and cynical, but I was interested to watch as the public health and news gathering organizations seemed rather deflated at the end of this week as their best efforts to whip up panic — working very well (especially as far my eight-year-old is concerned) — seemed at odds with the fact that the swine flu just hadn’t been the pandemic they were hoping for. After all, nothing sells like bad news. And what a grand distraction from our financial woes; and I suppose stockpiling face masks and hand sanitizer helps the economy.
But now, with the news that a herd of pigs in this very province apparently contracted swine flu from a human, everyone is reinflated and happy again. More cynically perhaps, I wonder if all this panic now is setting us up for a case of “the boy who cried swine” when the real pandemic strikes. And most Canadians will remember that less than a year ago pigs and pig parts were much more deadly as part of the listeria outbreak in deli meats that killed 22 people last summer.
In the meantime, I’m doing my darndest to keep everyone here distracted from the fear-mongering. Fortunately, we’re in our busy farming season, with fields to cultivate, baby chicks arriving in a few days, an incubator of duck eggs humming away in the basement (the Pekin and Rouen eggs were a present from our neighbor), a filly with an eye infection to treat, the first of six or so expected litters of kitten here, and 4H calves to ready for achievement day at the end of the month. And the youngest, who has been the most disconcerted by the news, has discovered the joy of Allan Sherman, who makes for much better listening right about now. In heavy rotation now are “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”, “Good Advice”, and “You Went the Wrong Way, Old King Louie”. Highly recommended even if you aren’t suffering the effects of swine flu fatigue.