The CDC is now calling the Swine Flu the H1N1 flu. They are trying to take the blame off the pigs and save the pork industry. People have the idea that eating the meat of pigs might give you the flu and this mistaken idea can devastate the pork business. The H1N1 is apparently a subtype of Type A influenza and is still the type that killed 21 million people worldwide in 1918. 600,000 Americans died in the 1918 pandemic. The 1918 flu was also called the Spanish Flu but it really didn’t start in Spain and most of the cases weren’t in that country. It’s just that Spain reported their cases. That flu pandemic actually started in Kansas and spread widely because of World War I and so many troops were in such close quarters the bug spread very rapidly. Many folks died from complications such as pneumonia that couldn’t be treated because it was before the days of antibiotics.
This flu scare is going to damage the economy even more. The tourist industry in Mexico must really be suffering. Statements like the one made yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden didn’t help matters. He said he wouldn’t be flying or going anywhere where there were crowds of people in close quarters. This was a financial blow to the airline industry who immediately countered the Vice-President with some expert advice from physicians that disputed his statement.
Jay Leno had some neat jokes about Biden and his mouth on the Tonight Show. Leno said that God had taken George Bush away but given us Joe Biden in his place. He said that President Obama had recommended for everyone to put their hand over their mouth when coughing or sneezing but that Biden should keep his mouth covered at all times.
It’s now thought that the H1N1 virus can be spread from birds as well as pigs to humans and from human to human. I‘ll bet that even deer may carry the nasty virus. The safest thing for me to do, on the porch, is get out my rifle and start blasting away at the birds, deer and all other wildlife. It’s better to be safe that sorry. No use running the risk in catching the flu from the wild animals. I’m already wearing a mask and have a bottle of that hand alcohol antiseptic stuff on the table next to my rocking chair. I‘m scrubbing down my hands every hour on the hour. I’m also taking the Vice Presidents advice and staying away from crowds and certainly no planes. I may even drink a little hot toddy as a preventive measure.