So this swine flu, what is it?
This is the big one people. H1N1. The virus is a mix of human virus, bird virus from North America and pig viruses from North America, Europe and Asia. Rumor has it that it was created on a small and uninhabited volcanic island. And now, Prendick, once we have eaten and drunk, Rickey will explain how all this came to pass...
Rickey, how concerned are you about this outbreak?
Ms. Henderson has a well-documented love for pigs. By Rickey's count, there are no less than 23 pig-related tchotkes in the apartment. Suffice to say, Rickey is severely concerned.
But wait, how is this a big deal when HIV/AIDS kills over 5,000 people every day?
Because Lou Dobbs WARNED US about this swine flu thing a decade ago and we didn't build that wall along the border of Mexico like he told us to. Also because CNN has a whole lot of stock footage of pigs lying around. Got it?
I'm feeling ill tempered and am prone to fits of honking and hissing. Am I infected with swine flu?
No, that's actually swan flu, a different yet equally dangerous disease.
How can an animal that tastes so good be so deadly?
An excellent question. The big guy upstairs seems to have a rather morbid sense of humor, doesn't he?
What can I do to keep from catching swine flu?
Not going to Mexico City would be a good start. Also, as a rule, never kiss a sneezing pig. Additionally, consider temporarily switching to turkey bacon--it tastes absolutely terrible, but it just might save your life. Most importantly, avoid large crowds of sneezing, coughing people, they are all zombies. Shoot them from a distance.
So can I use this as an excuse to call out sick from work this week?
Absolutely! (just don't blame Rickey when you actually do come down with it and have already exhausted your sick leave)
What's the U.S. government doing to combat this epidemic?
Very little. They're urging everyone not to panic. This of course raises the question of what to do when we're told that it is time to panic. We recommend panicking.
Do you have any snazzy resources to help underscore the pants shitting terror I should be feeling right now?
Indeed. Take a gander at this Google Map indicating cases of swine flu throughout the U.S. Watch the dots multiply in real time. Proceed to freak right the hell out.
Is there any helpful literature I can peruse to further educate myself about this menace?
Sure, there's a good deal of stuff out there. But your best bet is picking up a copy of "The Stand" by Stephen King. It will give you an excellent idea of what to expect in the days ahead. In the meantime, Rickey urges you to remain panicked and keep refreshing this blog every 15 minutes. It's for your own good.
What else can I do?
It's important to remain optimistic. Look on the bright side, if the flu wipes out a large portion of the population, it will slow down climate change.