Although often used interchangeably by the general public, there are important differences in what was quickly labeled by the press as the ‘Swine Flu’ and what Health Professionals (and the pharmaceutical companies) call, more correctly, the H1N1 Virus.
To most people, the most obvious differences are visible in their varying symptoms. All of the media attention, to date, has been focused on the symptoms, risks and realities of the H1N1 Virus. Very little attention has been paid to the sequelae (related consequences) of the illness more correctly identified as the “Swine Flu.”
Firstly, Swine Flu is relatively easy to identify and not as easily confused with other forms of viral infections such as the H1N1. A person infected with Swine Flu becomes symptomatic in physically unique and observable ways.
In the first 24 hours, their skin becomes rather pink – This is readily noticeable in Caucasian people and a tad tricky with African Americans – Tricky, but not impossible to the trained eye. Also, the nose of the individual begins to broaden, flatten and the nostrils begin to move from the underside of the nose to the front of it.
Changes in the voice begin to become audible after a few days. Grunting may spontaneously occur around the dinner table and the person may begin to express a preference for foraging outside or in the trash to having dinner with the family.
These victims are sought out, rather quickly, by overseas (outsourced) manufacturers of footballs because as their skin begins to thicken, their hide takes on a certain value different from that of normal human epidermis.
Mud starts looking really good to the victims and, until the illness is brought under control. their urges to nuzzle and nurse large numbers of smaller animals becomes increasingly evident and, to some, rather disturbing.
There have been no recorded deaths from ‘Swine Flu’ but there have been a growing plethora of reported identity crises, marital tensions and parent/child issues. In our clinic, a woman actually called her husband, an identified victim of this disease, a ‘pig.’
In some countries, victims who have gone untreated have been roasted and consumed, Said to taste like chicken, these poor people have lost their identity and their value as humans. This is ‘Swine Flu’ at its worse, H1N1 begins to actually sound preferable. It is unlikely that you will be eaten.
What we call things does not really change what they are – but it can sure change the way we think about them.