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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bird flu update

Sometimes I find it hard to keep track of which catastrophe I am supposed to be worrying about today. If it's Tuesday, then it must be global warming, right? Well, after reading Revere's post today ("On the mirage of stopping bird flu"), I am just about ready to jilt all my other favorite catastrophes and concentrate on this one. For one, this particular catastrophe involves not just social upheaval on a massive scale, but death, also on a massive scale. For two, it is spreading faster than you can track without actually hanging a world map on your wall, and sticking new pins in it every time you hit the "refresh" button on your browser.

I am a worrier, not a planner. I don't tend to make lists or take action. I spend some sleepless nights, buy some more duct tape, and try to move on to other concerns. I didn't have a Y2K survival kit. I made a stash of bottled water and canned food after 9/11, but I haven't resupplied it since then (meaning that our current "emergency supplies" would be something less than fresh 'n' tasty). I have always figured that we could live happily on Cheerios if a hurricane blew through and held up supplies for a week.

But this sounds different. This may be the time when I am finally willing to be an all-out nutcase: make my lists, pile bags of flour and legumes into plastic bins in the spare room, shop for solar battery chargers online, and buy bleach and soap in multiple-gallon jugs.

I am going to print up this guide from the Flu Wiki, and sleep -- or not sleep -- on the issue. Tomorrow I will either be back to my usual vague hand-wringing, or I will be out stocking up on supplies.

Updated to add:
Oh, and that oh-so-empowering email I fired off to Senator Kennedy's office, asking him to move Barack Obama's AVIAN Act out of committee and into the Senate to be voted upon as soon as possible? Well, so far I've gotten no response, not even the courtesy spam "thank you for contacting this office" email.

But I have gotten two emails from his reelection campaign on what a great job he's doing opposing John Roberts.

Great! Thanks, Senator Kennedy! I'll be sure to remember that and be comforted when the pandemic hits.


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