Saturday, May 02, 2009
Take Two Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning
Reuters reports farmers fear pigs might get “swine” flu from people. I must admit that headline made me laugh, but then upon reading further, I realized maybe I shouldn’t have. One Kansas hog farmer said he was banning visitors from his farm and anyone needing to be near the porkers had to submit to a sort of swine security clearance. A Purdue University veterinarian said, “Pigs get flu just like people get flu.” And an Iowa pork producer added, “It's a real issue. If the pigs get it, there isn’t much we can do. Water, aspirin, and bed rest, that’s all we’ve got.”
Last weekend when cable reporters were all over this story like hogs after slop (not that I think the media are swine), I dismissed the hubbub as more mass hysteria, whopped up by media with too much airtime on their hands. Could I have been wrong?
Here in the far reaches of Chicagoland, officials closed Batavia High School and a middle school on Thursday after suspected cases of H1N1 were discovered. The Batavia Park District canceled all programs and gatherings through Sunday for children, and suburban papers reported business at some Mexican restaurants was way off.
Over-hype or not, it’s too early to say. However, the economic consequences are real and there are sick folks out there. I’ve avoided the regular flu all season and just when I think the danger of that has passed, up pops the swine kind. As Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say, “It just goes to show you, Jane . . . it’s always something. If it isn’t one thing it’s another.”