Monday, April 27, 2009

*cough* *cough* *oink*

According to the CDC, I should've have contracted HIV a couple of decades ago. Just by the sheer magnitude of the infection rate, I would've easily been that "1 in 4" to have it. Yesterday, I hung out with 3 of my "friends" for an entire day waiting for one of us to keel over or evaporate or something. No Dice.

From what the news pumped into our brains, the majority of my generation should have died off around 1995. Although I have zero friends who engage in "the love that dare not speak it's name" (google it) or use drugs intravenously, that's what "reports" had us to believe. But alas, here I am. No AIDS. & I have medical documents to back my statement, in case any one wants verification.

I've survived through that, & the rampant Bird flu a few years. Granted, the only birds I know on a personal level are at KFC, Popeye's, or El Pollo Loco & usually don't survive past the ride home (you know Black folk & their fried chickens), but they were birds nonetheless. I'm not sure, but I can only speculate on the rigorous security process they must go through to make sure the chickens are safe enough to be deep fry. The last pet bird I owned was when I was about 12. He eventually grow tired of water gun target practice & being confined to his poop-filled cage, so the first break of daylight he saw, he escaped & never looked back. I'm sure him, my guinea pig, my rabbit & dozens of goldfish are all resting comfortably in animal heaven, ruing the day I bought them. Yet, no Bird Flu over here, either.

Which leads me to the recent scare (nay, hysteria) in regards to the Swine Flu. Now, in theory a disease called the "Swine Flu" would trigger a hundred red flags at once in the Black community. Unless you're Muslim. Seriously, it's the closest thing to a staple part of our diets since Kool-Aid began being referred to as "juice". All the news reports boast "no deaths" in California, but if it were up to Black people, they still wouldn't stop eating swine, but just make sure that their Medi-cal covers the medication. Which, it probably doesn't.

Apparently, it's very similar to the (regular) flu, with all the traditional symptoms. In some cases, it's a little more aggressive than it's counterpart, but that's about it. We all know the News has a reputation of maximizing &/or minimizing stories. In that vein, we can either ignore it, keep our hands clean & go on with our daily lives. Or, grab a handful of gas mask, scoop up the kids & head for shelter with the rest of the healthy people. I, for one, won't be fleeing my city like Gommorah anytime soon, but today when a little boy coughed near me, I threw my tray of Burger King at him, did a shoulder-roll underneath a table & called 911. Can't ever be overly cautious, especially when the chance of catching a disease named after an animal that wallows in his own feces is on the loose. Last night, I offered a woman some tissue for her snot-nosed kid, & as soon as she took it I sprayed them both head to toe with industrial strength Lysol. Then I apologized, because I didn't mean to spray the little guy in the eyes.

I'm not sure what ramification would be worse; the illness itself or the backlash from Black people once they find out that they can no longer enjoy the sweet grease of a fatback sandwich after a slab of bacon & bag of pork rinds. Breakfast may never be the same. Bacon is almost a condiment in my family, right behind salt. Often the two meet in such a way that even the threat of Heart Disease can't stop their love. It's kind of like Diabetes is the joke we never got. Maybe such a flu wouldn't be all that bad.

I guess until folks start dropping dead, I won't take this supposed pandemic seriously either, just like all the other plagues I've lived through. I've survived the crack epidemic, gang violence, various strands of disease, so it only seems fitting that I flick my nose at this newest manifestation of mass hypnosis.

If I'm going to catch it, nothing's going to stop it anyway. But, we never know about these kinds of things. I've often heard of the pig's intelligence & resilience. Why wouldn't it's disease posess those same qualities? Just in case, I got those extra strength medical face masks 2 for $5. Holler at your boy.