Is it really as bad as it sounds? It just illustrates the problem with doomsday prophecies: whenever there’s a prediction the world is about to end (or something almost as serious is about to happen) it never seems to. Yet cataclysmic disaster is inevitable – it does, and will happen…at some point. And it all plays on the ultimate fear in the human psyche. It was that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that all but wore a hole in my side thoughtout the cold war: the fear that the Russians were going to launch their nuclear weapons and make all of our lives a whole lot simpler. But it never happned. Today, it’s bird flu. Are we really all about to start dropping like flies?
In the end, one can’t do much about such things. Our governments can, and will try to protect us from harm of course. We expect them to. And hopefully, someone high up doesn’t bungle the whole thing so that there is an outbreak of deadly disease in our midst, but it’s not something we as individuals have any control over. As I watch the cases of avian flu edge closer and closer to North America, I’m hoping the next pandemic pases us by. And hopefully if there’s an outbreak, employers will be intelligent enough to allow their employees to work from home or take whatever precautions seem prudent to live through the thing.
But ultimately, it’s not in our hands. And that’s the ultimate fact we all need to get used to – soemthing very hard to do, surrounded as we are by a civilization that boasts to much control over so many things…. Fearmongering about it sure won’t help. So here’s hoping we see more comic relief on the subject.