The UK Government is currently delivering a handy little leaflet on swine flu to every address in the country. My copy hasn't arrived yet, but I have to say that, even at this early stage, I have two problems with the initiative.
First, as anyone who has read my previous post on the flu crisis will know, I have a spiritual objection to the use of the term "swine flu". It is a phrase calculated to cause offence to pigs and it is a description which is unwarranted by the virological facts of the case. Second, the production and distribution of twenty million or so paper leaflets advising people to sneeze into a paper hanky seems to have missed a potentially fruitful symbiosis. Did not anyone at the mighty Department of Health see the possibilities? All they had to do was to print the leaflet on tissue paper : it would have been easier on the poor old postmen who had to deliver it and it would have served a very useful purpose once it had been read. As the campaign slogan states : READ IT, CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT.