What with the World Health Org declaring Defcon infinity I suspect yesterday was the last day which anyone will find swine flu funny for a while. That said, here’s a round up of humorous headlines
- Bloomberg coughs up some humor during swine flu news conference (NY Daily News)
- Pork Industry Has Beef With Swine Flu (NPR)
- Swine flu not kosher in Israel (Reuters)
The nomenclature is clearly posing a big problem – although not as big as the actual illness.
"We will call it Mexico flu. We won’t call it swine flu," Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, a black-garbed Orthodox Jew, told a news conference Monday, assuring the Israeli public that authorities were prepared to handle any cases.
Attempts to rebrand the disease are failing in great number. As old buddy/NY Daily News reporter Helen Kennedy noted:
Washington officials launched a comically doomed effort to call it "H1N1," while the European Union tried to rename it the "novel flu."
And the NYT reports:
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, convened a hearing on Tuesday on a subject he described as “the so-called swine flu,” even as a campaign was mounted by farm groups to rename the virus “North American influenza.”
There are concerns pork sales will fall off a cliff faster than Matthew 8:28-34* as long as people continue to erroneously think you can get punk’d by pork. If they can’t rebrand the illness I expect marketers to start changing the name of their products: Four-legged chicken. Tuna of the farm. Mini-beef.
Another branding issue: swine flu – like global warming before it – just doesn’t sound scary. Al Sacco tweeted: “Swine flu isn’t a scary enough name. It needs a slogan, too: "Pork Plague, the (Other) White Death," for example.”
BTW, free instant diagnosis is available at DoIhavePigFlu.com.
*“and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water”