I'm sitting here listening to ABC Anchor, Charlie Gibson and Dr. Tim Johnson dicuss Swine Flu and the possibility of pandemics. I hear the sense of urgency in the broadcaster's tone.
And yet, Dr. Johnson is saying most of us are not in danger. He seems to be interpreting the warnings mostly as messages to governments.
Gibson says that 73,000 students did not go to school today because schools are closing. Most of them are in Texas which makes perfect sense to me!
I had school visits yesterday and today. Teachers were squirting hand sanitizers. And suddenly, the discussion of BLUE and a 1944 polio epidmic felt more real than ever. Not just to the students, but to me also.
The fear associated with "epidemics" is possibly the worst part. Franklin Roosevelt, who knew about frightening diseases, inspired the country by saying, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." He was probably talking about the economy, but hey, that fits now, too.
It would be easy to give in to fear. But I think, that in the case of disease, it makes more sense to be calm and do the things we learned in kindergarten.
- Cover your sneeze please!
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- If you're sick, stay home.
- Be careful who you hug.