Friday, May 1, 2009

Cough, Cough, Cough

Oh, for God's sake. Could we all just get hold of ourselves here? It's FLU, people. Somebody gets it every year. In all the millions of people in the United States, precisely 140 have died from it. You wanna work out the percentage on that? People do die from the flu...usually the elderly, infants, and people whose immune systems are compromised in some way.

For the rest of us: STOP READING THE HEADLINES. Read the actual stories under the headlines and you will find, as I did, that just about every single one of those stories says the same's just the flu. You run a fever, you cough, sometimes your stomach gets involved, you get the chills, and in about a week it starts to go away and you're fine. And, as a little added attraction, you've probably lost two pounds because you haven't had an appetite.

My favorite is the fact that they're now trying to change the name from swine flu to something else, for fear people will stop eating pork (and, in the case of some of the members of the lunatic fringe, because it's a slander on pigs).


I've had a lovely day. My cousins Cathy and Charlie turned up from Chicago and DIDN'T move in with me! That was exciting. No, really, they were in town to go to the opera...the Ring Cycle, for God's sake. I consider this an odd reason to go anywhere...I would happily travel for miles in the opposite direction to avoid the Ring Cycle, but there's no accounting for taste. Anyway, we had a lovely walk around the Village while I showed them the scenes and told stories of my misspent youth (you know, last week), and then we went to the White Horse for lunch. While we were at lunch my phone rang, and lo and behold, it was Grant Wilfley Casting! So I now have two days work coming up for an HBO special called Boardwalk Empire about 1920's Atlantic City.

Naturally there are a couple of flaws about this. One is that I have to turn up to get the courtesy van to costume at 7:45 Monday morning in Brooklyn - that's for fittings. The second flaw is that what I'm being fitted for is wool - for a shoot that takes place on the Boardwalk - IN JUNE. I will also be wearing black tights. Ah, well - it's truly amazing what one can put up with when one is being paid for it. I'm pretty sure from the context that what I'm wearing will be a 1920's bathing costume...which involves several woolen layers. And a nice wool hat. I'm one of a group of about a stretch (said she, taking another swig of her beer).

And tomorrow I get up at 5 am to get to 97th and 5th by 8 am for the Revlon Run/Walk thing...boy, I better make some decent contacts there (volunteering for the Actors Fund is ALL about networking). Yes, yes, I know it's for the good of the cause, but I'm not sure about any good that can ever come out of my getting up at 5 am. Usually I just stand around and bite people at that hour. I can see it now...gasping runners come by the Actors Fund booth for water and I reach out and bite their fingers off. I don't think this counts as good PR. As least the email I received stated that there would be a "light breakfast" for the volunteers...that damn well better include some very heavy coffee. And maybe even a stray muffin...

And now I think I shall play solitaire for the duration of my beer and go to bed, so I can get up at 5 tomorrow all bright and shiny. Yeah...the only thing that would make me get up at 5 am all bright and shiny would be someone gilding me while I slept, a la Goldfinger. I think I'll settle for growling my way out of bed in my usual surly fashion.

Love, Wendy


Anonymous said...


My name is Rob Colding and I am the marketing person at Plexus Publishing, Inc. We published the book The Boardwalk Empire. Can you tell me [if possible] if shooting has started?

You can contact me at

Thank you,

Rob Colding
Book Marketing Coordinator
Information Today, Inc/Plexus Publishing, Inc. [USA]

Justin S. said...

Sorry, Wendy -- but you're embarrassingly wrong on this one.

I'm not sure where you got the figure of 145 "flu" fatalities per year. According to the CDC, 36,000 people die of the "regular type A flu" per year, while about 36,000,000 people contract it.


That makes the actual percentage of fatality for "regular flu" .001%. Or, one thousandth of one percent of people who contract the "regular" flu die from it.


The "swine" flu on the other hand, (the one with surface proteins H1 and N1) has a much higher fatality rate.

Again, according to the CDC, the fatality rate is about 15-20% (or approximately 1 in 5.)


1 in 100,000 people will die of regular flu.


1 in 6 people will die of the H1N1 strain of flu.

Regardless, the real fear is that the H1N1 flu could continue to mutate or bind with the surface proteins from the H5N1 flu strain.