Posts Tagged ‘Swine flu’

Swine Flu Report #2

April 29, 2009

It’s a bad day to be a pig in Egypt.   This is just the kind of overreactionary effort that isn’t going to help anything.    I wasn’t aware that a predominantly muslim country had a large swine production capacity, but 300,000 of the critters are ironically marked for extermination because of who and what they are.    A lot of Coptic pig farmers just got put out of business.

Meanwhile, muslim lawmakers in Kuwait and Bahrain are pressing the case that if only they’d been following a pig-free policy all along, swine flu would be restricted to the infidel, pig-eating countries.

“The outbreak of this flu, which has killed dozens, will make our case stronger to outlaw pork from the kingdom,” lawmaker Sheikh Adel Al-Moawada, who heads the Bahrain parliamentary foreign affairs and security committee, was quoted by local media as saying.

And who gave this guy a passing grade in his infectious disease studies at medical school? 

“We are unlikely to have an outbreak since we don’t have pig farms here. We don’t have pig products and [the region where the strain emerged] is miles away from Kuwait,” said Dr. Khalid Al-Hasawi, deputy director-general of Kuwait’s Infectious Disease Hospital.

My kids know more about the infectious spread of Swine Flu, Mexico Flu, North American Flu, Non-Kosher/Non-Koranic Flu, or whatever the heck PC name you give this thing.   Pigs are not direct infectious vectors now.  You cannot get sick from eating pork.  For that matter, you could kiss a pig and not get infected.     (By the way, have you ever seen so much hoopla over the naming of a disease  ?   This ranks right up there with the re-naming of French fries to “Freedom” fries by some uber-patriotic idiots in the Congressional cafeteria back in the early days of the Iraq War.)

It’s Wednesday here, which for us Orthodox Christians is a fasting day, pork and pork products included.  But first thing I’m gonna do tomorrow morning is have a bacon and egg breakfast taco, then a delicious ‘Hog Dog’ from a stand down the block (a grilled, bacon-wrapped hot dog with grilled onions and peppers), finally completing my porcine palate at dinnertime with the last of the Pascha ham in a big pot of slow-cooked lima beans.  (Tomorrow my ankles are gonna be as big as ham hocks!)

UPDATE:   It didn’t take the Coptic Christians of Egypt long to react to this ridiculousness.   The Copts have been taking it for a long time by the muslim majority in Egypt.   Churches burned, murders, arrests, forced conversion, but it takes hurting someone’s livelihood to finally cause the pot to boil over.   I hope the Coptic community doesn’t suffer personal and governmental reprisals, but people can only be pushed around for so long.

Swine Flu Report #1

April 28, 2009


 This has been a test of the Blogosphere Emergency Alert System (BLERT).  If this had been an actual emergency you would have been instructed……  


 If you found this post with a Google search using the terms “swine flu”, “global pandemic”, “quarantine”, or “apocalypse + plague”, I do not have anything useful to report or suggestions for survival.   For some strange and inexplicable reason, I am not at this point totally freaked out, even though I live almost at ground zero from the initial Texas outbreak.   Steele High School is just 15 miles away, right over in the next community.   So, it’s practically in our own backyard.

What’s the difference in my panic level now than from what I felt over the bird flu infections?   Simple – all of the US infections have been non-fatal so far.   It’s horribly xenocentric, but it seems it takes the death of some otherwise healthy American to jolt us from our complacency – not just the poor victims right across the border.

It’s not too early to make some mental check lists of things to do – contingencies.   For me that’s wondering what to do when the first cases hit my kids’ school and the district shuts down as it did over the weekend in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City school district.

I am not old enough (well, I am older) to remember or maybe it wasn’t on my radar screen in 1968 or 1976 when the last swine flu scares came along.   What stands out in my memory is President Gerald Ford being mercilessly skewered on Saturday Night Live for what some people believed was the Great Swine Flu failure of 1976.  It seems the virus could not be predicted and several million people didn’t die as predicted.   I don’t think anyone’s going to get all riled up over emergency preparedness this time around.

What did the churches, particularly Orthodox Churches, do back in ’76 about liturgical services?  Were some cancelled or did they go on a usual?   What about our practice of communing from a common chalice?  I’m inclined to say, “God will take care of us since it is the Body and Blood of His Son”, we’re communing.  I bet that doesn’t assauage the paranoia though.  Church attendance and frequent communion are going to surely take a hit over the next few weeks or months.

What interesting and scary times we live in!   I know one thing, if we do have to go into lock down mode and the kids are sent home, I need to make sure chocolate and Blue Bell ice cream are on my list of essentials.  There’s no way I’m spending a week or two shut up in the house  with two wild boys without some basic comfort foods.