Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pandemic Pandemonium

Here we go again. Another pandemic that is going to take out the world. I think this happens every couple of years. West Nile Virus, SARS, Avian Flu, peanut butter, and now....Swine Flu. Everybody panic. Stock up on duct tape and water. Don't kiss any pigs. Especially ones in Mexico. Everybody is going to die.

Why do we keep freaking out about these things?

You know what? If everyone dies, everyone dies. What are you going to do about it? Nothing. Know why? Because you'll be dead.

I'm still trying to figure out why this particular strain of flu is anymore deadly than the flu that kills 700-800 people each year in just the state of Minnesota (where I am from ) alone. Nationally, influenza kills 36,000 people a year. Holy shit! That number is huge! I mean that with all seriousness. We should really be panicking every year, right? Or, at the very least, washing our hands. Is it just me, or is it crazy that the adults in this country need to be reminded by Big Poppa Government to Wash Your Hands?

This particular strain is treatable. Take care of yourself, rest, take some meds, you'll be fine. The only known death in the US from the pig flu is of a toddler. Sad, yes. But, typical. That is usually the case with the flu. Kids, the elderly, and the already sick are harmed the most.

Yes, there have been over 100 deaths in Mexico. But, no one really knows if the pork flu is the real killer here. I'm certain people die all the time in Mexico. And, no offense to Mexico, but it's not exactly known as the cleanliest place on Earth. I mean, you're not even supposed to drink the water there, right?

My husband brought up the point last night that most of America is pretty stupid and that this flu will cause the country to dip deeper into it's already cavernous depression. People won't leave the house to run to Target or attend baseball games or Bruce Springsteen shows out of fear of catching the flu. But, I gotta say, I just don't see it. For one, I don't see our country ever hitting the depression lows of 1929. People like to buy things and it is so easy for them to do so. Kids still want and there is so much more to want for. And, you don't have to leave the house to shop anymore. That's what the internet is for. The world is a very different place than it was 80 years ago. I just don't see it happening.

I also don't see us suffering from any great plague either. We are certainly a more evolved and medically inclined world than the world of the 1600s.

But, then again, everyone swore the Titanic was unsinkable, so maybe I'm buying into the idea that our modern culture is more powerful than nature and that idea will surely doom us all.

But can you really picture the whole of America, minus the celebrities in the Hollywood hills and the Bush family, living in shanties surviving on one slice of ham a day? Wait. Not ham. People won't eat ham because they all think that's where this swine flu comes from. Some other form of meat. Can you really see that? I mean, we have Ramen Noodles now! They're like 10 cents a pack and they last forever and they don't taste that bad. Ramen will keep this country alive forever. But, just don't buy the pork flavored.

So, tonight, Obama is going to go on TV to discuss his first 100 days in office and to also rub the backs and wipe the hysterical tears of his nation and tell them, "Don't worry. It will be alright. Everything is going to be just fine. You can still eat your bacon and you can still snort your cocaine. Just remember to wash your hands, kids, before digging into that pork chop. Do onto others as you would have done to you. Look, look at the shiny keys! You're all good boys and girls, aren't you? Okay, everything better now? Here's a band aid and a lollipop. Now get to work."

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