Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

I’m sick of swine flu!

I am officially concerned.  Bf has operated a rescue flight out to one of the Swine Flu affected areas. He took an empty plane out and spent a little over 24 hours there before returning home… I know the chances of his actually becoming infected are not particularly significant, but it’s naturally playing on my mind, since the Foreign Office deemed it inadvisable for tourists to visit the area.  The other slight worry is that a passenger was ill on his return flight.

His airline sent him out there equipped him with a mask, gloves and some alcohol wipes.  I guess this is all they can really do to minimise the chances of infection, although obviously they couldn’t sit in the air-conditioned restaurant wearing them, they’re not exactly helpful when eating a meal.   Where possible, the crew ate outside.

I chose not to blog about it until he came back because to be honest I didn’t want to dwell on the prospect or listen to comments until he was home.  I probably wouldn’t mind so much if I could have escape the doom and gloom when I switched on the television, radio or computer, but it’s been nigh on impossible!  News of swine flu has somehow managed to seep its way into every inch of my life. People are talking about it, my friend’s pages on social networking sites are all full of chatter about it.  Newspapers at the shop are screaming at me when I walk past. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about it…

Thankfully, being in the cockpit, Bf breathes different air to the passengers in the cabin, and he and the other pilot avoided non-essential visits to the cabin to keep their risk as low as possible.  

I am naturally concerned, because we have three children to think of, but I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we may now be incubating this new flu virus, and have made the decision to avoid pregnant friends for ten days or so, just in case. That said, it seems that thus far, this flu doesn’t seem to be vastly serious outside of Mexico.  Many people die of regular flu every year, and I guess at least if we do somehow get it, we may end up with some resistance to the this strain of flu. 

More annoyingly, I will no longer be going on Bf’s trip with him in a few days time. The airline rang me the other day to say that they have temporarily withdrawn staff ‘late travel’ perks since they are clearly stretched and they need all available tickets to offer to disappointed would-be swine flu destination tourists.  I am seriously disappointed, and felt quite resentful at first; but putting it into perspective, I guess I can understand their motivation, and I would rather suffer the disappointment of a missed holiday and know that the airline have paying bums on seats (and we have job security), than the alternative.  I cant help feeling disappointed though-we only had our immunisations a week ago! I wish that the media would stop wallowing in this news story as though it was the only thing in the world that mattered though!  At this rate, wearing a sugical mask in the cities could be your quickest route to getting an equity card- I suggest the mask to the left for any photo publicity hungry attention grabbers.  As for my wearing a mask, as my father suggested to me today-pigs may fly first.  I’m led to believe they are not terribly useful to anyone except health care workers (although I’m not ruling that out right now, pigs seem to be having the last laugh right now).


Actually, the airline are discussing whether they should take staff returning from rescue flights off active duty for a duration of time to allow any possible symptoms to surface. This does make sense. Bf would be very disappointed to be pulled off the trip that he is due to fly, but at the same time it does seem irresponsible to send crew who have returned from Swine flu hot spots, and therefore pose a higher risk threat, to currently uninfected countries. Especially the poorer countries that may not deal with an outbreak too well.  We still have no confirmation. So I guess we’ll have to just watch this space to see whether he is ‘quarantined’.


One Response to “I’m sick of swine flu!”

  1. Yep, the numbers are inflated and/or fictional. Remember that we’re dealing with “experts,” the vast majority of whom know it’s always better to be “creative” with the statistics than to let the peons find out that they overstated their own importance. Did nobody else find it…interesting…that when the H1N1 numbers were far below the hype, the reporting methods were changed and the numbers magically (and retroactively!) increased?

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