Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Flu? Open Fire!

Now George, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that quarantine might not be needed in the event of a killer flu. But before you implement martial law you might want to give some ancient traditional remedies a try - like medicines and doctors and nurses and vaccines. Hey, in a real pinch you could try asking people to wear surgical masks in public for a season or two.

Pandemics happen. They are scary and people die. Calling out the army to put regions in lock-down is not how you deal with it. It makes cities who are free of the disease less willing to report the odd case cropping up here and there until it is too late. Also, traditionally quarantine has been limited to sick people. Cops with masks can usually handle sick people. Machine guns and rocket launchers are not generally required. I know that after seeing how badly a state can screw up a disaster and how you will get the blame, the idea of having generals running the show seems pretty safe - even if they don't want the job and are not prepared for it. But George, asking congress to approve stockpiles of anti-virals and demanding that every state have a pandemic plan put in post haste is a better bet than fighting a cold war against flu. The next thing you know you will be taking press conferences in your pajamas with tissue boxes on your feet.

You know George, you have always had a dim view of scientists due to their tendency to tell you things that you don't want to be true. But you really might want to listen to them on this. They do know a thing or two about diseases.


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