Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine flu

There's a lot of chatter about the swine flu. Some folks are getting paranoid and want to close our borders. Others are annoyed about the paranoia. Whatever you feel about it, one thing is certain: it's getting a lot of attention on Twitter, my local news, and even at my day job. Last evening I put in the hashtag #swineflu on Twitter and there were thousands of tweets just about the swine flu. What really boggled my mind was when I went away from Twitter for just a couple moments and I came back to more than 1,700 new tweets about the swine flu (maybe more that didn't use the hashtag). The evening before, my local news reported about the swine flu, also. They said it's pointless to close our borders to Mexico because there were already cases in the US. This morning, my HR department at the day job went to the CDC website and pulled off the tally of swine flu cases reported in the US so far, and what precautions we should take - 20 cases in the US as of this a.m. HR told us to stay home if we think we have flu-like symptoms and to wash our hands a lot and to cough and sneeze against our arms (not our hands) if we have the need. A couple people are coughing now at the office and everyone else is giving them the evil eye. Should they go home and stay there? Maybe... I also went to the CDC website and they said to avoid crowds. That's hard if you have to go to work, or school, or if you need groceries. We still have to eat and we don't have Star Trek-type replicators yet. This reminds me of "The Stand" by Stephen King - my all-time favorite book, except that our government doesn't seem to be trying to hide this or call it something else. Or is it something else worse and they're calling it the swine flu? Um... (who's paranoid now?) What do you think? Should we all stay home and read e-books and tweet on Twitter? Isolate ourselves? My daughter won't be thrilled if I tell her we can't go to her softball tournament game tonight because of this. She might kill me before the flu can. Maybe I'm not taking this seriously enough. Am I too glib? Not that I like the flu, but is it really that bad? Even though I know The Stand by hard it's still tough to wrap my mind around people actually dying from the flu. I sure hope it's not the super flu. What would be so "super" about it? Stay safe and stay well.

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