The swine flu pandemic is so named because the virus responsible looks similar to SIV. Not only does the infection target humans (and not goats, ha ha!), it’s unknown whether the H1N1 strain can affect pigs at all.
Here in the Lands of the Sand, we are assured that the UAE is 100% free of the disease. Huzzah! And yet today all pork products are being removed from the shelves ‘as a precaution’. Presumably all the meat will be thrown in the back of a freezer until the current health scare is over. The influenza microbes – those wee beasties that don’t exist in the UAE - can simply hibernate. Not that they’d survive the cooking process anyway. The fact that we normally cook pork before eating it seems lost on the decision-makers over at the Ministry of Undercooked Ideas. No, wait: not ‘undercooked’. It’s ‘half-baked’. Of course: therein lies the explanation.
But wait! You can’t catch swine flu from eating bacon butties! You have to be sneezed on by an infected person. Not pig. Person. It’s impossible to catch swine flu from the meat, even if the animal was infected. And as pigs can’t catch H1N1 anyway, the meat can’t ever become infected.
I’m completely wrong, of course. One of my colleagues recently assured me that anyone more astute than something growing on a piece of damp bread would recognise that swine flu is divine retribution: a plague against the godless hog-gobbling infidels. Clearly, therefore, removal of pork from sale is for our own good. It is not simply an act of petty malice.