What’s in a name? When it comes to today’s trendy new illness (move over, tapeworms!), Swine Flu, there simply is not much to fear in its etymology. True, the virus contains pig DNA; it also contains genetic material from humans and birds. It’s really, really difficult to spread a virus from pigs to humans. It happens about once a year. The bad stuff (i.e. Albert Camus’s The Plague) happens when the human who gets it does an above-average job of spreading it to other members of his species. Then the virate mutates, gets a passport, goes abroad, etc.
What I’m trying to say is: Bacon is still ok! Eat all the pork sausage you want. Don’t go all Indonesia on me and start dumping your Honey Baked Hams down the toilet. In the rare case of swine->man transmission, the swine would need to be alive, and you’d probably need to be bathing in its blood, Carrie-style. But even then, the chances of Carrie getting the flu are very low; she’d have to be bathing in the blood every day, or be a child with bad immune defenses who spent a creepy amount of time in the pig booth at the county fair. Don’t listen to me, listen to the CDC! In fact, doctors have yet to disprove that the flu can’t be cured with some good old-fashioned Swinetussin.
Ok, so let’s review: