Liam Farrell: Where has all the swine flu gone? I don't know

My intellect is easy-going and pliable; I've met him, and at his age he has learned equanimity and doesn't get annoyed too easily by things that don't seem to make any sense.

Over the years he has seen too many ludicrous health policies being introduced to be upset any more; he is also bone-lazy and curiosity demands so much effort, especially when the World Cup is on. But every so often something comes along that bemuses even him.

Swine flu, he asks, scratching his little head, what was that all about? Only this time last year swine flu was the new black; we were being deluged with tsunamis of guidelines and protocols, whole swathes of the rainforest being denuded, a new one from a different organisation every day, everyone trying to ensure their particular pound of flesh had it's day in the sun, each guideline and protocol to be followed a few days later by a revised guideline and protocol with strict instructions to ignore the previous guideline and protocol.

The public were alternatively being terrified by the prospect of a viral Armageddon, people dying like flies in the streets, and then reassured that really it wouldn't be too bad, so they ended up even more confused than ourselves.

And the diverse and colourful paraphernalia, the face masks, the protective clothing, where has all that stuff gone? The international conferences, the obsessive hand washing, those little antiseptic stations popping up everywhere, I kind of miss them. Where have all the flowers gone, I feel like singing, nostalgia being my great vice.

SARS and bird flu, it seems, were just trial runs for the Big One. As the swine flu bandwagon gathered speed, it became like a runaway train, and GPs were right there, bang in the middle of the track - although amazingly, I don't know any GPs who actually contracted swine flu (probably due to our rigorous antiseptic precautions and attention to hygiene and all the masks and stuff).

And the vaccines, where are they now? Tucked away in some obscure storage facility, slowly going mouldy and out of date, but that's all right, the NHS has already paid for them, I'm sure, so long as the drug companies are happy, that's the important thing.

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