Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pork Flu!

PORK FLU!!!!!!!!!!! (as my students translate it) is all the rage these days...

I got a message this morning from a fellow ALT saying that all of his 1st year students and teachers were sent home and half of the 2nd and 3rd year student/teachers because of a pork flu scare! After i got his message my staff room was going amok with everyone whispering "buta influenza buta influenza" and talking about my friends school closing down... since it happens to be RIGHT NEXT DOOR! come on piggy piggy.... get on over here so I can go home and sleep.
I've just been so tired lately and feeling so lazy - not wanting to do anything. I'm not sure if it's the crazy rain/humidity/heat/cold nights... but it probably has to do with the fact that Ive been non-stop working since July with back to back English camps, Tokyo and Sapporo Orientations, Festivals, a wedding, Obon week, etc... but maybe... just maybe... I have a little pork in me. If you get the flu in Japan you get sent home for at least a WEEK!!!! oooooh!!!! Im dreaming of all the movies and TV shows I could watch. ;-)

I know I know... pork flu is nothing to joke about... but I do have to say that the Japanese govt and people are going a tad berserk over this whole thing. When swine flu first broke out back in May - I was in my 10 day Vipassana Meditation retreat so I had no clue what had happened... but my girlfriend Leah (who was teaching down in Gifu) was back in the States for a friend's wedding. When she flew back to Japan, her plane landed at Tokyo Narita Airport and stayed grounded for hours!!!! They all had to fill out this questionnaire which asked them if they had a cough, cold or flu or any symptoms. Well... lucky for Leah she had a slight cold and had been coughing on the flight. She debated checking no for the whole questionnaire but at the end it said she could face imprisonment if she lied. oh crap!!! So she honestly answered the questionnaire. A bit later while still grounded, UFO/astronaut men entered the plane with their radars and infrared flu ghostbuster type contraptions.... they scanned everyone on the plane and then pulled Leah out of her seat along with a few other passengers..... She had to go to the front of the plane and without warning they JAMMED a long q-tip up her nose!!!!!!!!! OUCH!!!!! they ran some tests, took down all of her contact info and let her go back to her seat. Her neighbor was not so welcoming and scootched as far away as possible. Finally after a few hours they let the people off the plane.

But after she returned home, they continued to call her everyday to check her temperature. One of her English teachers at her school had to translate and take down her body temp in the mornings AND evenings for a month I think it was. JEEEEEEBUS!!!! Leah's plane and these incidents were also recorded in the newspaper! Maybe I don't want any pork flu in me. The thought of a long q-tip being shoved up my nose without warning might not be worth a few movies. hrmmmm....

Stay safe everyone and wear those masks.

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