Posted by: keepfishing | August 9, 2009

Squeal Piggy!

So just after everybody thought it had gone away, swine flu reappeared to bite everyone in their curly-tailed behinds. My recent job at a residential summer school allowed me to experience the delights of a temperature and sniffly nose almost first hand, when we suffered something close to a 50% infection rate. Despite sitting next to sufferers in the staff common room for 3 days straight, hoping I might catch it and then be able to claim kudos as a survivor and get 5 days sick pay, my body resolutely refused to give in and kept me well. Clearly my body and immune system is a bit of a badass.

What was interesting, however, was the hysteria that accompanied the ‘outbreak’. For several days we were assured that it wasn’t swine flu, but merely a bout of colds and tonsillitis, whilst a large Italian group were unable to get doctors to see their kids until they went to their embassy, who intervened. This prompted a little bit of a frenzy, with staff who went to the GPs drop-in centre told to immediately leave the city and our school appearing on national media in Italy (unfortunately I never got to meet one of the reporters who were hanging around outside the gates and finally get to utter ‘no comment’). This led to contracts being cancelled, a massive drop in student numbers, and half the staff being laid off. Not a happy time.

So, after a little thought, like my solution to teenage pregnancy, I have come up with a political solution to the problem.

Instead of giving everyone a vaccine, like they are currently trialing in Leicestershire, why not just give everyone the proper disease? If everyone has it at the same time, then no-one will need to sit in isolation and miss work for fear of infecting anyone else. Everyone will have it at the same time and if you feel sick, sure take a few days off work, but as soon as you’re better, come back and carry on. Productivity will be much higher than the current ‘5 days of isolation, despite only feeling crappy for 2 of them’ rule. There will also be a fun camaraderie that the British love – a kind of ‘we’re in this together’ thing. And most importantly, when piggy fly mutates like they keep telling us, and comes back worse, the whole country will have already built up the antibodies required to resist and we can just ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.

What about those who die from it, or as a result of it complicating current illnesses, I hear you vicious detractors ask? Well, that’s just survival of the fittest, innit!


  1. you make me laugh. and where did you get the photo of the kid licking a pig!? priceless!

  2. it’s really not that big of a deal now in the US. i’m pretty sure a few of my friends had it but didn’t get diagnosed at the hospital. it was like regular flu but a bit stronger. they rested, drank their fluids, and now they’re fine. everyone panicked a bit prematurely…

  3. You’re funny Alasdair.

  4. Hahhahhaha.. Although I ranted about your solutions to teen pregnancy… this I think is a brilliant idea! 🙂

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