The Plague that Never Was

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I watched a documentary today on the History Channel about the plague. You know, the plague that swept through Europe hundreds of years ago and wiped out half of the continent’s population — not the plague (the H1N1 “swine flu”) that our chicken-little leaders started warning us last spring would strike and wipe out half our population. To their great disappointment, I think, it never happened.

Who can forget U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and her boss warning us repeatedly that if we didn’t wash our hands and cough into our elbows, we might die. Oh, and get the vaccine, they said. Very, very important. Critical. Life and death…wait…no, never mind. Not enough vaccines, so don’t worry about it….ahh, there they are…okay, go get the vaccine or you might die. Ooops, never mind again, can’t get them after all…oh, there we go, found them, so go get the vaccine, because, you know, if you don’t, you might die.

As we know now, the casualties, while heartbreaking as they are for any flu, any senseless loss, were far less numerous than predicted (hoped?), and we haven’t heard much about this particular flu for awhile. But then today, wouldn’t you know it, just hours after I learned everything I ever wanted to know about the bubonic plague, I hear on the car radio a commercial for an H1N1 vaccine clinic this week “while supplies last.” 

I think I’ll pass. My son had the distinction of being one of the earlier cases of the swine flu last spring, and I have tell you, after what I saw on that documentary today, it was nothing like the plague. It was a flu with a high fever, but, like I said, nothing like the plague. Seeing how well it could be survived (again, unlike the “real” plague), the rest of our family defied the government’s intermittent orders, refused the vaccine, ignored the hysteria, and lived to tell about it.  Thinking for youself sure can be liberating.