Friday, 1 May 2009

Pig flu and 26 miles later...

Well she did it!
4hrs 32mins - second hottest London Marathon - 6000 people requiring medical assistance - position 4 thousand and something - which puts her in the top 12%
And she didn't stop once, ran all the way. I'm very proud indeed, and she's raised over £1700 so far as well for the sick kids.

Now if only people would stop asking me if I'm doing it next year....

Anyways, enough of the feel good stuff, and on to global pandemics.
You may be mistaken for thinking that face masks are the latest designer craze amongst the cool kids and Mexicans but no, we're all going to die apparently. Thank god the media's not overreacting or anything (that was sarcasm incidentally).
And I'm not entirely sure why everyone's buying masks anyway, given that they don't actually offer any protection whatsoever. But let's put this into some sort of perspective.

So far, there have been 13 deaths, 1 in the US and the rest in Mexico.
In the average year, 'normal' flu infects 5 million people worldwide, and kills 36,000 in the US alone, and between 250,000 and 500,000 worldwide. In fact I'd go as far to say that there's never been a better time to get flu; you sneeze now and you'll be carted happily off to hospital to get shot full of Tamiflu and monitored 24 hours a day until you're all better. I'd say your chances of survival look a hell of a lot better than the average year.
And let us not forget the last swine flu epidemic in the US in 1976. The strain closely resembled the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and was considered to be that great a risk that terribly bad public service adverts were aired, and the powers that be decided to mass vaccinate everyone.
In the end, 1 person died of swine flu. However, 500 people contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome from the vaccine, 25 of which later died. So in other words, the vaccine killed 25 times more people than the virus itself.

No one knows how far the current swine flu will spread, or how many people will be infected or die. But I'd say on the information we have so far, you're a lot more likely to win the lottery.

Anyways, here's a little ditty for you. I've never heard of the 'slap chop', but I'm sure my dad had something very similar when I was a kid.


Street Guru said...

I have an award for you on my blog, What The World Needs Now.

Very often a good read - keep up the great writing!

e said...

Honestly. The swine flu hysteria seems to be dying down, but it was the masks that were really driving me crazy. They don't offer any protection, and most people seemed to be aware of how ineffective they it seemed to be more of a sort of "livestrong" bracelet type of fad. As if to say, "I am aware of this potentially dangerous thing that hasn't had any direct effect on my life, and I would just like to jump on a bandwagon."

Meanwhile, fundraising and running a marathon for a cause says, "I am aware of this potentially dangerous thing, and I'm going to actively do something to contribute" and is so impressive. Did she wear the purple tutu? Congrats, Mrs. MyWritersBlock!

Writers Block said...

Thanks Street Guru - I've passsed this on to another 7 thoroughly decent folk like myself.

E - Agreed, it's the pigs I feel sorry for!
And thanks - I'll pas on your comments to Mrs Block, and yes, she did do it in the Tutu, complete with her name sewn into her top in sequens.