Where Did THAT Come From – Osaka Flu – With a General Warning About The Flu


There are certain things in life that are so ironic, they make me wonder if there really is such a thing as coincidence, or if there is an old man in the sky, with a huge finger, who waits for the right time to give himself a chuckle, while messing with my life.

And then I think, “No…it’s all in your mind. The mind is a powerful tool as it relates to psychosomatic illness, and this itchy throat and runny nose CAN’T have anything to do with getting the Osaka Flu in TSTO.”

And then I sneeze…covering my computer screen and keyboard with millions, if not billions of tiny germ globules, that has me feverishly (wait…does my head feel warm?) reaching for the disinfectant spray and Purell.

The flu is like that. Marge found out the hard way…and ended up doing hard time because of it. Me? I just became obsessed with trying to figure out the answer to “why we get the flu?” and if there is any real reward in “curing” our characters who are infected in TSTO.

The answers may make you feel a bit queasy…

Let’s start with the fact that the origins of the Flu are pretty sketchy at best, as it pertains to mankind’s development and dispersal throughout the world.

While it makes sense to think that early man (and women and children, to be inclusive) most likely suffered from something resembling the flu, it seems that the version that makes us miserable (and Big Pharm wealthy in “remedies” each year) actually didn’t find its way into our systems until we had migrated and evolved throughout the Asian countries…and got bored.

I’ll come back to this in a minute…but yes…I think I can safely say that pet-lovers and some distant version of the ASPCA are responsible for the modern version of the flu. Shocking…but, not surprising.

As it pertains to the Simpsons and TSTO,  as is per usual with most of what shows up in the game, the “Osaka Flu” had a very brief appearance in an episode, which actually centered on Marge going to jail, and the ramifications thereof.

In a quick synopsis of the episode, “Marge in Chains” (S4E21), the Osaka Flu starts the episode rolling when a factory worker on an assembly line assembling the “Juice Loosener,” (a juicer sold on a shopping show, and invented by Dr. Nick), sneezes into the box headed for Homer.   Homer and the rest of the family (and town) get “the Osaka Flu” and Marge, overworked and stressed by trying to take care of everyone, gets arrested for shoplifting when she forgets to pay for something at the grocery store. While jailed, the town devolves into chaos.

That’s it…as far as the Osaka Flu in the Simpsons.

But, WHERE DOES THE OSAKA FLU REALLY COME FROM????? And why is it in our game????

Remember…I do the research, so you don’t have to. And if you are reading this on the Internet, then you know it MUST be true. So…buckle in, put a sneeze guard on your padular device, and make sure to wash your hands regularly.

TRUE FACT:  I came down with a version of influenza on the very day that I got OSAKA FLU in TSTO. So…you can see why I have more than a passing interest in all of this.

The Basics: Google says- Influenza (see where the flu term comes from?) is a virus that’s spread from person to person. It originates, actually, among birds and other animals such as pigs,  and new viral strains of influenza come to this country and to Europe from Southeast Asia.

OK. Pretty basic. Even for Google. 

Here is a link to the WIKI explanation…but, frankly, reading it made my eyes start to water, and my throat scratchy:

The flu is nothing to sneeze at…well, actually…I guess in theory, you can sneeze at it once you have it. But, the most viral forms, (A virus of three, including B and C) are H2N2, which caused Asian Flu in 1957, H3N2, which caused Hong Kong Flu in 1968.

Lethal pandemics are rare, although they pop up throughout history, with the severity of flu symptoms being fatal to MILLIONS of people.  Written history of pandemics go back as far as ancient Greece, (Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, first described influenza in 412 BC.), but modern pandemics in 1889 (Russian flu), 1918 (the Spanish flu), 1958 (The Asian Flu), and 1969 (Hong Kong Flu), prove that origins are sketchy, but can spread worldwide in as little time as it takes to open a box with sneeze-germs from a foreign country.

But, the REAL CULPRIT HERE isn’t people (nothing bad that happens in the world is ever our fault…right?), but domesticated animals!!  Birds (chickens and ducks in most cases), and pigs, (aka swine) are the most prevalent, but have also been spread  by other animals, including horses, dogs, cats, and even ferrets.

See a trend here? 

I strongly suspect (and if you are reading it here on the interweb that is must be true) that mankind was just fine while it was EATING animals. It was when we started to domesticate them, and name them, and dress them up in funny clothes and let them sleep with us in the bed, and eat table scraps off of the dinner table, that this entire mess really kicked into gear!

Is it any coincidence that the ancient Greeks were also the originators of the Chicken Gyro (mmmmmm….Gyros), and needed to domesticate chickens to have enough to sell at the Gyro stands outside of the Theatre’ (where a popular Greek tragedy about the flu pandemic of 412 BC was playing)?  I think not sir!!

And then, the touring company of “Oedipus Sneezes,” visits China, and while there, also introduces the Gyro (which was then morphed into “Moo Shoo Chicken” with tiny versions of the wrap closely resembling the Gyro), and BOOM!…the Flu is spread to a region of BILLIONS of people who end up becoming the manufacturing hub for the entire world.

ANOTHER COINCIDENTAL FACT:  I got a new iPhone a couple of weeks ago…and the box may have been sneezed in…causing me to GET the flu, on the very day I was playing TSTO, and got the OSAKA flu!!   It was made in China!! Just sayin’…

There is an irony about all of this…in that even though the flu clearly came from Greece, the Asians get blamed for really spreading it around the world. That really isn’t fair, in that Apple is an American company. But I digress.

However…to round up this episode of “Where Did THAT Come From,”  I can’t help but be puzzled by the way the Osaka flu is used in TSTO.

First, Osaka is in Japan. Not China. And they don’t have Gyros, or Moo Shoo there…but they DO have sushi, which is a far healthier version of a “rolled up meal,” because it doesn’t have chicken, pig, or even horse in it. So…typical of the Simpsons, they are deflecting blame from the Greeks, and Chinese (because they need the padular devices made in China for the game), and onto the Japanese, which seems small, and cowardly.  But, I digress again…

In the game…you get the flu randomly.  I know. I’ve watched it float around my town, and the little germ cloud passes right over TSTO characters and even the Tourists of you are watching them.
As witnessed. Flu passes right over a tourist who clearly deserves the flu for wearing a beret and Bikenstocks, while wandering aimlessly.

But, when you log in, you will often find that one, two, three, four or even five (depending on what level you are on in the pandemic) of your tourists are infected.  Or not. I really can’t tell WHEN, or HOW they are infected…but only know it doesn’t happen when I am watching the cloud (kind of like a proton in the “double slit experiment” in quantum physics).  The flu just hits when you aren’t expecting it to.

Your reward is kinda random…as you get to have MORE flu victims, when you clear the French Pins your neighbors leave you.  There is still no clear indication if your neighbors can get the flu from visiting your town, or if you can get it from visiting a neighbor’s town, but it certainly can’t be passed through the exchange of Gyros, as there are none in the game. That’s it. No real prizes here, folks!

What I DO know…is that my flu started the same day that I got the Osaka flu in my TSTO game…and while symptoms are only supposed to last 7-9 days, this update still has more than 25 days to go!

Holyfreakinshirt! That is a LOT of Purell!! 

On a final note…as the flu in real life is passed by germs connected to sneezing and coughing, be a GOOD HUMAN BEING, and don’t just sneeze or cough into the open. It is now recommended that you sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm. I know. It’s gross.
osaka-sneezeBut, is far better than spreading a gazzilion germs into the air (or an iPhone box).

Wash your hands a lot… but MOST IMPORTANT… Wash your clothes after using them for a giant Kleenex.  And for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT MAKE PET BEDS for your chickens, pigs, or other pets out of un-laundered clothing, or serve them scraps of your Gyro from the table!!

I hope you have found this explanation as helpful to you as I did writing it.

I have to go blow my nose now…and my shirt is in the dryer.

46 responses to “Where Did THAT Come From – Osaka Flu – With a General Warning About The Flu

  1. I think EA must have have flu and it’s impacting their math skills! Today my game shows 100.01% of the world is infected. So it’s spreading to other planets now?

    • Josephine Kick@$$

      Lol, mine is at 100.5%

    • From what I have been finding. When I tap on one of my buildings that has (Fan/Pin) icon on it. It adds a count to the Infection Severity. So when you see Sky Credits being added to your count when tapping on (Fan/Pin) icons the Fan/Pin doesn’t raise your Pin count but does raise your Infection Count.
      Tapping on infected tourists in your town will not add to the Infection Severity.
      Hope this make a bit of sense.
      I am at Level 4 and to get to level 5 I have 627/1000. I am at 100.9% of the world being infected.

      As TSTOaddicts said, it’s just a side game that really doesn’t seem to do much. I guess it just give a distraction when things are going slow

  2. I’m kind of confused on this Osaka Flu event I’m still at lvl 1 and seen here people are in lvl 3 and 4 , I don’t really know how the infection spreads go but mines seems to go up randomly I’m currently at 71 and I do try to get on every 4 hours since the event started which makes it 2 – 3 times a day and every time I click on the one infected with the cloud the number doesn’t go up at all let’s say it’s at 71 and I cleared the cloud with the infected tourists I won’t see other tourist infected at all when I go back to see the map is still at 71 lol so I’m confused on how this really works and what do you have to do in order for it to go up any help thanks.

    • I’m totally with you here–very confused about this. You can “cure” someone of the flu by tapping on them, but that doesn’t add to your score. I’m pretty sure I got a “flu point” by resetting a home a neighbor had tapped of mine, but it’s not consistent. Also, what’s with the &age of people infected? The percentage is going up, but what does that mean? I’m now on level 2, but confused about this part of the event.

    • I had posted this in the wrong reply. so I am reposting here again just in case you didn’t see it above.

      From what I have been finding. When I tap on one of my buildings that has (Fan/Pin) icon on it. It adds a count to the Infection Severity. So when you see Sky Credits being added to your count when tapping on (Fan/Pin) icons the Fan/Pin doesn’t raise your Pin count but does raise your Infection Count.
      Tapping on infected tourists in your town will not add to the Infection Severity.
      Hope this make a bit of sense.
      I am at Level 4 and to get to level 5 I have 627/1000. I am at 100.9% of the world being infected.

      As TSTOaddicts said, it’s just a side game that really doesn’t seem to do much. I guess it just give a distraction when things are going slow

  3. I have been quite lucky. No flu for me for 15 years (give or take a couple of years). I get a flu shot every year and, so far, it has worked. I also do not have any kids at home anymore!

  4. Maybe you can’t see them contract the disease because of the Osaka Flu Uncertainty Principle.

  5. Unrelated but I’m sure I caught a cold the day Osaka Flu arived in our game. I had my flu shot, so I’m calling it a cold.

    Sadly the flu this year is killing children at a concerning rate, especially in New York. There’s still time to get vaccinated.

    My grandma died of the Hong Kong flu in her 40s and I never met her. 🙁

    • Josephine Kick@$$

      I’m sorry you missed out on enjoying your grandmother 😕 Mine passed when I was in my 30’s, so I was able to spend enough time with her to still miss her cooking decades later. I’ve always felt she is my guardian angel, & have worn her ring since I received it😊 She has been an inspiration to me as far as my own grandchildren go (it helps when my 5 year old granddaughter tries my patience) 😂 She’s going to do amazing things when she grows up, but for now, aye aye aye! 💞

  6. Tracy - 1ltwoody920

    There’s a great music store in Bend. On the corner on the Main Street, if I recall correctly. (~10 years ago).

  7. Flintstones chewable morphine!

  8. I also got the flu! XP

  9. From my observations:
    Every 4 hours each “flu cloud” infects one tourist. That is if you log in every 4 hours, you’ll surely have infected tourists to tap.
    In addition to that tourists can get infected between those 4-hour scheduled infections. But it is rather rare – with 2 infection clouds I observed that less than once a day.

  10. I said this elsewhere, but I really, really, REALLY want a virus cloud as a permanent character after this event is over.

  11. I hope you feel better soon Patric and everyone else on the thread with the real life flu. As for the in game flu I don’t really understand the point of it yet. I’m still collecting and almost at 1000 but there doesn’t seem to be a clear great reward waiting for me. I’ll keep plugging away. Rest up everyone.

  12. I’m kinda hoping that the idea of EA making this into the game spreads into a new event Biohazard/Medical Emergency (Contagion) Event.

    I want Wendell ! I want Hazmat suits, I want Bubble-Boy Bart skin! Sure it could be a mini-event maybe.

    But the germ doorway demo explaining Mr. Burns health condition, needs to be incorporated.

  13. My daughter got the flu after her town was infected. Coincidence?

  14. Josephine Kick@$$

    I hope you get better soon Patric 😊
    That being said…
    People do/did that?!?
    And THAT’S why I don’t do that.
    I completely agree.
    Wow, I didn’t know that, how cool.
    Gee thanks, TMI.
    (Those aren’t in any specific order)

    Great WDTCF Patric😀

    It might sound worse than sneezing into the crook of your arm, but I try to pull the top of my shirt up over my mouth/nose if I can’t grab a tissue quick enough. It alleviates the necessity to nonchalantly check for… ewww, I’ll just leave it at that.

  15. Hi Cube3DEx – M Hello other Dex neighbour – hope all is well with you in Frankston! I was just going to post the clearance box doesn’t get rid of flu victims – but kudos to you; you did it first! My 2 games are on level 5 – So have 5 flu victims not cleared by using the clearance centre tool just wandering until I got to the end of the questline for a tappable solution (& the globe). Cheers from Mill Park! K – PS/ My A game is approaching the 7500 needed for bonus – Anyone know what the prize is?

    • Hello Karon 🙂 Globe is a bit big, but spits out inane facts when tapped. No idea what the bonus is, not too far off finishing everything for this act myself!

  16. Hand to God, since I read this post I have been sneezing nonstop. Thanks Pat!!!

  17. Just in case some people can’t tell you were joking (you never know lol) about someone sneezing in your iphone box and giving you the flu when you opened it, influenza virus is highly unlikely to last that long once outside the host body. The protein coating bursts after a few hours (at least that’s what I remember) 🙂 and basically the virus is constantly evolving (esp when a host is infected by two different strains at the same time) because that’s how it’s genetic material is sturctured, no matter which part of the world it is in 🙂

    • How about if they licked the screen…and then I licked the screen. Not that I did that…but…

      • Josephine Kick@$$


      • Er thanks for the imagery lol If they did wipe the screen dry after licking it, then by the time the phone was in your hands (I’m assuming that it’d take a few days) the virus shouldn’t be able to infect you… At least that’s how I understand it 😬

  18. Tracy - 1ltwoody920

    I’m approaching 800, still, can we have a “spoiler”
    Level 1 is 1 – 100
    Level 2 is 100 – 200
    Level 3 is 200 – 300
    Level 4 is 300 – 1000, I’m roughly at 800
    Level 5 is 1000 – ????
    Maybe something comes at that point, just wondering what that “point” is.

  19. You can tell if a flu cloud has infected someone if you go onto the world map flu page. The Osaka Flu images at the bottom have red dots on when they’re infecting someone. Tapping it will take you straight to the victim.

  20. OMG I too have caught the Osaka flu! Or maybe it’s the Osaka cold, but I have been sick as a 🐶 for three days!

    • Uck, same here! I’m miserable 😷

      • Mine is getting worse since I wrote this post…

        • Josephine Kick@$$

          If you received the influenza vaccine, that’s why you’re feeling worse. There is an enzyme in it that activates when you smile or laugh that causes your symptoms to worsen. I’m not a doctor, but I play one on tv, & stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. (I read it on the internet, too) 😁

  21. I’ve noticed that the flu seems to be contracted every four hours, with all available “levels” infecting the tourists. At the moment I’m on level four, so that means four tourists every four hours. Also, the information centre doesn’t clear infected tourists, if you’re having trouble finding them when you go to the Osaka map the flecked boxes of flu can be tapped to centre on the infection. Green flecks are just the flu cloud, red flecks are infected tourists. This probably has all been stated before but I thought a little summary here might help.

  22. Yeah, so I used the Osaka Flu as an NPC prize for my Main Event Contest… Don’t know if that hurts my chances or not! Lol! Still had fun doing it regardless.

    • Oh, and I think each flu cloud infects two tourists every four hours. If you click on the flu in the menu when it has a green border it’ll take you to an infected tourist. After you clear each one you should be able to find another infected tourist for each cloud . At least that’s how my game has been.

  23. This is one of my favourite posts on this blog ever. It thoroughly tickled me (or that may be the flu sneaking up on me…)

  24. Are you sure those aren’t Keen’s the tourists are wearing? We discovered them when we lived in Bend for 17 months (where there was only three restaurants that we found interesting enough to eat at even though it is a resort town) before moving away and now can only find them when we visit resort towns – although Missoula, MT has them (in-laws moved there). LOL
    On another thought, wow, those mud slides in Portland aren’t good. We lived in Beaverton in the 80’s and know the area well. I always thought those houses on poles were risky…..

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