Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surfing [Print without images]

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Updated: June 15, 1:13 PM ET
"That's All Folks"


Known officially as the H1N1 virus, for the sake of Porky and thousands of stuttering pigs like him, don't call it swine flu!
Swine flu this, swine flu that. Good lord, this whole pandemic craze as become so absurd it's the now the running joke down on the beach at Lowers. Forsaken are all the bro shakes and high fives, "Don't give me the swine flu," is sarcastically given as the reason.

Surfers laze fair attitude and mainstream media's extreme paranoia aside, lets put a little perspective on this. In the United States, a country of over 300 million people, there are now only 109 confirmed cases and one confirmed fatality. 13,000 people have died this year from the regular, old flu, which one would think might deserve a little more notice. But alas, in the 24-hour news cycle in which we live, I guess the Anderson Coopers and Glenn Becks of the world need something to report on.

"I think I'm going down to Baja next week," said Rusty Long today, when asked if he was going to be sticking around San Clemente for much longer. "It's probably a really good time to go down there."

And that leads me to my point, while the rest of the world freaks out, as always surfers are just cruising through it, not really all that eager to accept the fact that they too are part of the human race.

"You can't be worried," added another surfer sitting nearby. "It's not like surfers are going and partying in Mexico City. You just know Rusty's going to the most remote place he can find. The only thing he's going to catch is a set or two on the head."

Now, this doesn't mean I'm advocating going to Mexico. But I'm also not exactly against the idea of canceling a surf trip just because a sliver of the population is ill. I'm curious to know what everybody else is thinking. Am I being to cavalier, just another typical surfer? Is there really reason for concern? Or is this all just a big media blowout that'll fall off the radar the minute something new comes along? Either way, I guess we're going to find out.