Oh, delicious, bacony irony: The news media have created such a panicked frenzy over swine flu that some people are now considering deliberate infection, so as to avoid DEADLY accidental infection.

The press is, naturally, disseminating this terrible idea as widely as possible, probably in the hope of creating two awful self-fulfilling prophesies at the same time.The New York Times did a trend piece which included second-hand accounts of two internet questions about self-infection, plus news that a women's magazine reporter is asking doctors if mothers should hold "swine flue parties, like chickenpox parties." Read: Not a real trend, but one the media is very, very hungry to make real.

But the Times also quoted by name a "chief of infection control" at a midwest hospital who was thinking of throwing caution to the wind and going without a face mask on a domestic airplane flight as part of a "passive approach to getting infected:"

"I'm thinking of taking my chances" and forgoing the mask, he said. "That's a change from a week ago. I think to myself, yeah, I'll be miserable for a week - but that'll beat maybe being seriously sick later."

The Times story also quoted a bunch of medical professionals who said this is an insane and reckless idea, obviously.

In summary, do not go to a swine flu party, it's dangerous; but if you do go to a swine flu party, or hear rumors about a swine flu party, or are thinking about having a swine flu party, you are very edgy and interesting and definitely call your nearest reporter, because he or she is dying to talk to you, out of sheer fascination.

[NY Times]