Apparently swine flu is "a much milder virus" than previously thought. Really, though? You don't say.
I thought the worldwide healthscare professional industry wouldn't have given up quite so easily. This thing must be less threatening than a baked bean fart. But the pharmaceutical companies will be happy because they have sold hundreds of millions of doses of flu palliatives (like Tamiflu) and had umpteen hours of free, indirect advertising.
Meanwhile the government is happy because it's been able to (try to) deflect attention from its own total incompetence and waste vast sums of taxpayer cash it no longer has. Cost of leafleting every house in the country? Well, no one anywhere has reported it - or the cost of 33 million face masks (remember, the ones that only work for healthscare professionals because they are a different species of human being).
Even if we forget about the cost of printing the leaflet and just take a conservative number for postage through Royal Mail bulk services, you are left with a bill of roughly £5 million. With printing costs this is invariably much higher. Thirty-three million face masks? Well, a correct standard of mask costs between £4 and £5. Allow a (generous) saving per unit for a bulk purchase order of, say, 40% and you are left with a cost to the taxpayer of between £79 and £90 million. For face masks that no one will wear (at least to protect them from a non-malicious flu virus that just wants to be friends).
Poverty in Mexico: Fact
Total cost? My upper, but still very conservative, estimate is about £100 million - for 27 not-very-sick people. 27.
Now that's how to waste money.
Next time, WHO healthscare professionals, you find out what really happened to the poor bloody Mexicans living in abject squalour in their animals' shit with no money, no health care provision and no official interest in their suffering, who died. Because it seems, idiots, that what these people died from was poverty, not flu. Flu was a symptom of their poverty.
And after our God awful government has just pissed away another few squillions for a few sniffles, that sort of makes me rather mad. That hundred million (assuming it was not pissed away by an equally incompetent Mexican government) could have been put to good use. It could pay for 10 magnificent free health centres in Mexico City, for instance. Or five new schools here, if you don't feel like helping the world's poor.
Finally, with clockwork predictability, of course the Arab-Egyptians have seized on this opportunity to launch a jihad against pigs (yes, the animals) in their own country. That's 300,000 healthy animals being slaughtered for nothing. Well, not quite.
In reality, it is merely a bigoted crackdown on the Christian minority of Copts. You know how it goes: "Mohammed said pigs were dirty and look, he was right. And Christians are dirty. So let's kill them all." "The Christians?" "Hmmm. Er, no. No. Better not. Just the pigs." "Will do, boss."
That's what a 'health scare' can do to the ignorant. That's why causing one is criminally stupid.
And all the while the poor, innocent, healthy pigs are caught up in the middle. No animal rights groups have batted an eyelid about this. No noise, also, from the Left media or Labour's Foreign Office about the crackdown on Christians in Egypt. Why?
Because they are bigots and hypocrites, too. Didn't you know that?