I’ve been ill for the last ten days. I should have recognized the warning sign when I lost my voice two weeks ago. Still I soldiered on for five more days until I got a fever which sent me thrashing around in bed, delirious and raving for what seemed like several days, but in fact it was only four hours. After that, I had a gamut of influenza-like symptoms, including queasiness, aching bones, scratchy throat and generally feeling quite crapulous. The kids had a milder version and were back at school by Thursday. I stayed home the whole week, although I did sneak out to the Escher exhibition on Friday.
(Tip to visitors: the Capitoline Museum has a great cafe with a fantastic view from the terrace.)
I’ve since been told that I had una cattiva influenza (definition: a bad, naughty or wicked ‘flu) and that half our service had been off last week. I checked out the range of this naughty naughty ‘flu and found that I got mine just after it peaked in Italy. You can check out the rest of Europe or the US. It’s reassuring to know you’re not suffering alone.
Since we’re on the subject, I can report that I have bought the T-shirt I mentioned previously, together with a new addition to the collection.
They’re great quality cotton, cost â‚¬15 a pop and will certainly stand out from the other slogans doing the rounds this month. It’s a serious business, too. Rinderpest never makes it into the headlines but is one of the reasons for the lack of economic development in affected areas. Imagine your enterprise wiped out by disease. All you know is that business and you have to start from scratch with no capital reserve or possibility of low-interest loans. It’s not a question of bad management or corruption, just entrepreneurs trying to follow best economic practice. They don’t need Paul Wolfowitz to tell them how to manage their herds [/rant].
Taking a leaf out of the Vatican’s book, one of the departments in my organization is making an innovative attempt to raise awareness of animal diseases by marketing a children’s T-shirt in black cotton with a blue cow-shaped blob and a text promoting one of their mission goals: