Hold the bacon

Move over, bird fluSwine flu is the pandemic scare of the moment.

With over 1000 cases in Mexico and isolated cases in Canada and the United States, the World Health Organization lists their worry status as “very concerned.”  Of course, for a populace trained for 8 years on color-coded terror alerts, the “very concerned” status is a bit vague – particularly given that no official body has recommended canceling that Mexican vacation.  (UPDATE 4/28: that recommendation has now arrived.)  Apparently, “very concerned” falls somewhere between “You’re more likely to be killed by a lightning strike” and “Get out the Michael Jackson masks and stay inside!  Now!”

swine flu vaccineAmerica had a previous swine flu scare in the ’70’s that led to a series of government-sponsored vaccinations against the potentially deadly disease.  As it turns out, only one person died from swine flu that time around.  But not to be outdone, the swine flu vaccinations killed 25 people and gave about 500 of them a serious disease before the vaccine program was halted.

picture-9430 years later, world government response protocols to a pandemic threat haven’t changed much.  Bird flu led to talks of a widespread U.K. innoculation program to safeguard against it; America has also spent billions of dollars on contracts to produce vaccines against smallpox (the post-9/11-scare), SARS, bird flu, and pretty much any ailment making headlines and/or being referred to as a potential pandemic.

sick ferret t-shirtBaxter, one of the companies contracted to produce the swine flu vaccine this time around, is the same company that accidentally shipped vaccines tainted with live bird flu to 18 countries.  The injections were used on ferrets and the mistake was discovered before an actual pandemic began due to the injections.  The ferrets, however, were not so lucky.

retweet t-shirtWith news of the latest swine flu outbreak taking the Internet by storm, getting information isn’t the problem.  But getting good information is harder given the sheer volume of chatter.  While “swine flu” is a trending topic today on Google and Twitter, the best source for 140-character swine flu instruction is probably best left to the CDC, which is in fact posting real-time updates via Twitter.  For those who prefer a simple Q&A format, those are out there as well.

With all the pandemic T-shirts in the catalogue and the interest in pandemic preparedness, you might wonder whether we’re customizing disposable facemasks yet.  We regrettably must inform those of you interested in fashioniable facemasks that we have no plans to add them to the catalogue at this point. However, for those of you crafty folks good with a needle and thread, we did find some interesting thongs that could perhaps be modified to suit your needs.
picture-104
Caveat: we make no promises as to potential effectiveness of the thongmask in preventing infectious disease.  If you have questions on the efficacy of such a thongmask, perhaps a tweet will reward you with a 140-character answer.

UPDATE: it’s been reported that the White House will advise against non-essential trips to Mexico.

21 Comments
  1. Pingback: A pig by any other name…

  2. This is absolutely ridiculuous. The whole idea is far from creativity and close to discrimination. BTW there are more infected people in th US than in Mexico. The mentioned T-Shirt could just as easily say “I went to New-York (USA) and all i got was Swine Flu”.
    No comments…

  3. I give you info about this sickness.
    The data given to the WHO org is not real. Hospitals are full with people with influenza and roads were almost empty. The real thing is that people are dying and there are not enough clinical test reports made.

  4. THIS IS MY ONLY COMENT,I AM A PROUD MEXICAN, WELL EDUCATED AND WITH A MASTER DEGRRE IN MEDICINE.
    IT IS A SHAME THAT IN YOUR GREAT COUNTRY THINGS LIKE THIS T SHIRT WERE SELLING.
    POOR AMERICANS.
    READ AND LEARN
    IT DOESN´T HURT.
    AND MY APOLOGIST FOR MY VERY BAD ENGLISH

  5. why don´t ther make a t-shirt that could say:

    “I went to VIETNAM and got my ass KICKED!”

    “I went to vote and I GOT GEORGE W. BUSH RE-ELECTED! AM I STUPID? YES!”

    “I went to the USA AND ALL I LEARNED WAS HOW TO BECOME A DRUG ADDICT!”

    “In the US we spent a TRILLION DOLLARS in a stupid war based on a LIE!”

  6. THEY CLAIM CANCUN AS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USA STUDENTS IN NEW YORK THAT GOT INFECTED… WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING…..I AM HAPPY THAT THEY GOT SWINE FLU AND NOT OTHER SICKNESSES AFTER ALL THE CRAZY THINGS THEY DO IN CANCUN….
    I FEEL BAD FOR THE PEOPLE THAT CAME WITH THE WHOLE IDEA OF THE T-SHIRT.. THEY DON’T KNOW HOW GORGEOUS MEXICO IS…
    I AM MEXICAN AND I AM PROUD OF MY COUNTRY… MEXICO HAS MORE THAN HAMBURGERS AND HOT DOGS AS CULTURE… SOO PEOPLE… PLEASEEEE DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR THIS WORLD… AND DONT COME WITH THIS STUPID IDEAS…

  7. RE jose antonio macouzet: you should make some t-shirts! here in the states we like to mock ourselves as well. what we really like, however, is capitalism. see, this is a win-win situation: you make $, we make $. (lather. rinse. repeat.)

    i have to say, i am a little surprised to see numerous people bashing the US based on the fact that there is a frickin pig flu. (you can tone down your insecurity now.) the flu started in mexico. if the flu started in texas that t-shirt would say “somebody went to texas.” chill out.

    and to daniela: we have plenty of mexican culture here in the states (thanks to those who were both here before us and those who cross the border every day). maybe the problem here is that you don’t understand US culture.

  8. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA YEAH… RIGHT…… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    U USE YOUR FLAG IN UNDERWEAR…. you have A LOT of culture. HAHAHAHAHA.

    till never Erudito!! ;)

  9. I´m also mexican and educated, it is funny to see how those who called themselves “americans” make fun of everything using the right to free speech, using a symbol like our flag for that purpose is low…

  10. No Nick, the problem is that you don’t understand respect.

    The US cultures finds very funny mock about those thing because you don’t have a real identity, just a bunch of stupid “dream ideas” about the ideal life no matter how vain, disposable and shallow they are.

    You don’t have the ancient culture that Mexico has, you don’t have the unique and strong extremely-well-known identity that Mexico has. You define your people in Asians, Italians, french, African-Americans, Latins, while we all area part of a whole identity MEXICO, but in a country like US where there are thousand words to make racial insults, the people like you and many others could never understand what it feels like to have a real identity. Because one thing is very clear to me, the US is one of the most racist countries in the world, all we have to do is turn on the TV and watch the steady way everybody acts.

  11. To begin with there is no magic in understanding US culture, because to start with it was all imported from Europe a couple of centuries ago, but that is a subject of a different conversation.

    T-Shirts’ statement directly acuses Mexico as country in something that is not factually proven. Its statement does not specify a city or a state, but a country. If it acused the US in such a direct way, your tone would be different.

  12. No Sam, my tone would not be different. In fact, I’m going to venture so far as to say that you’ve never been to our country – especially California. The Mexicans here DO wear their flag on their boxer shorts, paint it on walls, show it off on their fancy license plate covers, and wear it on their SHIRTS! These are not gringos. They are your people, migrated across the border for a better life then they had back in your country.

    You’re right about the fact that a lot of our people came from Europe (for the same reasons that your people come here every day). But you’re missing the fact that a lot of YOUR people came from Europe too – they mixed in with the Native Americans and bang! Mexicans.

    I’m not going to Mexico with a swine flu shirt. I’m not interested in buying one either. But here in the US we do get to wear, say, think for ourselves – irrespective of thousand-year-old traditions. We are new – we are changing. That’s not a bad thing! LOL

  13. Racist? Really? Have you seen our President lately? Have you been to a school in a big city? Do you know we have actual laws protecting minorities and their rights?

    If I remember correctly, the black people and the indians in your country are discriminated against pretty harshly. You know what they say about glass houses?

  14. Es una groseria lo que estampan en las camisetas referente a la gripa porcina
    ES DENIGRANTE que juzguen a todo un pais de esta manera. Ahora que si quieren desprestigiar a Mexico para que no vengan HAGANLO DE MANERA MAS INTELIGENTE, no con estas acciones tan aberrantes.

  15. La creatividad y el talento se utilzan para crear belleza. En este caso sus camisas fueron diseñadas por personas sin el mas sentido de respeto y sentido comun.
    Como es posible que se permita este tipo de aberraciones hacia un pais ???

    Atte. Oscar Manuel Vega (G.P.L.C) TECATE, MEXICO

  16. ME parece que esos diseños en sus camisetas son de muy mal gusto. sus camisetas son muy nacas.
    Sus CAMISETAS SON LA PRUEBA DE QUE LA NAQUES NO TIENE FRONTERAS.

  17. To Nick: Just FYI, I have travelled enough around the world (including US & Mexico) to defend Mexico as a country over this T-Shirt debate. Just as you would not joke about something that would hurt the US – I do not see a point of joking over something that has already done catastrophic economical damage to Mexico.

    There is a limit to what a good humor should look like.

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