Thankfully someone has noticed the huge danger Swine Flu (that’s that disease that was newsworthy last week, before MPs decided to steal the limelight) poses to us all.
BBC reports that Fr Gerard Fearon of Dominican Chapel, Newry, will not be shaking hands with his parishoners this Sunday for fear of spreading the horrible disease which has a lethal number of zero cases confirmed in Northern Ireland thus far. Fr Fearon said,
I just thought we would suspend it for a while in the context that scientists are saying that we should be protecting ourselves against swine flu and how it is important to have clean hands
And bless him for taking this measure to protect us all. There were suspicions that the new strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 could be transferred over Fr Fearon’s ritual of sneezing on his hand and picking his nose with a cocktail sausage before offering the sign of peace on the way out the door. There is also talk of reverting back to wafers and wine after health concerns regarding bacon fries and Corona.
After complaints by several parishoners that the new health measures did not go far enough, confession has also been closed over fears that germs could be transferred from one side of the box from the other, with Fr Fearon granting ‘Amnesty’ until the outbreak is declared over by the World Health Organisation. Speaking from a white van parked outside the bank, Perky O’Reilly, a 72 year old member of Dominican, said it was a wise precaution and that the amnesty should not be lifted in haste. His brother Pinky, who joined him in a rush soon after, wearing a full facial mask as a precaution against the pandemic, commented simply “Go Go Go, before he gets up again”.