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Foreign Exchange

Swine flu... It’s a funny thing, hysteria

The global scare over swine flu continues and is getting closer to home. On Monday, I received two telephone calls in rapid succession from close members of my family. “I’ve just seen the news,” said my mother. “And they’ve shut your school because of an outbreak of swine flu,” she told me with a hint of worry in her voice.

“Well it’s a good job I left it in 1981,” I responded somewhat abruptly. The next day, I left home relatively early to head up to London for the ninth Euromoney Forex Forum. Inevitably, the trains weren’t running properly, as is seemingly always the case in the UK the day after a public holiday. When one did eventually turn up, it was packed. I didn’t fancy standing for the long journey up to town so I played my trump card. “Did you see my school, Alleyn’s, was on the telly last night,” I told my travelling companion. “Yeh, they’ve shut it down because of an outbreak of swine flu,” I added, before falsely sneezing several times. The carriage soon cleared, allowing me to relax before heading off to the conference.

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