Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Addicted to Fear

The AP has an article titled "Worst Case Scenario Underlies US Pandemic Plan." I don't recommend you read it, particularly if you are prone to worstcasescenario-ophobia or don't want crap in your pants just now. Nor do I recommend you continue reading this post, I just can't help but comment on the article.

The article describes what a full scale pandemic would be like. This is like describing what the end of the world would be like if the world were ending in the way we're describing it would be like: dog-sized maggots, babies born with eight noses, birds with the heads of fish. But don't worry, the world is not ending in this way, it's just that if it were ending in that way, that is the way it would end.

But back to reality.

A full scale pandemic would result in (these are direct quotes):

• 2 million dead
• Swaths of empty seats at baseball stadiums and houses of worship (Movie theaters, miniature golf courses, and Hot Tix lines are not mentioned.)
• People who got sick would be isolated, and their relatives could be quarantined.
• In the cities, commuters who do go to work might bike or walk instead of using mass transit. (Yikes.)

After listing dozens of catastrophic effects, the article orders: "Take a breath." (In case you weren't sure whether your emotions were being manipulated.)

The article barely mentions what the actual Pandemic Plan is. The point of the article is not to make you say, well I am reassured there is a plan. The point of the article is to scare the bejeezuz out of you.

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