From the government that gave us duct tape and filter masks comes another safety device: yardsticks.
Avian flu, more technically known as H5N1, is coming. This virus, first encountered in Vietnam and Thailand in 2004, is spreading across the globe and headed for the Americas. We’ve been told that if this virus mutates from one which affects birds to one which affects humans, it will create a world-wide pandemic.
pandemic: An epidemic over a wide geographical area and affecting a large portion of the population
Scientists tell us that since the deadly virus for all intents and purposes doesn’t exist (despite the deaths of 113 humans), they cannot develop a vaccine to protect us from it. Emergency managers, the people who brought us the response to Hurricane Katrina, tell us that even if scientists had a vaccine, there isn’t enough manufacturing capacity in the United States to make enough vaccine to protect this country’s citizens, let alone the rest of the world’s population which might also need it.
All of which brings us to a news item I heard this morning on cable news. The United States government has recommended to employers that should avian flu indeed reach our shores that they should keep workers at least three feet apart during their workday to reduce the possibility of transmission from human to human.
I’m headed out, right now, to Ace Hardware to buy me a yardstick!
I hesitate to point out that, unlike those working in Washington, DC, many of us don’t work in offices. Also, since we don’t really know anything about the virus, there is a possibility that it could be transmitted by touch.
I think I’ll pick up some gloves and toilet shields, too.
And, if any dates come over, bring your own toothbrush!
Perhaps the virus could possibly travel airborne beyond three feet.
(Filter masks, again!)
All of this to avoid, once again, telling the American people the truth. In this instance, that translates to, “sorry, citizens. We really don’t know what to do.”
Well, at least in these times where all things retro are embraced, it will bring back a time-honored line from the 70’s…
Ciao for now!