Gaijin Smash

Pig Sty

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on May 20, 2009

Japan has gone to the pigs.
There’s an outbreak of swine flu here in the Kansai region, specifically Osaka and Kobe. I know, I’m supposed to call it H1N1 or whatever, but that name sucks. Swine flu it is! What, are we expected to be politically correct to pigs now? Fuck that nonsense.
Anyway, pig AIDS. Some school kids have gotten it and have been passing it around like Mariah Carey at a rapper’s convention, so now everyone here has gone bat-shit insane over fears of getting the pig AIDS and dying. I’m not really surprised that its spread so quickly in the schools, I think I mentioned way back when that schools are little incubation houses for whatever Virus of the Moment is popular. If you work in a school and some sort of cold or flu breaks, you might as well pencil in your sick days in your calendar.


As a result, all schools in Osaka and Kobe have been shut down. For the kids, I imagine this makes swine flu the best thing ever. For me, it’s a little surprising, as I don’t really know Japanese schools to close unless absolute global doom is eminent. Remember Ms. Americanized’s words of wisdom also from way back when – even if Japan got nuked again, if they could pull a few desks out of the rubble and round up some students, we’d have classes.
So far, swine flu in Japan has amounted to little more than a few fevers, runny noses, and coughing. So all the kids can go to the doctors here, get a bajillion different pills, be told that they’re too fat, and then go home and play video games all day since school has been cancelled. I would say I’m envious of Japanese school kids right now, but given how much they get their asses kicked in every other aspect of life, we’ll call this a long-overdue break.
Of course, the media-induced hysteria isn’t limited to the youth. Pretty much everyone here is walking around in those white masks, the ones we used to ridicule Michael Jackson for wearing. So now I have to deal with an entire nation of Sub-Zero’s. My wife also implores me to wear a mask, but I hate them (makes it hard to breathe) and besides – if everyone else is wearing a mask, that makes me pretty safe from them, doesn’t it?
She also tells me that at her work, they have to take regular temperature checks, and anyone who clocks in at 37 degrees or higher will be sent home from the day. I started to recommend some fever-inducing strats from my college days, but my wife doesn’t want to take time off – she’s paid by the hour and we can’t really afford to take a hit in either of our paychecks at the moment.
Swine flu has even stopped my wife’s freight-train-like momentum on wanting to have a baby. I’d held her off for quite some time, but the pressure was getting to be quite strong, and I too wanted to produce some cute little offspring so I could train them in Street Fighter, send them to the entertainment world when old enough and then retire early. But with the swine flu, the wife has decided to hold off on baby-making until things calm down. Wow. Seeing my wife decide to hold off on baby-making is a lot like watching a 30-pound girl scout stopping a full-powered punch from Mike Tyson in his prime with only her pinky finger. In other words – that shit is completely unfathomable, yet here we are.
As for illnesses, this year its swine flu, but isn’t there something going around every year? Last year it was bird flu, we had SARS before that…next year its going to be hamster flu, I’m calling that shit now. If my wife is going to balk at kids every time some nose sniffle comes up…we may actually never get around to it. We’ll have to go the celebrity route and adopt. I’ve been giving the issue some thought – adopt domestic, or try to rescue a kid from a third world country? I’ve looked around and weighed plenty of options, and what I’ve settled on is – I’d like to adopt Amanda Bynes. …What? She’s too old you say? *checks birthday* Nope…I’m showing she’s nice and legal.
…Ahem. Anyway, for now, schools remain closed and people are walking around looking like amateur surgeons. I refuse to buy into flu hype. But if only I’d known that one can bring Japan to its knees simply by being a little sick. I’m already thinking of possible ways to exploit this. On the morning subway train, if things get a little too cramped maybe I’ll start coughing and then mutter to myself “Man, I knew I shouldn’t have taken that trip to Mexico…” I’ll probably get the whole train car to myself.

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84 Responses

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  1. Alex said, on May 20, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Feigned mexican trip + gaijin perimeter = whole train to yourself, perhaps?

  2. Pit said, on May 20, 2009 at 3:53 am

    With that train car tactic… GaijinPerimeter world record?

  3. Tarak said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Better not, they would send a SWAT team with biochemical gear on to quarantine the whole train.

  4. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I’m thinking that if you coughed on the train and said that they might deport you for good measure =/
    If you’re gonna go for it though maybe you should have some spicy soup right before boarding the train so you can get a runny nose and sweaty face to top it off.

  5. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I’m thinking that if you coughed on the train and said that they might deport you for good measure =/
    If you’re gonna go for it though maybe you should have some spicy soup right before boarding the train so you can get a runny nose and sweaty face to top it off.

  6. Lars Thorsen said, on May 20, 2009 at 5:38 am

    A friend of mine married a japanese woman last summer – and their (first?) baby was born last month. But they are both in their 30’ies so maybe it’s not too strange.

  7. harris said, on May 20, 2009 at 6:38 am

    nice to see you back and more regular, az. swine flu’s been the hot topic in london as well every other major city i imagine. but you’re right – there IS something new every year. besides, people get more sick from regular flu each year than they have from “H1N1” so far (some pig somewhere might be offended if i call it “swine flu”)
    anyway, good to see you’re rational as always and doing well ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Andres said, on May 20, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I don’t think it would be hamster flu the next hype sickness, it will be most likely Salmonella Fitzgerald if you know what I mean.

  9. JoeBlow said, on May 20, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Here in Beijing this was a big scare like two weeks ago. Just so happened I had a cold.
    We went to the grocery store and every time I sneezed I did say, “Ever since I came back from Mexico I can’t get rid of this cold.” It was great to watch the heads whip around.
    I found out the next day the government was rounding up sick people in my area for quarantine because there was a guy who had it not 10 minutes walk from my apartment. Good thing no one reported me…

  10. Axel said, on May 20, 2009 at 7:50 am

    From what I’ve read masks actually INCREASE the chances of getting infected.
    It was something to do with avoiding contact with surfaces, and the mask is constantly making contact with your mouth, so..

  11. Seraph said, on May 20, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Amateur surgeons eh? Wouldn’t it be nicer to imagine them all as nurses? mmmmm…Japanese nurse fantasy. Oh like you all haven’t had one!

  12. David said, on May 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

    If I remember correctly, Japan has always been paranoid about disease. Something about constant plagues and shit like that breaking out over the last few hundred years till they starting adopting more modern hygiene standards. Could be wrong though.

  13. Dennis said, on May 20, 2009 at 9:03 am

    These things are always hyped to no end, I remember when potatoe-chips gave people cancer. Thanks liberal media, you have saved the day.
    After reading through your whole archive (took me a good month actually, haha) I have issued that you might be the bravest man alive, braver than brave-heart.
    Cheers from Sweden, keep up the good work!

  14. Diana W said, on May 20, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I’m with you on the whole renaming BS. They renamed it to some random thing because people in certain countries were slaughtering pigs thinking that if they did that, they’d be safe from the flue. And isn’t bacteria small enough to get past the supposedly “tightly woven net” that makes up those masks? Sneezes are powerful man, I doubt a mask will stand up to that. lol

  15. code monkey said, on May 20, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Oh, just get enough rest, vitamin C, always wash your hands…
    Hehehe…nice touch there on getting more space on the train. Mebbe I could try that?

  16. fudgepudge said, on May 20, 2009 at 10:38 am

    check your facts Az,
    the reason that it has to be changed to “AH1N1” is that caling it “swine” flu will mislead the lay folks into believing that the virus is coming from pigs or that they should avoid consuming pork.
    they need to understand that the main channel is human to human transmission or touching things previously handled by a carrier.

  17. OneNightBangkok said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Why are the Japanese completely losing it over swine flu? The Japanese people in my town (home to an American branch campus of a Nishinomiya based women’s university, plus several cheap community colleges for generic ESL students… there’s quite a few of them for a semi-remote backwater) are all about to have aneurysms worrying about it. Are they just paranoid? Afraid of dying? Or is do they know something other people don’t about how dangerous this whole thing really is?

  18. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Haha, I feel stupid. In spite of living in Kansai and with a Japanese girlfriend that is obsessed with this I did not see where you were getting when I saw the title of this post.
    It was really fun read though!
    And now I don’t have to feel bad about not wearing the mask. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Haha, I feel stupid. In spite of living in Kansai and with a Japanese girlfriend that is obsessed with this I did not see where you were getting when I saw the title of this post.
    It was really fun read though!
    And now I don’t have to feel bad about not wearing the mask. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

    cough, cough huh? You are a bastard. lol!

  21. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:59 am

    cough, cough huh? You are a bastard. lol!

  22. Britney said, on May 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Dude kinda late with the swine flu even here in the US people are wearing mask its ridiculous at school they sent us these emails of how to stay germ free and protect yourself against swine flu, number of absences we are allowed due to sick days are increase because they dont want you to spread it… but dont panic!!!! lol

  23. Roger Monticello said, on May 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Man, I wish I could get Swine Flu
    I’m 25 so there’s basically no way it could have serious repercussions, and my badass new Street Fighter 4 Tournament Edition joystick is being delivered tomorrow..

  24. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    i lol’d,
    man i’m up in chicago and swine flu isnt bad here… yet at least… but yeah no point being afraid you’ll get it, whats the point. you can get it anywhere. you prolly understand that and thats why you’re just living normally. thats what i do just live normally.

  25. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    i lol’d,
    man i’m up in chicago and swine flu isnt bad here… yet at least… but yeah no point being afraid you’ll get it, whats the point. you can get it anywhere. you prolly understand that and thats why you’re just living normally. thats what i do just live normally.

  26. Expert Scientist said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    It’s a wrap for you, island boy. There is no escaping fate on a Pandisland.

  27. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Az, if your wife wants to wait until after the pig AIDS outbreak subsides to have a kid, you may have to wait until next summer. People are getting it now, very few people, but when flu season comes along it will go pandemic. Y’know, just sayin…

  28. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Az, if your wife wants to wait until after the pig AIDS outbreak subsides to have a kid, you may have to wait until next summer. People are getting it now, very few people, but when flu season comes along it will go pandemic. Y’know, just sayin…

  29. Francisco said, on May 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    damm it swine flu hysteria in osaka fuck i am going there in 15 days hopefully no one tries to quaritine my ass for being mexican cuase that would really suck damm i better not get a cold while i am there everyone while be looking at me suspiciously

  30. Dave said, on May 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Japan is certainly paranoid about disease !
    That is, if you completely overlook all sexually-transmitted diseases which apparently don’t count.

  31. Patrick said, on May 20, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Did anyone else laugh at the “country full of Sub-Zero’s” line? Just watch out for those random ice blasts.

  32. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I agree. The people at my school here are going a little too crazy over the swine flu. Our school trip to kyoto has been postponed to October-ish.

  33. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I agree. The people at my school here are going a little too crazy over the swine flu. Our school trip to kyoto has been postponed to October-ish.

  34. Steve said, on May 20, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Hamthrax is some downright dangerous stuff! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  35. Dakota Red said, on May 20, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    If you don’t want children, why did you marry her? I feel sorry for your wife!
    (Az’s Note: I never said I didn’t want children. Just that I didn’t want to rush it.)

  36. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Yeah this swine flu thing is ridiculous. It’s just the flu!!!
    I’m off to Tokyo apartment hunting this weekend and have a feeling I’ll be the only one not wearing a mask in the hostel I’m staying in. But I don’t see the point in them. I’ve never even gotten the regular flu, and if I do wear one it’s only because people around me are visibly sick and at this point I can’t afford to miss a week of work.

  37. Anonymous said, on May 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Yeah this swine flu thing is ridiculous. It’s just the flu!!!
    I’m off to Tokyo apartment hunting this weekend and have a feeling I’ll be the only one not wearing a mask in the hostel I’m staying in. But I don’t see the point in them. I’ve never even gotten the regular flu, and if I do wear one it’s only because people around me are visibly sick and at this point I can’t afford to miss a week of work.

  38. Fernando C. said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    @ Mexican Anonymous
    LOL, Im Mexican too but I doubt many will assume you are to begin with. On my trip to Japan I even had a couple of people blatantly ask me what ethnicity I was.

  39. Ljufa said, on May 21, 2009 at 12:37 am

    I shudder when I see those doctor masks! I had to wear one to visit my grandmother in the hospital before. I started to feel woozy and left the room to take the mask off, but it was too late, and I passed out right there in the hospital corridor.
    Also fearing mediocre sicknesses is totally weak, when they pull this crap a lot of healthy animals are put to death for no reason – complete and utter waste of food. I’d eat the pigs, damn it.
    I google imaged Amanda – wtf? She has breasts? I’m pissed, I thought she was small chested like me, what a bitch. Whatever, at least my face isn’t creepy looking.

  40. Tae said, on May 21, 2009 at 1:21 am

    It’s not Pig AIDS, it’s Hamthrax.

  41. Misty said, on May 21, 2009 at 3:11 am

    I’m not especially concerned because, even though I live in southren Arizona, I don’t go out very often, so any exposure is limited.
    Unfortunitly, I am someone who needs to be careful about the flu, ANY flu, because I’m in the high risk catagory. I have asthma, and even just a run of the mill cold sets me into full force asthma attack mode. I’d rather not think about what a flu will do to me!

  42. Ashley said, on May 21, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I live in Texas and the city I live in, they had 3 confirmed instances of it (high schoolers). They shut down the school district so the kids decided to hang out at the malls instead. During that, I saw 2 people wear masks, and when I was talking to coworkers about it, I told them to chill, it’s no worse than the regular flu. A coworker then told me that she wants me to get it then and to try out ancient chinese medicine to fix it, that they also eat monkey brains there in China, and she wants to try them out. Not trying to spread redneck idiocy, but thought I should tell you to lock your monkeys up or someone here will try and eat them to prevent the piggy flu.

  43. Moe said, on May 21, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Heh, you don’t have to worry about dying too much unless you already have one foot in the grave due to other health problems, or you start experiencing the symptoms of a “cytokene storm” (the part that actually kills you). Basically, unless you have a really high fever or some strange swelling in addition to the flu, it’s pretty much just going to be a normal flu.
    Unfortunately, I had to find this out by taking Grandma to the emergency room, after getting only two hours of sleep, because other family members were worried. She was fine, even though she probably qualifies to worry about because of the “one foot already in the grave” part…
    > absolute global doom is eminent
    Eminent means famous. Immanent means coming soon.
    The Japanese kids have enough trouble with English without us goofing up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. Justin said, on May 21, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Currently I’m living in Nishinomiya, smack dab in the epicenter of the swinedemic. I’ve become an anti-mask evangelist, telling all my friends how they’re essentially invisible to viruses and that having a warm, moist bacterial breeding ground strapped to your face is not the best idea. The only people who need to wear masks are those who have already contracted something.

  45. Kat said, on May 21, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Ugh, Japan is being retarded about this swine flu shit. My family is taking their first, and likely only, trip ever to Japan to visit me starting tomorrow. I got a call a while back from the hotel I booked for their first night near Narita saying that they can’t stay there because they are foreign and obviously all foreigners have swine flu. (Toyoko Inn, in case anyone is wondering. I won’t be staying there ever again.) Luckily I was able to find a hotel that didn’t have its head stuck up its ass the next day, but seriously! It makes me want to set things on fire.

  46. Tyberius said, on May 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I think that I will continue to wait for the Zombie/Robot/Pirate/Ninja/Billy Crystal Apocalypse

  47. Francisco said, on May 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    @Fernando
    its going to be tough hiding i am mexican becuase i have a big tatoo of the mexican flag on my left arm
    my friends also laughed when they heard about swine flu in japan they said you “you are going to be the only one they are going to stare at in the plane and they are going to have to check you while they are wearing bio suits”

  48. nescire said, on May 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    You can tell your wife that those surgery paper masks are completely useless against viral infections such as H1N1, or any type of influenza really.
    Ans as far as what they actually filter is concerned, they need to be replaced every 2 to 3 hours, at which time they become permeable due to humidity from respiration.
    The current Japanese hysteria over those masks is an endless source of amusement for the medical community (at least it is for the undergrads and students I see).
    Hang in there Az, hopefully the media craze about it will calm down eventually… H1N1 doesn’t seem virulent enough to burn itself out anyway, so it’s here to stay, in one form or another.

  49. Mathew said, on May 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    “next year its going to be hamster flu, I’m calling that shit now.”
    Nah, if the Japanese really want to get their knickers in a twist, wait until they announce a potentially deadly strain of ‘Asian Flu’. Mind you, I think Asian Flu originated in the US, so you might get a whole lot of evil stares ๐Ÿ˜€

  50. ema said, on May 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    You know what’s even more insane? I just graduated from college today and at my convocation we weren’t allowed to shake our dean’s hand because of swine flu risk– we were given the option to either fist-pound or elbow-touch as a congratulatory gesture. Apparently handshakes and hi-fives were far less sanitary. (I was half hoping for someone to chest pound him though)
    But yeah. It’s out of control, even here in the States.

  51. D said, on May 21, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    OMG american deaths from h1n1 are now in the DOUBLE DIGITS!!!!!
    um, yeah, and ~40,000 people don’t die from the regular flu every year? Where’s the outrage over that? It’s just goofy. For you guys? OI is all I can say. The mask thing isn’t so bad IF it keeps you from putting your hand in your mouth or summat. Just tell Her Worshipfulness that you wash your hands a lot, and carry around a little bottle of hand sanitizer and perhaps she’ll leave you alone. OTOH I know some of the online bike stores in the US make a high flow neoprene mask for excercize in polluted or dust environment that you could prolly find. That would might make your sidekick a little happier. Dunno if you’ll be able to open this site but:
    Mu2 sportmask
    It might be worth it just to placate her. Because they can make your life hard if they are worried about you, even without reason.
    However. You can be sure that this thing is going to go on for a year or more, and the initial mild flu is sometimes followed by a worse strain 6-mo later. You’se prolly too young to remember but I actually don’t think this hype is worse than the ’76 outbrak, it’s just that news is disseminated differently. Back then as a kid I got the shots for it… and got really sick, go fig.
    And? anything that holds back the baby machine for a while isn’t a bad thing. Pretty soon they are eating you out of house and home with a dose of teen angst.

  52. Chibi said, on May 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Lol, me and my friends find it kind of funny that Japan is freaking out about the swine flu, mainly because we live on the Mexican border and most of the people we know travel to Mexico at least once a month. The swine flu has become a joke where I live. If someone shows any symptoms of having it we scream “YOU HAVE SWINE FLU!” at them then proceed to laugh at them for a minute or two and then we get back to our lives. After it was discovered that swine flu wasn’t nearly as bad as we originally thought it was we all just stopped caring. Seriously we have (last time I checked) at least 5 confirmed cases in our county and we still don’t care.
    On another note you answered the question I was wondering about the last time you posted a new blog. Heehee I was wondering if your wife finally managed to convince you to have a baby with her. But I guess your safe from her clutches….for now.

  53. Kakui Kujira said, on May 22, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Regarding the effectiveness of masks to stop the flu:
    I was listening to radio talk show with a few virologists and other medical researchers. They said that while viruses are smaller then the holes in the masks, the mask are effective because viruses don’t float about by themselves. They are attached to water droplets, for example, and these are too large to get through the holes.

  54. chika said, on May 22, 2009 at 1:52 am

    “Man, I knew I shouldn’t have taken that trip to Mexico…” I’ll probably get the whole train car to myself.
    –Haha but you would probably be quarantined and anal probed until they found the source of your pig flu-because of course you would have it…somewhere.

  55. John said, on May 22, 2009 at 2:36 am

    I suppose if we see any trains with Japanese peoples riding on the roof we’ll know where Az is.
    Be careful, though. They might quarantine you or something – no, seriously, would that surprise you in the least if some kind of Umbrella Corporation subsidiary busted into your house one day and dragged you out in handcuffs and a chemical suit?
    It kind of disgusts me that there’s any part of the world where that’s a legitimate possibility.

  56. Rhi said, on May 22, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Swine flu is in Tokyo, and we’re crossing our fingers hoping it gets here and the mass hysteria hasn’t faded. 10 day holiday? YES PLEASE! And it will be made up during summer vacation, when we’ll be in the states. C’mon swine flu! GO! GO!
    Anyway, I’ve given up on being annoyed at the hysteria and settled for being wildly amused. I’m going to try that train thing.

  57. Kevin said, on May 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Don’t know if this is just a sick coincidence but….
    2007 – Chinese year of the Chicken – Bird Flu Pandemic devastates parts of Asia
    2008 – Chinese year of the Horse – Equine Influenza decimates Australian
    racing
    2009 – Chinese year of the Pig – Swine Flu Pandemic kills hundreds of people around the globe.
    Has any one else noticed this?
    It gets worse……..
    next year……
    2010 – Chinese year of the Cock – what could possibly go wrong?
    (Az’s Note: Obvious, Octopus Flu…)

  58. n00body said, on May 22, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Funny thing about the masks, if they try to avoid catching all forms of disease, won’t their immune systems become extremely weak? :p

  59. Xak said, on May 23, 2009 at 1:22 am

    My husband and I think it’s a zodiac thing. They skipped dog (chicken, dog, boar) so you’re off on Hamster if they follow the skipping pattern (which has rat coming next) which would have cow flu as the next big thing (I doubt it would be called ox flu). So I’m calling Cow Flu next.
    And yeah, it has been basically nothing more than a new strain of the ol’ flu. And some people have stomach flu symptoms with it (which isn’t an influenza). We’re just going to start naming all the new strains. Whatever makes people buy more medicine *rolls eyes*
    But yes, good for those kids getting a day off–they deserve it.

  60. Tikallion said, on May 23, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Preach! I’m in Kyoto right now and I also find it ridiculous that the Japanese are so scared and are exaggerating. Right now it’s not so crazy here as in Osaka when it comes to masks although I over heard the other day that they were out of masks in the local 7-11.

  61. deadlysinzzz said, on May 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    ohhh, my friend did that on the train and he got a seat, people acualy did run out of the carrage and into the next one!!!

  62. raye said, on May 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I sometimes get annoyed when hearing stories about the Japanese paranoia over the swine flu. At my university we had a case with a professor that had it, along with several cases confirmed at the elementary school up the street and we didn’t take extreme measures and get all hyped up like what the Japanese are doing.I just make sure I wash my hands ever half hour. I’m with you Az, I also don’t buy into the hype.

  63. Allan said, on May 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    The J-hysteria over swine flu is nothing short of hilarious.
    Another ALT in my prefecture went home to Canada over Golden Week and came back about one day after the first Japanese case was confirmed. Her school made her sit in an empty classroom, with the windows open, wearing a mask and wouldn’t let her teach any classes for a week.
    My BoE is also about a half-second away from cancelling the sannensei’s Australia trip (which isn’t even until August).

  64. seanchai said, on May 23, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Hey Az,
    Tell your wife that the World Health Organization says that wearing a mask helps avoid spreading disease *if* you already have something.
    That is, if Person A has swine flu and wears a mask, that’s good infection control. If Person B is healthy and wears a mask, that’s not really doing anything.
    Commercially available masks only help keep germs from getting *out*… they don’t do nearly as good a job of keeping germs from getting *in*. For that, you need something with an air filter (like a gas mask or a hazmat suit).

  65. Furiku said, on May 24, 2009 at 2:18 am

    I’m typing this from an anime convention in North Carolina at the moment. A number of the foreign guests for the con canceled at the last second. The story going around is that they were told that if they left the country they would be immediately quarantined upon coming home. Any idea if this is in effect in Japan now, or are people over here making things up?
    (Az’s Note: Sounds plausible.)

  66. Michelle said, on May 24, 2009 at 9:18 am

    There are some Japanese exchange students at my school, and I’ve noticed that after using the washroom, the girls only run some water on their hands for 2 seconds and then leave. No soap and no scrubbing. Hm….

  67. Dee said, on May 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I’m from Toronto and I’m not reminiscing the whole SARS debacle. I tell you, driving through Chinatown during that time… it was absolutely deserted. I swear there were tumbleweeds. Even Koreatown was empty! So eerie…

  68. Anonymous said, on May 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    woot

  69. Anonymous said, on May 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    woot

  70. jazzorion said, on May 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Seriously, people everywhere are overreacting to the H1N1/swine flu. The only reason it’s spreading so fast is because we don’t have a clear vaccine for it yet, but it’s like that every year come flu season! Now if it’s literally like HIV being able to infect people just by them breathing it in, then we can start panicking.

  71. Scalenex said, on May 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    You mentioned not wanting to take a hit in either of your paychecks… Does this mean you found a new job and didn’t post details about it or the job hunt?

  72. Sam G said, on May 26, 2009 at 1:34 am

    No-one I know in Australia is making a big deal about it, except the media, but they sensationalise everything. Sorry to hear about that stuff going on in Japan – hopefully the hysteria will cool down a bit.

  73. Ed said, on May 26, 2009 at 5:42 am

    2007 – Chinese year of the Chicken – Bird Flu Pandemic devastates parts of Asia
    2008 – Chinese year of the Horse – Equine Influenza decimates Australian racing
    2009 – Chinese year of the Pig – Swine Flu Pandemic kills hundreds of pigs around the globe.
    Has any one else noticed this???!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It gets worse……..
    Next year……
    2010 – Chinese year of the Cock – what could possibly go wrong?
    (Bare in mind, this is a joke… no bashing for accuracy, guys)

  74. nemuri said, on May 26, 2009 at 6:52 am

    concerning an earlier comment :
    2007 was pig
    2008 was rat
    2009 is cow
    2010 will be tigre.
    appart from that your theory is totally acceptable : the chinese did it.

  75. Anonymous said, on May 27, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Cough Trick… did it. Just made a few people put their masks on.

  76. Anonymous said, on May 27, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Cough Trick… did it. Just made a few people put their masks on.

  77. christy said, on May 28, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Oh please, mexicans started pig flu,
    The chinese just predicted the diseases with their zodiac

  78. kOOpA said, on June 1, 2009 at 10:12 am

    entire nation of SUB-ZERO’s cracked me up XD
    good to see you posting regularly, az!

  79. Patricia said, on June 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Sounds just like my plan when I travelled to Tรดkyรด for the first time. I was going to wave my bag around and yell “ALL HAIL SHOKO ASAHARA!!!”, but in the end I was offered a seat every time by some love-starved ero-salary-man, (I’m nineteen and not bad looking at all), so the opportunity never really presented itself.
    But please do try, I’d absolutely die to hear exactly how much chaos you’d cause by doing that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  80. Esterification said, on June 3, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Eminent means famous. Immanent means coming soon.
    The Japanese kids have enough trouble with English without us goofing up ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Posted by: Moe at May 21, 2009 05:59 AM
    Lol… you goofed up. You meant “Imminent”.
    Something immanent is something inherent.
    Something eminent is not about fame but about being distinguished.
    Imminent is something coming soon.

  81. Fred Bitt said, on June 7, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Well… I just thought I’d let you know I enjoy reading this eminent blog. Even if it isn’t all that immanently(?) (I mean inherently) cool, I’d say that another mask-disease outbreak is imminent.
    ยฌยฌ

  82. Amary said, on June 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    me and my brother just got back from japan about a week ago, and he got swine flu there… guess it’s possible!

  83. AvidElite said, on July 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

    What’s really crazy is how many people (absolute and per capita) die from N1H1 compared to the regular old flu. Swine Flu kills like a tenth of a percent of people who catch it compared to the regular flu. Leave it to the news media to scare the shit out of people.

  84. Tom Jones said, on September 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    2007 – Year of the bird – Bird flu
    2009 – Year of the swine – Swine flu
    2010 – Year of the cock – ….you do the math


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