It all came to me as watched a mosquito the size of a stealth bomber circle my fractured ankle.

I’d hobbled downstairs after a most progressive session of physiotherapy from the wonderful Carolyn “I don’t believe in pain” Donaldson and, parked with the offending ankle elevated in the only chair The Old Ball and Chain allows me, I was a sitting duck for the chicken goons I’d heard were running amok in Jamaica. Yes sirree Bob, there was no doubt chicken goons ya! Ye humble scribe was being attacked by one.

Suddenly, it struck me. I finally knew how to become a billionaire. I’d go into the (legal) drug business and manufacture a pill that’d drive away chicken goons

Do you have that rundown feelin’, does your head go reelin?
Are you nervous, jumpy or on the edge?
Is it neuritis, neuralgia, a head cold or stress?
Or maybe its your sinus drainage.
Do you have high blood, Berry-Berry?
Or maybe you’re a little overweight?

I suddenly envied the Panadol patent owners. If aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus hadn’t volunteered to carry the virus, I’m certain Panadol patent owners would’ve infected them. It’s the latest fad for anybody with a mild headache to have Panadol and water three times a day instead of meals. Why can’t I get a piece of that action?

You better make some correction in all this infection.
Just send in one dollar ninety eight.
Get ridda that runny nose, that nagging cough, that sneeze,                      (achoo), that wheeze and other injuries.
Take the wonder drug that cures all your ills,
Take Jeremiah Peabody’s polyunsaturated, quick-dissolving,                      fast-acting, pleasant-tasting green and purple pills.

When chicken goons leave, maybe I can start another panic this time with ant transmitted viruses. Didja know ants transmit a new virus called “St Vitus’ Dance”? Cross my heart and hope to dwl. Symptoms include jerky motions; involuntary scratching of nether regions; and what dancehall artists might call jiggery-pokery. Don’t worry, I’ve a pill for that too.

Well, it won’t upset your stomach; it’s good for arthiritis;
it sooths all your aches and pains.
Get ridda those hammers in your head.
Don’t be a hyprakrondriac ,
Start feelin’ better again…
It’s good for every ailment, including water on the knee
and it’s guaranteed to be just what you need
for quick, fast, easy relief…
Take the wonder drug that cures all your ills.
Take Jeremiah Peabody’s polyunsaturated, quick-dissolving,                      fast-acting, pleasant-tasting, green and purple pills.

Fun and joke aside, it’s time to tone down the hysteria and pernicious politicking about chickungunya. Compared to some diseases, like Ebola, this is a walk in the park. Although, like many innocuous diseases, chickungunya can combine with pre-existing conditions to produce low morbidity rates, it’s not worth the mass panic being promoted mainly for political profit. Unlike dengue, you only get chickungunya once so it’ll pass through Jamaica and leave soon enough permitting us to turn our attentions to more serious health problems.

Here are some FACTS about chickungunya from WHO to file alongside the frenzied rumour bruiting about:

  • Chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
  • Chikungunya shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed where dengue is common.
  • There’s no cure for chikungunya (like the common cold). Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms.

“Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. The joint pain is often debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days. Joint pains can be prolonged to weeks.

Most patients recover fully. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Serious complications aren’t common, but, in older people, chikungunya can contribute to the cause of death. Often symptoms in infected individuals are mild and the infection may go unrecognized, or be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue occurs.”

So, if you don’t have a chickungunya combo (with fries and soda), stop fretting. If you’ve diabetes, sickle cell or other chronic conditions, you need to seek attention. The rest of us should stay home and allow the public health services to concentrate on those (with complications) needing treatment.

Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills is a novelty song written and recorded in 1961 by singer/songwriter/comedian Ray Stevens (of Ahab the Arab fame). It’s also famous for having the second-longest title (104 characters) of any single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Peace and Love


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