Sunday, 9 August 2009

Weird things about being back in the UK. Again.

Swine flu: Have I missed something? In Poland they also have swine flu. But in Poland people do not wear face masks on the plane.
Equally bizarre is the state-of-emergency behaviour observed on going to church with my parents this morning: bottles of alcoholic hand sanitizer replace the traditional holy water at the threshold, while an awkward silence replaces the usual hand-shaking at the peace greeting. There is no communion wine, and there are special instructions on how to receive the wafers, with one hand over the other and Absolutely Not directly in the mouth. In addition, small plastic bags in which to place dirty tissues before discarding them wait at the ends of the aisles.

As far as I could tell, no-one appeared in the least sick: not even a squeak of a muffled sneeze (apart from me - but that was probably the flowers). I have yet to meet anyone with swine flu, or indeed to see any evidence of an epidemic. In addition, swine flu is notorious for affecting the young: since we're talking about the Church of England here, I hardly think the risk is that great.

Besides which, a Brit who's worried about shaking hands in church or breathing in recycled air on the plane isn't going to think twice about trying on publicly-accessible clothes in the shopping centre, not to mention tasting their friends' cocktails in the pub, or dancing the night away in some sweaty nightclub.

This is a strange place.

6 comments:

Simon said...

My sister's baby daughter got it. She's fine now. It's just a new strand of flu. In a few years it will be what we just call 'flu' quite simply. Nothing to worry about at all.

Did you know that humans gave it to pigs in the first place?

pinolona said...

oh no! glad she's ok now.

I didn't know that humans gave it to pigs but it doesn't surprise me...

Do you remember chicken pox parties from the distant past? Apparently now they have swine flu parties:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/bryonygordon/5712631/A-swine-flu-party-sounds-fun-but-Ill-stick-to-the-wine-flu.html

Michael Dembinski said...

Can one drink alcoholic hand sanitizer?

pinolona said...

no... one puts it on one's hands.

Philippa said...

it's not England, it's your church which is mad! I'm working on the flu, and no one's been given that sort of advice - just maybe you should use small individual glasses for communion so you don't share saliva!

pinolona said...

Ah I always suspected they were a bit mad... I mean, not shaking hands! Honestly...