Revenge, as they say, is a dish best tasted cold. It has taken a while. Like morbidly obese lemmings, falling to their deaths off the Gadarene cliffs, the pigs have, it seems, finally gotten their own back.
All kinds of curious, off-beat resonances surround this latest viral victim to ultraviolet mutation. After a panic of Krakatoan proportions, we’re now informed that a worldwide pandemic now seems unlikely.
The image might look like a bad case of athlete’s foot, but it’s in fact an electron micrograph of the villain of the current piece. Influenza has been around a while. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates described it 2,500 years ago. Over the years, geographical variants such as Spanish and Hong Kong Flu inter alia have caused millions of deaths. This one seems small potatoes in comparison, but our ability to track the progress of the disease has contributed in no small measure to the emergent panic. It’s quite a mongrel, too. Bits of bird flu, pig flu and human variants all seem to have found a niche in which to propagate successfully. The Churches, of course, have reacted. ‘Passing the Peace’ in some US Catholic dioceses, in particular those harbouring infected persons has been downgraded to a formal nod, which I think is rather civilised and the sacramental cup has, it appears, been withdrawn. Missing Mass isn’t a sin anymore, at least in Dallas and one should be awfully careful about dipping one’s fingers in the holy water. Friday prayers in some mosques have been cancelled…all that breathing , inhaling foot odour and chanting together is a fertile breeding ground. One Detroit rabbi is making hand sanitiser available to those wishing to touch the Torah scroll as it makes its way through the synagogue.Worshippers touch the Torah scroll with shawl, prayer book or hands as it is removed from the Ark and then kiss the object having touched it. Most unhygienic…
I have some sympathy with all this.
But, then, I use hand sanitiser whenever I stroke the cat.
On a much more important note, an image of the Virgin, in the guise of a food stain on a griddle is drawing crowds at a Californian restaurant. I’m glad that the image blesses you as much as it does me – no doubt Heaven rejoices with us both. The griddle has been withdrawn from use, doubtless for reasons of hygiene.
Since I wrote this, a small portion of humble pie…the WHO it seems is on the verge of declaring a ‘worldwide pandemic’. All the primary schools in Hong Kong were closed June 11th because of a local outbreak which it would seem is home grown. I still think it’s a big boy’s sniffle, but…At least they haven’t made people wade though disinfectant baths at airports as if they’ve got foot and mouth but it would seem that it’s only a matter of time. Bah!