The last time I remember feeling this way was in 2001 when the Anthrax thing struck and New York was in a similar crazy panic. I sat over a bottle of wine with a friend, drunk and nervous and punchy, creating our own versions of Anthrax. Like Cranthrax, which would get rid of urinary tract infections; Imanthrax which would turn you into a size 0; Klanthrax which could only be found in Mississippi and CSpanthrax which was a great anecdote for insomnia.
It got us through the week.
I have to believe in my heart of hearts that the media fascination with this is far greater than the actual risk of death. Not to take away from the tragedy of the child in Texas who died after contracting swine flu, but only now it’s revealed that he had “underlying health problems.” Only now, after 24 hours of frantic tweets and emails and blog posts about plastic bubbles and installing Purell dispensers on your children’s foreheads.
The Daily News reports that their favorite journalism source, “officials,” are reporting that parents should prepare for massive school closings–even though in the very next sentence, Governor Patterson essentially said the opposite.
And while the World Health Organization director made the general statement “it really is all of humanity that is at threat under a pandemic,” Faux News (surprise) repeats it as “the World Health Organization ratcheted up its pandemic alert, WARNING THAT ALL OF HUMANITY IS THREATENED.”
Kind of different spin there, huh.
Susan Wagner‘s husband got a notice from work asking them to avoid “courtesy kisses” (although as she points out, should there really be so much kissing in the workplace?) and I’m just waiting for some wackadoodle mom at my preschool with too much time on her hands to start demanding some kind of decontamination showers at every entry and exit point.
So why aren’t I panicked?
I guess I’m weird in that I get more worked up over the things that official sounding people deny can kill you (like oh, say BPA in bottles) than those that they’re claiming actually can.
Or maybe it’s just my authority issues: You tell me there’s a problem and I’ll challenge you to prove it. Tell me nothing to see here, move along, carry on…and I’m all over it. What are you hiding? Huh? Huh?
So thank you Karen Walrond for tweeting about the “Flu of the Aporkolypse” and thank you to The Onion for telling us what “Real Americans” think about the Swine Flu so I can laugh about this just a little bit.
And please tell me I’m not the only one who’s not body dipping my kids in alcohol every 60 seconds. Because I’d hate to think that I’m the only crappy mom on the block. Again.