An irritating and irresponsible feature of the MSM is its “Henny-Penny-the-sky-is-falling” approach to bad news. It’s Bad News All The Time but the form seems to be of the bread and circuses genus of news reporting. There is no ordering of information; Valerie Plame’s machinations and Carl Rove’s infamy costs us thousands of trees and waste hours of irretrievable time while important stories are ignored. We are treated to breathless deathless prose on what Judge Roberts’ children wore. The purpose of such stories seems to be to keep the pot stirred without actually adding anything nutritious to the soup. It’s pretend news from pretend people.
This morning comes Joe Katzman with a link to The Alexandria Archive Institute. One of Mr. Katzman’s readers points out a looming problem, one of such proportions that once it hits, will completely occupy our thinking. It will revolutionize how we live and move and have our being. Here is Eric Kansa’s report:
|“I want to direct your attention toward avian flu, an issue that, given its scope and potential consequences, receives very little attention both in the traditional press and blogosphere. I’ve been following this for some time, basically the World Health Organization is doing everything NOT to raise the alert level from stage 3 to stage 5 or 6, and has tried to explain away clear cases of human-to-human transmission (these cases mean we’re at Stage 5 at least). There are also LOTS of rumors China is covering up an outbreak of Stage 6 human-to-human bird flu. China has been completely uncooperative with the WHO, refuses to let out most medical samples, and has even threatened epidemiologists…”|
This is the point at which I admit editorial bias while urging that avian flu be put on the front burner. In the “Spanish” influenza epidemic of 1918, my grandmother and an uncle (he was six) died within weeks of one another, smashing our family for several generations. That was in Ireland.
In America, and across the world, the flu destroyed towns and wreaked havoc on common civilities. In Philadelphia, people stole coffins, dumping bodies so they could use the caskets for their own loved ones. In six weeks, it killed more than three quarters of a million people in the United States. (I don’t know what percentage of the population that was back then, but much of the mortality took place in urban areas and in military camps).
The destruction and horror was sucked down the memory hole because the butchery of the Great War took precedence. The world never mourned all those deaths. Anywhere from twenty-five to fifty million people died world-wide, most of them in the prime of life. However, due to the war, the full story was downplayed by the media. Yes! Even then the MSM was finagling the bagel.
Sociologists claim one of the consequences of the epidemic was that afterwards, the circle of our ‘personal space’ was drawn much larger as parents internalized the necessity to be more physically distant from their children in order to avoid infecting them.
Thus, even though the actual depth and breadth of the catastrophe was deliberately downplayed, for years it has seemed to me that the Roaring Twenties was a rebound cultural effect not only of the War but also of the terrible losses from the flu epidemic. It was at this juncture, when healthy young men and women died in droves, and orphanages began to be built to take care of the children left homeless, that rather than do our mourning, we simply went into frenetic escape.
Mr. Kansa has more to say about the spread of this new virus:
|…the few published samples available from China (obtained from dead birds in Qinghai) all have genetic traits of strains that infect mammals, including humans. The worry is that these samples come from a major nexus in bird migration routes, meaning that this dangerous virus will soon be dispersed throughout Eurasia (it’s already popping up in Russia).”|
In turn, Winds of Change provides its usual encyclopedic links to more information, all of which need to be pursued and pondered. Better to consider ahead of time your likely options in this coming disaster. Refusing to look to the western horizon doesn’t mean you get to avoid the storm when it arrives.
One of the consequences to consider is how groups will be affected. Will colleges close? Schools did in 1918. Will businesses shut down temporarily? Will the stock market become a telecommute for everyone, including those on the floor? Maybe it will be the nail in Hollywood’s coffin as people stay away in droves and Health Departments close theatres? Concoct your own scenes and you’ll get an idea of the scope of this problem.
On a cheery note (the secret is out: I was Pollyanna in a former life) just consider what this may do to the Islamofascists. Due to population density, it’s likely they will be dying faster than we do, and in greater numbers. So what becomes of the passion to wage jihad? Will sectarian hatred decline in the face of massive random death? Will it be seen as a message from Allah? If so, how will they interpret the communication?
Perhaps it will be construed as an ugly infidel plague released upon Islam in order to spread Satan’s spoor upon the Ummah. Or some such poppycock. When you read these guys long enough, you can mouth the dialogue along with them, like a movie you’ve seen too many times.
Finally, consider this possible consequence: if the avian flu acts like the one in 1918, it will take many of the young and healthy. Already, our demographic picture is grim. What will it be like after the plague has finished with us? One effect may be some hard-wiring in the coming generation which will make abortion distasteful, anathema, uncivilized. The mind-body-community connection is a strange and wondrous mystery we barely comprehend.
Whatever you do, bookmark Joe Katzman’s page here so you can follow all the links he has thoughtfully provided. If nothing else, these sites will give you something to read while you wait for the first symptoms to appear…