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Catastrophic thinking

My mother went on a trip to celebrate her anniversary last weekend. She and my dad rented mopeds and mom had an accident. She hit a boat (!) and flew ass over teakettle onto the street and shattered her wrist. I use the verb “shatter” willfully. She had nine screws and a plate inserted into her wrist this week during a surgery.

This is bad. Not tragic, but bad. It’s her right wrist, which is really bad, and she’s in pain, which is bad, but this isn’t the worst case scenario.

When I found out she’d been hurt and was going to have surgery, my brain immediately did what it always does. It went to the worst-case. I started making plans in my head to move my dad up to live near or with me if my mom died on the operating table. Why would she die from an operation on her wrist? Bad anesthesia, blood clot, MRSA infection, I feel like that’s awful but I can’t stop it. My brain always wants to lay out all the options and come up with a back-up plan in case it happens.

The flu, however, is freaking me the fuck out.

Not the badly misnamed “swine flu”. Though that’s part of it. See, the swine flu (h1n1 is just as inaccurate and harder to type, and the accurate ‘novel 2009 h1n1’ is just ridiculous to type, so I’m going with the imprecise but simple ‘swine’) isn’t nearly as bad as people were worried about. And that worries me.

Because sometime soon, not this year but maybe in the next four or five years, there’s going to be a bad flu. A real bad flu. One of those flu viruses that will kill 20, 30, 40 percent of the human population — stinting at no one. Rich, poor, young, old, third world and old world and new world… we’re going to die. A lot.

And we could stop it. But it would require some serious efforts on the part of our government and governments around the world and the swine flu mess has shown that those efforts aren’t going to happen. What’s more, the swine flu mess has fizzled (well, I’m not ready to say it’s fizzled, I think it’s going to get worse, as much as I hope I’m wrong) and people will be jaded. They won’t scream at the gov’t to enact the (complex, scary) measures necessary. Hell, they don’t trust the gov’t int he first place, so they won’t LET the gov’t do anything. They won’t even get the vaccine. (Oh my gods, don’t get me started on the anti-vaccine people. I’ve been up to my hips in them on the local moms email list and I’m just tired of them.)

And there’s not a lot you can do as an individual. That’s what makes me angry. I have a plan for almost any catastrophe. Atlantic tsunami, terror attack on Boston, blizzard, fire, earthquake, I’ve got a plan. Hell, I have a plan for the rebuilding of society in a COMWEC (complete collapse of western civilization).

But as an individual (without the resources to own and stock an isolated ski chalet, like Robin Cook) there’s not a flipping thing I can do about a real flu pandemic.

Okay, rant over.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. robyn
    October 19, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    well maybe that will solve our massive unemployment problem

  2. October 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Sorry to hear the news about your Mum, does that affect your aunt’s visit (every cloud and all that … 🙂 )

  3. marsupial jones
    January 24, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Miss you. I hope all is well.

    • C'tina
      January 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      Yes…You are in our thoughts…

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