That is Just Sick

October 27, 2009

All right. Here is the scoop. The skinny. The scuttlebutt. Someone very close to me may or may not have the Swine Flu. Not that I would tell you if they did. And I certainly wouldn't post it on the internet. That would be way too embarrassing.

Why, you ask? What is the big deal, you ask? Because it is called the SWINE flu. Which basically means that you are a dirty pig. Might as well call it the Germ-infested Mud-hole flu, since it feels about the same. Why couldn't it be called something tragically romantic, like Scarlet Fever? I've always wanted to get Scarlet Fever. Doesn't it sound lovely? Dying from Scarlet Fever is right up there with dying from a broken heart on the romance scales.

The Swine Flu Council really screwed themselves over when they decided to name this strain of Influenza after pigs. I don't care if it did start out as a pig virus. Nobody wants to have an infectious disease named after a barnyard animal. No one really minded coming down with the Bird Flu, but Mad-Cow disease? No way. Sure, they often use the designation "H1N1", which is like sugar coating bat guano, because if you tell someone you have "H1N1", their first thought is always "Oh, right! That's that dirty pig disease! Stay away from me!"

Over the years the Disease Naming Committee in Washington, D.C. have made lots of similar disease naming mistakes. Don't they know what they are doing? Can't they see that it is all in the name? The real problem with Swine Flu is not its symptoms, but its name, and it is not the first disease to be maligned this way--Cat Scratch Fever? Who'd want to catch that?--while on the other hand, people are falling all over themselves to catch diseases like Anthrax, just because they sound so cool. Then there is Gas Gangrene, which is just adding insult to injury, but African Sleeping Sickness really sounds exotic! Canefield Fever? I don't know what that is, but it sounds nice. Dum Dum Disease? Well really! Who wants to tell their friends that diagnosis! And we still have to look out for Jock Itch, Lemming Fever, and Oral Hairy Leukoplakia.

So what's the take home lesson? CDC, if you want people to want to succumb to these diseases, you are going to have to step things up a bit. Use exciting words like "Jazz", "Spaceship", "Magic" or "Cash". Look at Rock and Roll Lyrics if you are out of ideas. Who doesn't want to come down with a raging case of The Boogie Woogie Blues, or Jungle Fever? Come on! Have fun with it!

To recap; Barn yard animals: Bad, glamorous vacation destinations: Good. Use words that compliment the infirm, like Smallpox, instead of derogatory words, as in Largepox or Dumb-n-Uglypox. Avoid words that make people giggle; while Swimmer's Ear is ok, Swimmer's Itch is definitely not. And when in doubt, use a different word altogether; Traveler's Diarrhea is questionable, but Traveler's Flux gets two thumbs up from me!

So Come On! Let's all work hand in hand to raise awareness of the danger of diseases with humiliating names. Together, we can come up with illnesses that people will be proud to get, and prouder to share with their friends and family!

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16 comments

  1. OH girl I feel your pain! All 4 of mine have had it since last Thurs/Fri and Sat and are still today home sick from school. We have had some OUTRAGEOUS IGNORANT COMMENTS directed at us since it started. LIke- 'We can't bring in meals if you needed them because when you give us the dishes back they will be infected ' (lady have you heard of disposable pans?), and another lady wouldn't let me friend watch her kids because my friends children had played with my kids 4 weeks ago (go figure!). Oh I even have more, but I'm getting ticked just remembering. Oh yeah last one- 'If you bring your kids to Trunk or Treat on Saturday I guarentee you will be snubbed.' O.k. .... thanks for letting me vent!
    The doc says that by Wed. they shouldn't be contagious. We'll see. I'm getting sick of staying inside.

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  2. I'm starting to get scared about all these flu things. I've never had the flu. I better not start any time soon.

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  3. That made me giggle. Sorry Harrison is sick, but such a funny post.

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  4. I think this is why they call it H1N1.

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  5. This is kinda strange, but back in July the CDC told doctors eveywhere to stop testing for swine flu, and to just call every instance of flu-like symptoms "swine flu."

    So odds are, he doesn't have swine flu after all.

    But you're still a dirty pig, I've seen your home improvement photos!!!

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  6. good luck with the piggy wiggy virus! stock up on motrin sistah! it's a wild ride!

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  7. That's why you ditched church early! Sickening post! Oh, I'm so sorry Harrison is sick. I'm sad for the little guy.

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  8. Only you could turn a horrible post about your kid getting H1N1 into a totally hilarious walk through awesome diseases we all hope we catch. Well played.

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  9. They call it swine flu because They WANT it to sound yucky. I wouldn't tell anyone either, since the likelyhood is that it is all a great conspiracy to make us all cower in fear. But it would be too obvious if that was the official name, so H1N1. Did they actually test him for it? CNN looked at the results for actually tested cases, and it was like 3-17% were H1N1, and only about 30-40% actually flu at all. Did they test him, or just say so?

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  10. You are hilarious! And right on. I, too, was embarrassed to admit I had Swine Flu when I got it back in July.

    Personally, I think the government and media are WAY overhyping this thing to try and get everyone on the Healthcare bandwagon- but I'm cynical like that. And I've had Swine Flu and it sucks but it isn't THAT bad. Lots of people die from the regular flu each year too. Just my opinion. Good luck!

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  11. I am so glad I never have to worry about jock itch.

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  12. Good luck! I feel so bad for my kids when they are sick. It makes you appreciate their activeness a little more. I am sorry!

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  13. Come on, you know they named it Swine Flu because the name is enough to inspire everyone to run out and get that dirty pig disease vaccine. It's all about making a buck. And for the record, Scarlet Fever sucks. I had that and the chicken pox simultaneously over Christmas one year as a kid. Apparently, I'd been really naughty.

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  14. I would love to have Spring Fever right now

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  15. I think you need to send this post to all responsible members of the CCC.

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