we are. It's one of those. I'm sure of it.

Take, for example, this little slideshow that was over there at
USAToday. The title of the slide show is "Swine Flu Epidemic. People worldwide try to protect themselves." First of all, nice job with the inflammatory 'try' to protect themselves. As if to imply that it may well be completely futile to do anything at all. You just might be doomed no matter what. You poor sap. But that's not all!

Here are the pictures they show us:

Children learn how to wash their hands properly in China.

A hospital worker displays a mask in Spain.

An immigration officer checks a passenger's papers in India.

Street vendors play chess in Mexico.

Wait. What?

What the hell is that? CHESS?!?! People are trying to protect themselves from swine flu by playing CHESS??I don't think they are! Just a hunch. Call me crazy, but I don't think they are! What did they do when everyone thought SARS was going to kill half of the world's population? Break out the Parchesi board? Do we reach for Monopoly or Yahtzee if that bird flu ever comes back? I always get it the wrong way. I always break out Monopoly for bird flu when it's supposed to be Yahtzee. When will I ever learn that Monopoly is for an outbreak of whooping cough (or whooping cranes which, while admittedly unlikely, would still be something that I'd really like to see!). Give me a freaking break.

But wait. There's more!

Again, the
USA Today (which I am becoming convinced is either being run by kindergartners or Paris Hilton, as all are of a relatively equal level of functioning, with the kindergartners scoring slightly higher in all areas) offers us the article "Stay safe from swine flu with 3 simple steps". Well! That sounds like news I can use! Let's see what those three simple steps are, shall we?

Step Number One: Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Now that is important. Hand washing with SOAP and WATER (not with that anti-bacterial gel crap, so get your little squirty bottle away from me) is the most effective way to prevent most viruses from transmitting themselves from person to person. Excellent advice. The other two tips must be just as good.

Step Number Two: Cover your cough.

OK, covering your cough will help not SPREAD the swine flu around (provided that the one who has it is also the one who is coughing), but covering your cough will not help keep you safe from the swine flu. That's not a step that I can take to keep myself safe! And yet there it is, right there, in the list of 'Three simple steps' that will help me 'stay safe from swine flu'. Hmmm. That's interesting because now we're down to TWO steps. Let's look at the third, shall we?

Step Number Three: Stay home when you're sick.

::: blink ::: ::: blink :::

Um, that's not going to keep me from getting sick either as, by the definition of what I was just told, if I'm staying home when I'm sick, I'm already sick! It's not helping me to NOT get sick! I'm SICK! What is wrong with you people?!

This! This is why newspapers are failing! This is a perfect example of how badly the media just sucks these days. This article tells me I'm going to get three steps and I only get ONE! How many times do you think that this list has been reproduced in publications elsewhere without one, not ONE person stopping to realize, "Hey! Wait a minute! There's only one step here!" Plenty! And yet it keeps happening.

It is as if the media doesn't care about reporting real news and real information, but would rather cater to the populous of those with a sub-60 I.Q.Take the State of California (please!) and consider the swine flu advice that they give on their website.

"Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it."

:::: blink :::: ::::blink ::::

Thank you, State of California! I never would have thought to throw my mucus filled tissue in the trash (of all places!) after I've just hacked bodily fluids all over it. Never occurred to me! Nope. See, I've just been collecting all of my used tissues and pressing them together. I'm trying to make a replica of the Empire State Building out of nothing but my used tissues! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!

The State of California, not content with only including the above advice as a way of indicating that they think my brain is made of hay, also have included this Hint from Heloise or Advice from Arnold or whatever the heck it is:

"Try to avoid close contact with sick people."

:::: blink :::: :::: blink ::::

Well, I'm certainly glad they told me that! That's one that would have just blown right by me. Yep. You know, I was thinking of everything else. I was building a hyperbaric chamber to sleep in (I used the design plans that were the same ones that Michael Jackson used for his), I've already bought two scuba tanks and scuba gear and I breath the oxygen from those tanks all the time (I also walk around in the flippers and wetsuit, but that's mainly just for fun), and I've bought one of those spray tan booths, only I've replaced the tanning spray with Purell. But even after all of that, it never occurred to me to stay away from sick people. Thank God for the government. (Translation: We're doomed.)

And as if all of this wasn't enough to make you just plant your head into the nearest wall, I will also tell you that the CDC, the C freaking DC, the
Centers for Disease Control offers up the same tips for keeping yourself safe from the flu that were printed in the USA Today and that were on the State of California's website. I swear.

Look, I know that there are morons out there. I know that there are super morons out there. We ALL know that. Except for the morons, they might be a little clueless in that arena. But the more and more that I hear stuff like these "tips" the more and more I begin to think and/or realize that the majority of the morons work in the government!

So as you practice the ONE simple step to help you stay safe from swine flu, remember these not so helpful, but oh-so-amusing random thoughts:

The REGULAR flu kills an average of 36,000 people in this country EVERY YEAR. Why that is not the headline every, single day is beyond me. So far, the swine flu has made a handful of people in this country mildly ill. And...

The government doesn't want to call the swine flu "the swine flu" any more because of what it says about swine. It appears to be some sort of politically correct move, perhaps a portion of the No Swine Left Behind bill or something like that. Of course they haven't come up with an alternate name yet (and it won't matter if they do, as people have been calling it 'the swine flu' for about a week now, so it's pretty much set in stone), but I have! Since it's the swine flu, I shall return the name to it's Latin roots, well, to it's PIG Latin roots and begin referring to it as the "Wine-say U-flay". It's either that or The Three Little Pigs of the Apocalypse Virus. Your choice, but wine-say u-flay is a heckuva lot of fun to say!

No pigs were harmed in the writing of this post. Several, however, were rather embarrassed.

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grannyann said...

Obama doesn't want to call it swine flu because it keeps folks from eating bacon but Biden tells everyone not to ride planes, trains and subways...duh. If I hear the rules one more time I think I will scream and not wash my hands for at least 10 minutes.

Mare said...

Yes, the handwashing instructions that seem to lead every newscast lately are getting a bit old. I find it fascinating that those same news outlets seem to think that we need a demonstration of EVERY element of handwashing in order to get it through our teeny, tiny little brains. THIS is WATER! THIS is SOAP! These are your HANDS!