Here at ScienceBlogs we have a (very) informal agreement to try to avoid profanity-laden titles. Personally, they don't bother me at all, but I can see the point---there are lots of folks who probably don't want their feed reader to pop up with what I'm about to say.
What the FUCK hath swine flu wrought????
I warned you that swine flu would bring out the charlatans. In the course of hours to days, a virtual zombie army of immoral, idiotic, evil fucking quacks has risen to fan your fears and take you cash.
It's really hard to overstate this, but the people who engage in this fact- and morals-free exploitation are some of the worst people on this planet. Humans invented words for people who exploit and prey on your fears in order to benefit themselves (and, no, the word is not douchemonkey): evil.
Take "Dr" Wegmann at that execrable waste of bytes, the Huffington Post. This guy can't even write a title without lying: 3 Sure-Fire Strategies to Prevent the Swine Flu.
Hey, fuck face: we don't know enough about this thing yet to use the hack phrase "sure-fire". Of course, that doesn't really matter to you, you lying sack of excrement-filled kishkes. The lies pour out of you like pus from a diabetic foot wound (but less bonum et laudum). You actually go on to recommend fucking glorified massage therapy to prevent the fucking flu! That's not even wrong! You reason that since chiropractic enhances the immune system (according to some dude--what, did you hear that at the bar?), that it is a "sure-fire" way to prevent the flu.
Now, ignoring (if that is humanly possible) the fact that rubbing someone's back cannot prevent an infectious disease, and ignoring the vacuously meaningless statement of "boosting immunity", even if we could "boost immunity", who's to say that's a good thing? One theory for why the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 killed so many young people and spared the very young and elderly (unlike the usual flu) is that their relatively more robust immune systems killed them by over-reacting.
Oh, and you just "happen" to sell these "sure-fire" treatments. Yuck. I feel like I have to wash my brain out with bleach.
Of course, no one brings the cynical, I'll-make-up-the-problem-and-sell-you-the-fix paranoidwackaloongoatnuts insanity like Mike Adams. He actually does something clever with this one---he tells just enough truth to make a credible lie. It is true that data on wearing masks to prevent flu transmission is incomplete. Current recommendations are based on best available evidence and experience, skewed to the safer alternative. But let's let him show off his stoopid skillz. What he is doing is telling people not to be deceived into buying masks to prevent flu. Rather than explaining that is is largely unnecessary at this point, he sets of the mark:
They think wearing a mask protects them from swine flu. The mainstream media perpetuates the myth, broadcasting images of people wearing the masks, all while talking about people "protecting themselves" from swine flu. If it wasn't a potentially life-and-death situation, it would all be quite hilarious.
But let me ask you a question: Have you ever had surgery or visited a surgery room? Did you ever notice that the surgeons and medical staff are all wearing surgical masks that are very similar to the N95 face masks being used by people afraid of swine flu?
Did you ever wonder WHY they are wearing those masks? Here's the question: Are they wearing those masks to protect themselves from the patient's germs? Of course not! They're wearing those masks to prevent their own germs from infecting the patient!
N95 masks, you see, have but one purpose: To prevent the wearer from infecting others. To use blunt medical terminology, they work by preventing snot, spit or other virus-carrying particles from becoming airborne. Thus, if the wearer sneezes, coughs, drools, spits or talks excitedly, his or her infected fluids will be trapped in the mask and will not infect others.
What a fucking idiot. First, there are two main types of face mask: standard surgical facemasks, and N95 masks. Surgical face masks do, indeed, prevent contamination of the surgical field, and not much else, other than protecting the surgeon from some splashing, etc. N95 masks filter out a great deal of small particulate matter, and are used to prevent transmission of some airborne illnesses, such as TB. When entering a room with an active TB patient, we put on N95 masks to, you know, AVOID GETTING FUCKING TUBERCULOSIS! If we have to transport the patient around the hospital, we put one of those uncomfortable bad boys on them.
So when he says, in bold, "N95 masks have virtually no ability to protect the wearer from other people's airborne germs," he is lying, but lying smartly---he uses "virtually" to cover his immoral ass.
He goes on to explain why you should by A FUCKING GAS MASK!
Swine flu is not Sarin gas. It is a virus. Masks are not currently recommended for general use. In health care settings, N95 masks are being used (so far). It's not clear if an N95 mask is actually needed, but we are erring on the side of caution.
Remember, folks, exploiting people's fears for profit is wrong. This is real life, not some game. You're fucking with people's live here. You should be ashamed.
But of course...