This little piggy went to market; This little piggy stayed at home. This little piggy had roast beef; This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy was put into quarantine, in Mexico, and left to die slowly and horribly.
So, within the space of about two weeks, Swine Flu has gone from being a rare disease to a global pandemic. Hmm...
You may note there was no News Brief, this week, since all I could find was Porcine-related panic (well, actually, the real reason is that I'd had a lazy weekend, and couldn't be bothered - see below). Because that what it is: media-stimulated panic. Yes, it is a virus which is highly contagious; and yes, our international community is so integrated that this is easily spread; and yes, people have died from it. However, people are forgetting that the reason these people have died is because they couldn't be treated in time. We have the medication to tackle it, and many people who have been diagnosed with the virus have been treated and are roaming free, just like the free range pork so many of us are fond of eating.
It seems to me to be smacking of the culture of fear we are so used to living in, right now, in our society. People are bored of talking about the global financial crisis, and there haven't been many terrorist threats, recently (not in the West, anyway; and that's all that matters, right? Pakistan and Sri Lanka can burn for all we care; and don't get me started on Africa). The sensation-mongers must have thanked Providence above for the Piggy Pandemic.
Remember Bird Flu, only a couple of years ago? Or SARS, the hospital "superbug"? Foot and Mouth, anyone? Even Mad Cow disease! We survived the Black Plague and Spanish Flu with far inferior medical knowledge and technology; we will survive this. So stop running around like a bunch of headless wild boar, and get on with your life.
I'll leave you with the words of a Doctor I once knew: -
"Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable."