SOMEBODY, somewhere is always trying to scare us.
Remember those Bush era code alerts? Every time there was an election, we were under code red!
(President George W. Bush’s former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge now tells us he decided to quit because his fellow cabinet members kept pressuring him to raise the terror alert level just before the 2004 presidential election!)
Every time some informer, (maybe the same one who told us Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction”?) told us about imminent terror threats, up, up went the code: From Green – Low to Blue – Guarded; Yellow – Elevated; Orange – High and Red – Severe!
Police would be on trains with dogs, we’d be watching each other; any time a suspicious person sat next to us, we’d pretend it was our stop…and change cars? They made us nervous and everything-phobic?
(Out of curiosity, I checked September 03, 2009, and the United States government’s national threat level is Elevated, or Yellow! For all domestic and international flights, the U.S. threat level is High, or Orange! Did you know that?)
It never stops.
Now it’s Swine Flu!
When the outbreak first hit the airwaves, they told us it was Mexico! We stopped buying pig products from Mexico and started talking about sealing the border? We wouldn’t have even let birds fly south!
Then several countries around the world got scared of eating pork from Mexico and the U.S. because the virus was called “Swine Flu”. (Russia banned all meat imports!)
Pork’s future wasn’t looking good and some consumers stopped buying pork chops. Pig farmers got scared they’d lose their livelihoods and got their lobbyists to successfully lobby to change the name.
We could have called the virus The Swine/Bird Flu, (since the virus had DNA from both pigs and chickens, along with human DNA) but that would have made us scared of chicken, too, (humans are already scared of humans) so the government used a scientific name: H1N1.
Then we closed schools whenever the chalk made kids sneeze?
We cleaned and sprayed and I developed hypochondria! I woke up with a sore throat and kept my son from school because I didn’t want to be the viral mom who sent her child to school with the H1N1 virus and be responsible for infecting a whole school!
I did the right thing, or thought I did…went to the emergency room, and the doctor basically told me – in a nice way, of course: Please, ma’am, don’t be a fool. People with the flu feel as though a truck slammed into them, they’re in bed throwing up and can’t move. I walked to the hospital!
The overworked doctor (there were lots of people wearing face masks) told me the powers that be were making people panic needlessly!
Now we’re being told to brace for, anticipate, stock up on Tamiflu or whatever vaccine they come up with. Schools are the first line of defense. The Department of Homeland Security says come flu season, schools could begin actively screening students upon arrival and sending ill students home immediately.
Teachers have to play doctor! Employers have to play nurse and must send sick employees back home. My suggestion: Maybe public transit should refuse to operate…or screen passengers for chills?
To make things worse, we’re being told the virus mutates so quickly, whatever vaccine they come up with might not even work!
Pregnant people should not get pregnant… young people should rush and grow up, because those two groups are at risk!
I don’t even want winter to come around. Apparently while we’re having summer in the north, the southern hemisphere, which is going through winter, has recorded no pandemics, but that means nothing. The flu knows it must hit us first, in the northern hemisphere, because that’s where the major drug companies are located.
We even have a National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, 17 pages, with a scary looking red, white and blue heading! The federal government has been working to prepare for a possible pandemic for years.
Well, apparently the pandemic is knocking…and it’s time to be scared all over again.