Thursday, April 30, 2009

Level 5

I am an alarmist by nature. I can lose sleep over a hangnail. I sat out a full soccer season because of the fear of spreading a skin rash. You can imagine how I am faring with the issue of the swine flu (or whatever R2D2 designation the government has decided to give it to somehow pacify our concerns).

As such, I was not at all pleased to hear Vice President Biden's off the cuff response to a question posed on the Today show about the hypothetical of travel by his family by commercial plane to Mexico. He said the issue was not Mexico, but rather getting in confined spaces like airplanes or subways. Lock the doors and shut the windows.

I have already had the Tamiflu discussion with my wife (sanity unfortunately prevailed).If my lunacy were permitted to run unchecked, I would probably stockpile facemasks. I have the Swine flu hotline on my speed dial.

Pandemic is not a type of comfort food. It is a problem of global proportion. The rational part of my brain tells me that this appears to be a mild strain that has infiltrated our country. But the irrational part controls and it recoils at every sneeze or cough that emanates within earshot. I want to conquer the beast within, but that is an old unsuccessful refrain. I am a prisoner of my own head.

As with the threat of terrorist attacks, we now live in a world defined by levels of imminent concern. When they tell me 5 out of 6 is the present status, they are in reality discussing the level of my anxiety. You can feel safe to call me when we are down to level 3. Until then, beware.


PickleBiz said...

What are the chances of your catching a mild draw if we go to the driving range together?

RobE said...

The government is creating 5 more levels, all the way up to level 10. Now you don't have to worry!

Robert said...

as to Pickle Biz- about the same chance as my growing a full head of hair overnight

as to Rob E- I am only half worried now

EricS#3 said...

OK ROB its
H1 for hemaglutanin
N1 for Neuraminadase
the 2 mutable surface antigens of the influenza virus
Hence H1N1 the new nomenclature so as not to offend swine

What ever you do DO NOT READ the book The Great Influenza -
How long can u hold your breath??

Robert said...

My reading list will definitely not include anything to do with an earlier pandemic (at least not until this one has been in the rear view mirror for some time).

Thanks for the explanation of R2D2