Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting a Grip on Ourselves

Now that everyone's forgotten the panic over pigs in the astonishment that one of the better connected businessmen in Egypt has actually been convicted of murder, the World Health Organisation has decided that swine flu probably isn't a pandemic after all. In fact, the word "pandemic" simply means a disease found everywhere like the common cold or tonsilitis, but it sounds too much like epidemic, a word associated with people dying of cholera or typhoid or bubonic plague although it really just means "found everywhere" as well. So now the WHO has to find a new way to categorise things in a way that hopefully will not spread the panic that the "swine flu pandemic" has. Overall, swine flu has barely killed anyone and is probably a great deal less dangerous than the "just the flu" that everyone gets every winter.

Go tell it to the poor pigs.

copyright 2009 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani