Tuesday, April 28, 2009
One of the other things I learned on German television last week, apart from the fact that German animals beginning with the letter S are extremely difficult to identify, was that the world was under attack by something called Swine Flu!
Now, I am generally a pretty scared citizen. I dread those biannual reports that inevitably pop up in the Science Times about how some meteor will maybe hit the Earth in thirty years and wipe out humanity. I am freaked out about global warming, and the fact that there is a fault line under New York that has been dormant for centuries but that could cause a massive earthquake and make all of our buildings fall down. Ever since I saw Boyz N The Hood in 1992 I have been afraid of drive-by shootings...even in Park Slope.
But somehow this Swine Flu thing strikes me as overkill. Maybe it’s the fact that every scientist they interview on TV is visibly excited about the possibility of a pandemic—and why shouldn’t they be? Their whole job is to be the first to correctly ID a virus as the next Black Plague, and so they get pretty slap-happy when people start dying. I remember when the dreaded Avian flu struck, and how that was probably going to wipe out the human race, but didn’t.
I’m not saying that the people shouldn’t be made aware of a virus that seems potentially threatening. I just think that in our current age of too much information, everything gets blown out of proportion to an astonishing degree. At the same time, in 2009 shouldn't we have a germ barrier more advanced than those little paper masks everyone is wearing? Doesn't my dentist wear that when he cleans my teeth? I know they make for creepy photos, but really now.
Despite my incredulity, rest assured that I am taking steps to be safe. Airborne dissolved in champagne is surprisingly delicious!
Note to Jeff: If I do die of Swine Flu, please log into my account and delete this post. Thanks, honey!