Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pass the pigs

Amongst the things I've learned from media coverage of the swine flu PANDEMIC, is some interesting language - pandemic is a greatly underused term (possibly a good thing) but, until today, I'd never heard the word prophylactic used out of a sexual context and to mean preventative measure. That it was used by an English MP in a press conference is even more amazing.

I learned that the quasi-surgical face masks (currently becoming very popular) probably don't prevent transmission of infection to you, but might help to stop you transmitting the virus. Thus, wearing one is not as selfish as it might otherwise appear.

I also learned (via the BBC) that we shouldn't be sneezing into our bare hands. This makes a lot of sense, but the alternative option is to rummage around in the handbag I don't carry to find the disposable tissues I won't have with me. Or - as the BBC suggested in all seriousness - sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

I fear that I may take more people out by swinging my arm up to my face than swine flu will eventually finish off in the UK but we shall see.

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