The government, in between persuading you to trade your trusty car in for a shoebox with an AC adapter, claiming they can run healthcare despite an inability to run absolutely anything else, and finding extra zeroes lying around to tack onto the deficit, is exhorting hospitals to gear up for Swine Flu II: The Return -- This Time It's Personal.
Despite the original "epidemic" having a minimal impact, we are being warned that this time 60% of Americans could be afflicted. Of course, 1% of Americans could be afflicted, but let that pass. The question I have is, what type of response is appropriate?
On the one hand, the swine flu is a potentially deadly illness that can kill. Old people and young children are especially vulnerable. And though that is true of every strain of flu humankind has ever seen, this time is different. Because Diane Sawyer said so. Such a threat must be dealt with swiftly and decisively. All available resources must be poured into this fight, this War on Influenza, if you will. All other decisions must be subverted to this cause. Our foreign policy, educational initiatives, airport screening policy, operating hours at national parks; everything must be reevaluated through the prism of the swine flu fight. Right now, it's out there, plotting, biding its time and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. It hates us and it hates our freedoms.
On the other, there must be a logical explanation for its desire to do us harm. The swine flu has a long and glorious history. It has provided civiliation with many advances. That these advances all involve improved methods for eradicating it doesn't diminsh their importance. It seems clear that the swine flu hates us because of our aggression towards it. After all, we've been trying to kill it for centuries. Each person in America should take a long look inside and ask what they've done to bring this upon themselves. Perhaps if we made an effort to understand swine flu we could have peace. Maybe we could even be friends.