Saturday, August 8, 2009

Swine Flu - the new addition to recession stress

There are around 4-5 black pigs near my residential apartment and I used to wonder or rather worry about the dirty disease these dirty pigs might pass on to me one day. There was another worry, of my bike hitting them, of course by mistake, as they keep crossing the small road just before I hit my society gates. Naah...not afraid of the Blue Cross, but of the belief that if you hit your vehicle on a pig, its not a good omen and you HAVE to sell it (strictly followed in my community). And I don't want to sell my new bike so soon, it was a 50-50 investment made by me and my dad, well 30-70 to be honest ;) .
One fine day, as I was reading my newspaper, while I was pooping, I read that a new flu has hit the Nation, called Swine Flu. I wondered if Swine was the name of a Virus that causes this flu. I immediately searched the dictionary I
have in my mobile (I am still pooping) and found the meaning: formal or US pig.
After I was done in
the loo, I flushed the pot as well as the thought about the new flu.
Three days later, in the same loo, with the same newspaper in hand (of course with that day's edition), I saw that the flu
has hit my City the worst. There were images of people panicking, schools being shut (kids were the worst hit), hospitals being mobbed. Looking at them, I knew that something serious is going around me. I read more and found out the origin of this flu was Mexico and spreads like any other flu-fast and dangerous. The reason my city being the most hit was because of the cold climate here.
News has spread like fire, as it always does in India and my office was no exception. There were people talking about the flu in the lobby, in the elevators, in the reception, in the cubicles, in the cafeteria, in the toilets...
And there were thes
e self-studied, self-graduated MBBS in the office, who were suggesting remedies for the flu (which even the Nationwide Doctors aren't sure till now), who were examining their peers for the flu symptoms, who were recommending solutions for the Indian Government to tackle the panic and the flu (by not voicing it directly to the government but by voicing it to their colleagues, cos they are the only ones who would listen).
The company management decided to send out emails, creating an awareness about the flu among the employees. So, finally
I decided to read the symptoms and learn more about the flu and its consequences. This is one of the worst decisions I would have ever taken in my entire life. Cos, the more I read about the symptoms, the more I started feeling that I have most of them in my body. Even a normal cough scared me and would run a series of sub-conscious thoughts in the back of my mind, about my getting hospitalized and even death, due to the flu (arghhhh...)
Then came the deadly news
, the death of a 14 year old girl named Reeda Shaikh- the first death victim of the flu in the City and the second in the Country. The panic in the city grew manifolds and there hue and cry everywhere. People started flooding Naidu Hospital for check-ups and medicine stores for masks. The other day, I was browsing through the umpteen news channels of my Country and the flu news was all around them. They showed the video of people standing outside the Swine Flu center of Naidu hospital. The channel told me that these people were standing outside the gates for a long time now and the hospital authorities just refused to open the gates to examine the could-be patients as they feared that the mob might create more panic INSIDE the hospital wards. The people waiting outside were so frustrated by the arrangements done by the Government/Hospital that they started fighting and abusing each other for the pushes and pulls among the crowd waiting to pounce inside the hospital. All the News channels were blaming the government for being so late-awakers in the flu matter in unison. The channels also showed the Pune PMC chief visiting the hospital and checking all the proceedings. People were so annoyed and the News channel were so openly criticizing the govt for having only 3 Govt hospitals to provide check ups to the public, they had to announce 15 new centers the next day to the public to have themselves diagnosed.
Meanwhile, my office stopped talking about the flu and moved on to the legal case filed by the parents of Reeda Shaikh against two big private hospitals for sheer negligence which led to the child's death. All said and done, I hope this flu leaves my City and my Country ASAP (sorry for the Software Lingo).

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