Thursday, July 23, 2009

I blow my nose at swine flu

OK, I'll admit it, I've blown my nose a few times the last couple of days. I've even sneezed and coughed once or twice - BUT I HAVEN'T GOT SWINE FLU! How do I know? I haven't got a high temperature and apart from one slightly stuffy nostril, I feel absolutely fine. Whatever happened to the summer cold? It seems everyone with the slightest sniffle claims to have swine flu these days. I'm not saying that nobody has it, but I'm guessing there are fewer than reported. It's just a theory of course, but with all the media hype, over the phone diagnosis and the availability of Tamiflu, I'm wondering whether some people aren't exaggerating their symptoms just a teeny bit, just to get hold of antivirals.
Yesterday, at Stansted, I saw two women wearing masks. I consider this to be a little over the top, as there is no proof that masks would protect you in any case. We have to live our lives as normally as possible. It's a bit like after the September 11th attacks, a lot of people were afraid to fly. It seems to me that governments quite like to have their population fearful and dependent on them for 'protection'. After September 11th we saw tanks at Heathrow(!) and increased security everywhere. In this case our government gives us a pandemic helpline, Tamiflu and the promise of vaccination in the autumn.
The world's gone mad.