It bears mentioning that apocalypse is nigh apparently. Some kind of nasty swine flu has sickened DOZENS of my fellow Americans. The death toll in Mexico has crested a terrifying 100, even. Dozens of people… that phrase sticks with me. I know dozens of people. (we’re not all, like, best friends or anything, but I do know a number of people that would qualify as dozens)
But wait – the people I know, all “dozens” of them, do not compose even a fraction of a tiny percent of the population of my great nation. Surely more people will die today of things like falling from ladders, ingestion of poison, and high-caliber body piercings. You, Great Media Machine, are telling me to hunker down and tape up the windows for fear of something that has killed 20 Americans thus far? *note added 4/29... apparently the first American fatality was roughly today, a small baby. That's it so far. I was clearly mis-informed earlier when I wrote this. Gee...
Shame on you, Great Media Machine. Shame on you for telling me the people I know and love are going to die of swine flu if I go to that supermarket with all the Mexicans. Shame on you for telling me that if I go to the birthday party this weekend that I’ll be guilty of catching, canoodling with, mutating and spreading deadly diseases.
Pandemic you say. My ass, I say. Outbreak, maybe. However, national security will not tremble or quake at the appearance of such things as swine flu and neither shall I.
My heart goes out to those suffering from the illness, as it does for those suffering from any illness (like regular flu, food poisoning, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, stomach cancer, bulimia, head lice, and multiple sclerosis for starters.)
And that’s where it will stop. When/if I am stricken with an illness or disease including but not limited to those listed parenthetically above, I’ll fly swiftly back into “panic” mode as only I can. Until then, I’ll wash my hands like I always do, and avoid licking doorknobs no matter how tasty they may appear to be.
I guess it’s a little childish to be so flip about a serious health concern, but the news story SHOULD be “looks like people don’t wash their hands or get vaccinations like they should” instead of “holy crap we’re all going to die of this brand new, unprecedented, shockingly brutal health risk thingy that NOBODY understands. At all. Not even barely. OMGSRSLY.”
Again, that sounds all angry and childish. Shame on you, Great Media Machine, for spurring me into another childish, angry tirade all because of your own childish, angry tirades.