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Letís Stop (s)Whining...

  1. #1
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    Default Letís Stop (s)Whining...

    ďDO YOU HAVE SWINE FLU?Ē

    Spending an evening with my parents, I was randomly flipping through the television channels when this maniac wearing this semi astronaut suit with a pink pig mask popped out, pointed a finger at me and asked me the million dollar question. My first reaction was that his outfit was in serious contrast to the skimpily clad models ambling around in the neighbouring channels.
    ďSwine flu has now become a pandemic! YES! A pandemic!Ē He declared in a getting-more-excited tone. Someone was seriously flexing his vocabulary to scare the naive viewer.
    I swear I didnít do it on purpose but I let out a sneeze just before I was about to smirk at him. All seemed fine before I observed four nervous eyeballs looking at me with bated breath. Literally. Guess that was the best way not to gasp the countryís latest craze.



    ďIndiaís a crazy country, man!Ē quipped one of my non-Indian friend. True. For a country to have numerous languages, religions, cultures and all this, shared by over a billion people, it has to be a crazy. But more than the crazy factor, it is the craze factor that creates the talking point.
    Be it the craze for a boy child, the fair (Read as Ė white) girl or the ultimate craze for cricket or Hindi movie stars, Indians lead the pack. So when swine flu did announce its arrival to the world, we had to just change the channel to get rid of it but when it entered our homes, thatís when the country braced itself for her enemy.
    Or wait. Was the whole bracing thing just a myth?

    Probably at least three out every four children have gone to sleep sometime in their life listening to their grandmothers narrating one of those fascinating mythological stories. And quite obviously, most of these kids probably blindly believe that such stories actually unfolded in real. Now thatís the myth. The truth is that most of these children, even as adults believe that the incidents in mythological stories actually took place. Understandably, the room between myth and truth here in India is diminutive.
    So with swine flu slowly settling in the country amidst all the hype that it has created, more than a few myths have surfaced about this H1N1. There you go Ė Thatís another term to freak the average public.

    The series of myths begins with all airports being deployed with efficient medical teams to screen all arriving passengers to quarantine the virus and stop it from entering the country. But honestly, how good can a country be at containing an invisible virus when it cannot stop over twenty million visible illegal immigrants from entering its territory? However, the sad truth surfaced when arriving passengers were handed over questionnaires regarding their health based on which tests were to be conducted. So if an infected passenger declares that he is all right, uses the same declaration form to wipe his running nose, heíd exit the airport sans a medical check up. So itís not surprising when a doctor who was stationed at the Ahmedabad airport to screen patients caught the virus herself thanks to some inadequate preventive gear which consisted of only a mask and a pair of gloves. So when the very people who are given the responsibility to nip the flu at its bud become vulnerable, what about the common man in front of the idiot box?

    As the H1N1 fear begins to start creating ripples, the peopleís leaders throw their hat into the ring from a safe distance and start quoting. By the way, the safe distance is not because theyíre shying from their responsibilities, itís just a precautionary move because the chances of the flu being passed on to them are greater in closer proximities.
    The respected health minister of the country said Ė ďThe virusí spread was minimal considering the size of the country.Ē
    Right. So how many more shameful deaths are to be reported to make this issue officially serious, sir?
    Letís face the truth for one more time Ė The catís already out of the bag and itís all about disaster management now. The faster the government shifts gears to curb this crisis, the better it is. With reports predicting that over 33% of Indian residents might be affected by swine flu, there is a Pandoraís Box waiting to be opened.

    But itís not as bad as it sounds. Swine flu is being wrongly projected as a man eating monster that would kill anyone and anything that comes its way. Swine flu is no big brother of the common flu. Itís just another strain of the latter. And if one had to go by stats, the common flu kills over tens of thousands of people annually. So technically, itís the common flu that should be giving the creeps and not this overhyped virus. There are new variants of flu that surface about every year and no one beyond the white coats remotely cares. This is because all of them can be treated and yes, even our man eating monster has a cure. In fact one neednít even have to get hospitalized if it is detected in the earlier stages and even when the situation of the infected patient deteriorates, science is capable of handling the situation and prescribing a cure. It is only in rare cases in flu where the condition of the patient sinks rock bottom so much so that death becomes inevitable. Swine flu is no different. Sadly, the only difference is that there was a slight delay in finding its cure and in that time period, people got intimidated thanks to the false hype that it became a farce. This is the truth.
    There is no specific prescribed precaution that can be taken to avoid swine flu. Wearing masks is no big deal.
    ďThe virus can spread when a person is exposed to an infected personís cough or sneeze. People can even get infected by touching a virus-infected object and then touching their mouth, nose or eyesĒ says a medical expert. So the mask just reduces the chances of catching the flu, itís not the be all and end all to prevent swine flu.
    A more practical and informed approach would serve the purpose. Simple steps such as avoiding touching surfaces that might have been in contact with an infected person and washing hands thoroughly before touching the nose or mouth can just do the trick.

    So letís spare the poor swine and not make it the scapepig. Sure it set the ball rolling, but it was we humans who gave it momentum. The virus itself has mutated in such a way that the transmission of it is now between humans only. So donít sweat over your pork or bacons and have them at will.


    Not very amused, I flip through other channels only to see more hosts trying innovative ways of freaking the already jilted viewers. The last one has the best impact.
    ďTHE PERSON SNEEZING NEXT TO YOU MIGHT BE INFECTED WITH SWINE FLU. AND YOU ARE NEXT!Ē
    My dad gets up and sits away from me. Can someone please give him the mask?



    - Rahul Mansur

  2. #2
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    most of us stopped "(s)Whining" six months back

  3. #3
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    I know. Just a slice from the past.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member mickey's Avatar
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    i got to see a russian video from youtube "whinny f*&^%ing pooh. "


    thanks Kat for the link
    job takes the child away.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member Kangaroo's Avatar
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    @rahulnraul, thanx for exploding the Swine Flu Myth, though somewhat belatedly. Yours is an impressive article!

  6. #6
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    ^

    Thank you.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member mickey's Avatar
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    I think swine flu said. Mai fir ayunga.
    job takes the child away.

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