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The HINEY flu

September 16, 2009 - Jennifer Brookens
A couple weeks ago, I walked in on some grumbling commissioners. I was given an issue of the Sentinel in which the tease on the top of the page said "swine flu." It was circled, and the words "No More!" were scrawled beside it.

It was a reminder of something we at the Sentinel have been trying to resist. It's true H1N1 doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "swine flu" but with Martin County being the biggest pork-producing county in the state, it does cause a problem. Especially since the pigs have NOTHING to do with this flu outbreak (in fact, news reports indicate it has been found in turkeys this time around, but who wants a turkey backlash just in time for Thanksgiving?!)

On Tuesday, the Martin County commissioners verbally gave the Sentinel credit for trying to avoid "Swine flu" since then, but agreed to compose a letter to several other media outlets to refrain from calling H1N1 the "swine" flu.

So this leads me to my daughter's solution - along with a few others who stumbled onto this along the way... In April, when H1N1 first made headlines, my daughter looked at the scroll on the TV and said, "Hiney flu?!" Naturally it gave us a good laugh, but I've heard it referred to it that way by other people since then. Well, it's catchy and shouldn't offend or destroy any possible industries. Chances are, it's too late to fully catch on, but it's the one little grin I can get out of what is a serious and not-so-funny story.

But whether you call it H1N1 or Hiney, just remember to wash your hands. Wash them again, and use those sanitizers. Sneeze or cough into sleeves, and this year forego Minnesota tough and stay home from work or school if you're sick. Let's keep this virus's hiney in check!


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