Friday, May 8, 2009

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed gives his humorous take on the swine flu panic:

Fred on EverythingOK, yesterday on final into Guadalajara, at the height of the flu epidemic, indeed pandemic, predicted to be even more cleansing than the killer flu of 1918, perhaps the beginning of the long-expected plague that would eliminate mankind from the earth, no doubt to the earth’s relief, I was ready for the worst. I had read the papers, after all. I was sure there would be piles of festering corpses in the streets, such as one would expect after a Burundian election. I had read Defoe’s account of the bubonic plague in London, and knew that men with wheelbarrows would be collecting the dead. Especially with today’s littering laws.

Except that, when I had called Violeta every night during the two weeks I was in the US, she always said “What flu?” Ain’t got no flu heah. The schools were shut down, bars closed, everybody hiding from the flu, but they couldn’t find any flu to hide from. My friend Ken, in another town near Guad, reported an equal epidemic of perfect health. It was media flu, he suspected.

I knew better. I had read of the lightning spread, the hundreds of dead, the frightening appearance of cases in New Zealand, comparisons to the Black Death of 1348. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. The only logical explanation was that the Mexican government was quietly disposing of thousands—nay, tens of thousands—of dead so as not to alarm the tourist trade.

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