Tuesday, April 28, 2009

// // 14 comments

Swine Flu and Stupid Media Assumptions

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

A big news item of the day is not the Swine Flu - which really is a big deal - but that Israeli Health Minister Rabbi Yakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism has instructed Israeli government officials to refer to the Swine Flu as the Mexican Flu.

While no explanation was given in the brief instruction, the news media immediately jumped all over it as being BECAUSE THE MAN IS A RELIGIOUS JEW. You know, don't eat pig therefore can't call a disease Swine Flu - which is absolutely ridiculous.

Dear Main Stream Media, while I don't speak for the Israeli Health Minister I do happen to live in Israel. Let me provide that 20 seconds of cultural background you couldn't be bothered to gather...

In Hebrew, Chicken Pox isn't the Chicken Pox, and Shapat Chazir (Pig Flu) has a linguistic problem that Shapat Mexicani does not. Shapat Chazir would refer to a disease of pigs, not FROM pigs. Could it be the Israeli Minister of Health wanted to make sure the public actually understood? Naaa, must be Judaism.

In Israel, there are few (unfortunately not none) pig farmers, and few people in contact with pigs. Even fewer eating them. So people might very well hear Pig Flu and just blow it off - who cares about Pig Flu, we're not dealing with pigs here! So again, the name adjustment helps get the health message across to the full spectrum of the Israeli public. Or it could be the minister things the word Swine is evil because he's Jewish, with a beard and everything.

Now the one thing the media has absolutely not provided is any real WHAT CAN YOU DO JUST IN CASE information. Here is what I've heard, and I consider it good advice...

In Mexico, where the virus first appeared, more than 2,000 are now under observation. All schools, universities, museums and theaters have been closed, and church services were also canceled. Medical face masks have been distributed on the streets of Mexico City to try to contain the spread of the disease.

In the US, 41 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in five states. The first cases appeared in California and Texas. They were quickly followed by Kansas, Ohio, and New York. The latest suspected case appeared today in Michigan.

Around the world, other possible cases have been identified in Canada (6), Spain (20, 1 confirmed), Columbia (9 under observation), Britain (3 under observation), New Zealand (10 confirmed), France (2 under observation), Spain (1 confirmed and 19 under observation), and Israel (2 under observation).

Per the CDC, the spread of this influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads, from person to person through coughing or sneezing.

- People may become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

- Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air.

- Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

Some viruses and bacteria can live for two or more hours on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.

A person carrying the virus may be able to infect others 24 hours before symptoms develop, and up to seven or more days after becoming ill. That means that the virus can be transmitted to someone else even before a person knows he is sick, as well as while he is sick.

At the onset of the outbreak in Texas, a family was quarantined after their son contracted the virus. Health officials arrived at their home, drew blood from the whole family, then quarantined them all indefinitely, according to CNN-affiliate KABB.

As the scope of this virus becomes more severe and the number of people who are infected continues to grow, it is highly likely that quarantine may be used to help contain the virus' spread. We therefore highly recommend that our readers prepare for the possibility that they may have to stay at home for an extended period of time. This means not being able to go to work, or to the supermarket for food. We advise our readers to be prepared for this possibility by laying in a supply of food, water, and essential medications that can suffice for two to three weeks.


Mystical Paths agrees that's wise advice.

14 comments:

gordon said...

Name it swine flu and you think only pigs get it, so name it mexican flu instead. Why would those same people you think are so stupid, that they can't understand that it will infect humans, but instead name it mexican flu. Wont they now think it only infects mexicans based on your logic.

MAOZ said...

I think gordon's thinking in English.

"It loses something in the translation" is an old adage, and an apt one.

xxPaulCPxx said...

If you don't think that associating a disease with a people is a problem, then why not call it Jew Flu? How about Isreali Pox?

I would think Isrealies would be most in tune with the potentials of slur and libel with this.

Akiva said...

PaulCP - actually you'd be thinking wrong. Israeli's are definitely NOT PC in speech or symbology. They are NOT part of a mixed culture like the US that warrants such.

And here's some past flu pandemics for you...

Russian Flu (1890)
Spanish Flu (1920)
Asian Flu (1958)
Hong Kong Flu (1969)

Scientific names of flu's are BY THEIR Geographic Origin, example A/Fujian/411/2002 H3N2.

This new flu is...

A/Mexico/.../2009 H1N1

Anonymous said...

yasher koach!

Neshama said...

I think it makes perfect sense (Engl or Ivrit) to call it the Mexican Swine/Bird/Avian et al FLU, because while it started in Mexico (?), it is morphing!!!!!, and redesigning itself along the way. Wow, mix that with that other Calif/African disease and what do you get???

Anonymous said...

re: my yasher koach, that was for fighting the media idiocy regarding JEws and the whole pig thing. But I don't think calling it Mexican Flu is very nice. What if it had first shown up in the USA and people called it the United States flu? It's kind of rude. Why not name it according to the date rather than the place? The 2009 flu. OR in Hebrew the 5770flu. OR the 770 flu for short.

Anonymous said...

okay so it's not 770, but you get the point. Place date space time it's seems so random ;-)

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Actually, I think that Shapaat Hazir would not refer to a disease of pigs. That would be Shapaat Hazirim. In the plural. Shapaat Hazir works just fine.

As similar constructs, foods for animals are mazon k'lavim, mazon hatulim, mazon tarnegolot, etc.

Anonymous said...

The minister said that he renamed it because the word swine is not a good word.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

And that is, indeed, the real point. The Deputy MInister of Health did NOT give this contrived excuse that the name doesn't work well in Hebrew (which isn't correct, anyway).

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

I see my comment about the Hebrew usage wasn't clear. Sorry.

Shapaat HaHazirim would be Swine Flu.

Shapaat Hazirim would be flu afflicting pigs.

Shapaat Hazir could work, but wouldn't be used, I don't think.

The Israeli press is using mostly Shapaat HaHazirim from what I see.

In the end, it doesn't matter since this wasn't the Deputy Minister's issue.

Akiva said...

After all these responses and assumptions, today the US did the same thing...

At a news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the "H1N1 virus."

"This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that's not what this is about," Vilsack said.
Oh, you mean the term Swine Flu is confusing to Americans? THEY MUST ALL BE JEWS, it's a zionist conspiracy! The Elders have taken control, muhahahahaha.

MAOZ said...

So I open the computer, and up comes the Yahoo! home page, and guess what? Their second news headline reads, and I quote: "WHO to stop using term 'swine flu' to avoid confusion".

That's WHO as in World Health Organization.

Buncha Hareidi blinkity-blanks there at WHO....

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