Take physic, pomp

Argentines neurotic? Shome mishtake shurely ossifer!

The two types of swine flu fever (AH1N1 and the panic that comes before it) are sweeping Buenos Aires this morning. Schools report up to 45% absenteeism as parents keep their little treasures at home. Argentina’s embattled Heatlh Minister, Graciela Ocaña, doesn’t want a repeat of the total snafu she made of the dengue outbreak in the North of Argentina this year so she’s already out on the radiowaves telling people not to panic, get on with ordinary lives, take sensible precautions, etc.

It won’t work, believe me. Argentines are amongst the most hypochondriac races on the planet. Take a walk down any street in any town and count the pharmacies for one thing. And their private health insurance sector is one of the most profitable in Latin America, noted by the number of heavy hitters fighting for a slice of the sector. So Swine Flu will be a big hit in the land of Kirchner in the weeks to come…a made to measure neurosis for a country of neurotics.

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