Friday, March 24, 2006

Pandemic hits

I heard the other day that the "Bird Flu" has now taken 100 human lives. In a population closing in at 7 billion, those are some good odds for not getting it. Nevertheless, we are bombarded daily with stories about it, speculation on when it will kill us all, and millions of dollars are being poured into preparing for the eventual pandemic that could possibly ensue. Still, some 50,000 people die every day because of hunger and related illnesses. Every three to four seconds, depending on which sources you read, someone starves to death in this world. Now that, my friends, is a pandemic. That is reason for everyone to stand up and scream all day long, reason for newscasters to talk about it 24/7 on their news shows but no one does. Nope, we'd rather talk about the 100 deaths from a disease known only to be transmitted from close contact with birds.

The reason is simple. We can't get it. Starvation won't spread over here; it will stay over there in other countries far away from us. I'm pretty sure if we were certain that the Bird Flu would stay over there, away from our own rich continent, we'd stop telling stories of the Bird Flu deaths. Would our evening news report the latest death in Turkey or Asia from an obscure and rare disease if we weren't worried it could affect us? I can say with 100% certainty that the answer is no. No, as long as it stays "over there" they can starve and die of diseases easily treated by our medicine and we won't even notice. It's when it might get in our backyard that we'll notice. Then we'll report about it and speculate how many cans of beans and bottles of water we need to stockpile in case it hits us and we're quarantined. Gives 'not in my backyear' new meaning, don't ya think?


At 12:41 PM, Blogger Scotty said...

I caught an episode of Mad TV last night. They did a skit involving Big Bird visiting South east Asia and returning home with a "bad cold".

It was amusing, in a morbid fashion.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Sure b'y said...

I saw that. It was funny.


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