Celebrity Swine Flu-ential

MissMalini , 10 Aug 2009
First celebrity death: Swine Flu claims Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy in isolation.

exlusiveOk I confess, I’m totally paranoid about this swine flu business now. I look at everyone who so much as sneezes with deep horror and have emptied a bottle of hand sanitizer in half a day. (The irony is that by the end of this pandemic I may still be alive but will quite possible have lost my mind, swell.) But anyhow, life goes on (hopefully) so I thought I’d ask some of the rich and restless just how paranoid they’re feeling and what precautions they’re taking (if any); here goes.
*Check out www.bolohealth.com for the latest info and immunity building techniques to combat Swine Flu.*

Riyaaz Amlani (restauranter): “None whatsoever.”

Candice Pinto (model): “I’m very prone to cough and cold and tend to fall ill often so I have started using the mask as I have been travelling quite a bit and I don’t move around in crowded places unless its important.”

Sid Coutto (singer/drummer): “I’m on my way back from Pune where I played a gig, have not been wearing a mask and have been breathing in as much air as I normally would. If you gotta go, you gotta go.”

Rahul Da Cunha (playwright): “Not feeling paranoid at all. Unnecessary panic is being spread.”

Pia Trivedi (model): “Yes I’m slightly paranoid as it is spreading really quick and there’s no control on it, but apart from taking vitamins everyday, I’m trying my best to avoid road side or even outside food for sometime till this virus is curbed. I’m also keeping a distance from those that are falling ill, as you don’t know if its just a flu or swine flu.”

Kishen Mulchandani (party animal): “Avoiding crowds, avoiding everything.”

Kelly Dorji (model): “I have traveled to every country where swine flu is rampant. I am thankful for not having got it yet. Maintain personal hygiene and proper distance in person. India is overpopulated so I’m taking a working break in the mountains, and no, one does not have to avoid pigs, living or dead.”

Archana Vijaya (VJ/model): “I’m a bit paranoid cos I’m flying into India soon and heard its getting pretty bad there with more and more cases everyday… will wear a mask while traveling and be very aware!”

Pearl (DJ): “So paranoid that I went to play a gig this weekend in Pune! Yes people are taking precautions and you see the odd mask but there was not much paranoia around as touted all over the news.”

Anubhav Pal (playwright/scriptwriter): “I’m being especially rude to pigs.”

*Shehnaaz Treasuryvala (actress/TV host): “With over 14 million people, we live in the biggest city on the planet. On an average day I come into contact with at least five hundred people and when I’m shooting, (which is what I’m doing non-stop these days) that number doubles. Am I worried? I have reason to be. The papers say stay away from people who have symptoms of a flu but hey how are we supposed to know that they have the symptoms until they cough in our face?!
Picture this, I’m doing a big scene and my the director/co-star sneezes. What should I do? Say, excuse me and make a run for it :) I don’t think they’ll take to that every nicely. They also say that we could be infected by the person before they had any symptoms so really is there any escape?! What precautions can we take? Not walk on the streets. Not take rickshaws? Not go to the gym? Stop going to the market?  Stop working? I cant sit in the house all day by myself. I cannot just not show up to work. I refuse to isolate myself. I don’t have the flu…. Yet (I hope) should I walk around with a mask ? Should I chew on neem? Or should we all take tamiflu tabs…? …But then if we really get the swine flu that would make us all immune to the tabs. Should I run away and fly off to another country but hey, this swine flu (pun intended) is everywhere!! So truthfully. Ya, I am a bit worried for my country, city, family, friends and me. But precautions? I can’t think of any!”

Basab Paul (restauranter): “Not at all paranoid. We are all gonna die one day, build a strong immune system, eat well and live the good life, C’est la vie.”

Saurabh Kanwar (VP, Content & Communication at Channel [v] also my new boss!): “I’m personally seeing this as a realistic option for weight loss. But seriously. It’s my kids we’re worried about. My wife’s a doc, so she’s trained them both about using sanitizer, avoiding folks who sneeze and letting elders know immediately if they think anyone around them is ill. Plus we’re definitely cutting back on the non-essential public place excursions. Plus it’s a cool excuse to sleep in, since they’re saying getting enough snooze-time helps build your immunity.”

Anu Dewan (fashionista): “Been paranoid, not been sending my daughter to school or parks.”

Sulaiman Merchant (composer): “Me? And paranoid? Kabhi nahin. Went to America right in the middle of the epedemic and am going back on the 27th. Swine flu is totally curable and is pretty similar to any other flu except for the fact that it spreads quite rapidly.”

Suved Lohia (restauranter): “Being the bum I am not at all. In fact I cough purposely and say got swine flu and see people run helter skelter hahaha.”

Akbar Sami (DJ) “Yeah, I’m not just paranoid but pulling my hair out because I’m going on my US tour on August 12th, my family physician has given me some medication and shots to keep the flu away.”

Teejay Siddhu (actress/dancer): “I’m not feeling paranoid about swine flu – I know which symptoms to look out for so I keep a check on that. In fact when I see people wearing masks it makes me wonder if that person has symptoms. I do think the authorities need to check more thoroughly – my sister was here on a short visit from Canada – at the airport she was asked if she had a cough/cold. She said no and was allowed to proceed. What if she’d really has swine flu and just walked through?”

Sunil Lulla (EVP Sony Entertainment Television): “Not paranoid, been traveling between cities and countries. Cover my nose/mouth as always if I do sneeze of if someone else does it. Just taking care.”

Shruti Sen (model): “Bit scary after a death in the city cos of swine flu. As precautions we are maintaining hygiene. Washing hands with dettol after regular intervals. Even avoiding outside eatables.”

Ashwin Mushran (actor): “Strangely enough I’m not paranoid about swine flu at all. Doesn’t seem to be any worse than dengue fever or certain strains of malaria which kill people every year. Just another flu strain that pos up every few years. It’s viral revolution and no, I’m not taking any precautions malz :) if they doctors don’t know how to deal with it then I can’t be bothered.”

Arshiya Eappen (designer): “I’m not paranoid because there have been no cases in South Bombay, but I am being careful as I am pregnant. I would make sure not to go to places withing India or visit countries been badly hit by it.”

Vir Das (stand up comic): “I’m extremely paranoid. Am refusing to associate with any kind of swines. This includes mechanics, brokers, lawyers, politicians and credit card companies.”

missmalini (OPP, yeah you know me): Totally paranoid. Omigod. I just sneezed. I feel like Ali from Mind Your Language. “We are all going to die!” Somebody please slap me (with a sanitized hand.)

Thank god for somegreybloke, ever since I’ve found him on the internet I’ve been laughing out loud all by myself at my computer screen. At least I’ll die laughing. *cough cough*

*After reading Shehnaz’s comment I feel slightly better about being so stressed :)

Here’s a short piece on the testing experience by @rockgird on Twitter who tweeted me, “@missmalini I know I’m no celebrity, but I got tested for swine flu today, its not as big a deal as it looks like, just have to be little alert.”

A short note on my experience at swine flu diagnostic center at Hyderabad.

I was suffering from sever cough and cold since 2 days. Last night couldn’t even sleep because of sore throat and and head-ache. Today when I came to office, I wasn’t in very good shape. Some of my colleagues suggested me to get a checkup for swine flu… coz it’s everywhere on the news and obviously the paranoia.

I feel puckish by the name of govt. hospital, you know it’s all dirty and smelly, since it was the only place for the test, I had to go. As soon as I landed there, I was covered with people in masks, had no difficulty in locating the place.

It was an isolated building, and only beings with masks on were around, and as usual there was queue, I had to stand for 40 min to get my turn. meanwhile I saw people rushing in and rushing out, some with reports, some with kids, some with old people. But the place was very quite, not that dirty as I assumed either, there were two doctors one male and other female.

Their approach was simple, first they were asking various questions to patients, like whether they or people they usually interact with had a foreign trip lately. whether they’ve visited Pune or other places with more cases of swine flu. Then they asked what are the symptoms they have… around 70% of the janta including me was sent home after this stage … saying that they have regular flu and they should go and see any physician.

Others were asked to take a some test, and present the report. I didn’t see any one getting admitted in front of me, but there were quite a few beings who were asked to take the test, specially children. Since I was told that I can’t possibly have swine flu, so I came to office jubilantly, after visiting my physician.  I was glad that I went … at least I don’t feel sick mentally … :)


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