I am terrified of obsessed with the swine flu. Since news broke out of the disease, I’ve been diligently washing my hands after every encounter with the outside world. After my anthrax scare, I’m not sure that my mental health can take yet another brush with death. And for those of you who think that my paranoia has reached an all-time high, let me remind you of past pandemics:
- 1918 Flu Outbreak: Deaths upwards of 100 million
- 2002-03: Approx. 800 deaths, with a case-fatality rate of 9.6%
- 2007 Philippines Swine Flu Outbreak: Death tolls unknown
- 2009 Swine Flu Outbreak: 103 deaths, and counting
In my thirst for information that will feed my insanity and paranoia, while disregarding any information that would logically refute my paranoid delusions, I investigated the 2007 Swine Flu outbreak that occurred in the Philippines. According to Wikipedia, the fatality rate was 10%, unless there were “hog cholera” complications, which increased the mortality rate dramatically.
. . .
I don’t know about you, but when I hear “cholera,” I immediately think of the classic childhood game, The Oregon Trail. I remember hours and hours of play in front of my Apple IIE, attempting to navigate my avatar family to safety on the Oregon Trail. I never won that game. Inevitably, members of my family would be picked off, one by one, by various ailments–e.g. typhoid, dysentary, and cholera. Indeed, any time a single member of my family became even somewhat ill, I knew that said member was pretty much dead weight and should be discarded immediately to prevent infection of others. Too bad the game did not give me the ability to dump Mama off the train, if you know what I mean.
So Tina Fey, if you’re listening, please be careful. I recommend purchasing some surgical masks for use in heavily populated areas. I’m about to purchase my own “Biological Warfare Kit.” I can’t seem to find an actual premade kit online, however, the Internet provides a bounty of resources whereby you can create your very own kit. Hell, if you never hear my pleas, perhaps an alternative career path would be to create a small business to sell these ready-made kits. Of course, with such a business, it would be in my financial interest to create waves of panic. And perhaps the best method to create such panic would be to convince an influential person, like you, to wear a surgical mask in a heavily populated area. Or not . . .
Discover me, Tina Fey!