Monday, 20 July 2009

Swine flu

First, an abject withdrawal of my prediction a few months ago that this was a scare which would vanish into the same black hole as SARS, bird flu etc. I was wrong. Hope nobody acted on my advice. (Although the bit about not snogging hogs stands. And while I think of it, how many pigs have died? They don't tell us that, do they, eh?)

But the advice we're getting, via the media, from a growing number of organisations which are crawling out from under their stones to pronounce their particular brand of wisdom (who knew of the National Childbirth Trust or the Royal College of Midwives before today? or the other one which acronyms as RCOG but is much too hard to spell in full), is becoming genuinely confusing, especially when the government, via the media, attempt to clarify it. Three examples, from today's BBC1 6 o'clock, will do:

  1. Pregnant women, or those toying with the idea, should avoid 'crowds and unneccessary travel', but should nevertheless carry on with life as normal. (Presumably the rest of us can, well, just carry on with life as normal, right?)
  2. The over-65s are amongst those at greatest risk. Last week, we were amongst those at least risk. Turns out that, though we're still at least risk of catching it, we're at greatest risk of complications should we be gaga enough to do so. I'm not sure how exactly to modify my behaviour to take this into account.
  3. Amongst the measures to avoid contracting the disease, if you sneeze, do so into a tissue and dispose of it immediately. Leaving aside how exactly to achieve the latter, for example on the Tube - stuff it into someone else's pocket? - how does this prevent me catching it? Spreading it, maybe, but ... oh never mind.

I've checked my diary, and nothing planned over the next three weeks seems to infringe these or any other advice I've heard. Will someone please let me know when it's all over, so I can get back to risking the idea of not carrying on with life as normal but doing something different...

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