For some reason, I’m just not afraid of the swine flu. It reminds me of the bird flu and SARS and everything else in recent years that has been hyped up for us to be scared of.
It’s possible that I’m not afraid because I’m invincible! I never get sick because everything always happens to other people. I don’t need to worry about it because it will never happen to me.
Sickness, disease, car wrecks, broken bones? Never heard of ’em. Those things just aren’t my bag, baby. Other people do that stuff. Sweden’s universal health care is nice because it keeps everyone around me healthy, but of course, I would never need it.
The good news for all those sick and injured people is that they don’t need to worry about someone stealing their debit card number and cleaning out their bank account. I’ve got that covered. And don’t worry about your senator suing you and mocking you in the media. Been there done that.
I think the really scary thing is the changing climate and everything that brings. Melting ice caps, rising sea levels, vanishing mountain water runoffs, and all that kind of stuff is terrifying. It’s frightening that casual observers are able to notice a difference in the climate that has occurred during their lifetime.
Sweden is a land of extremes when it comes to seasonal weather and daylight hours, and Stockholm is a city built on more than a dozen islands. The smallest differences to annual temperature ranges or ocean levels are felt in places like Stockholm long before they reach places like Louisville. Yet, unusual extreme weather has already become painfully evident in Kentucky. Whether it’s the wind or snow or tornados or heat, you don’t need to be near the ocean or the ice to notice that things are not the same as when you were a kid.
The video below is from a recent 60 Minutes episode (the story is about 12 minutes long). The swine flu may kill hundreds of thousands of people, but it is containable and manageable to some degree. With last month’s news that Arctic ice is melting faster than even the worst-case projections from a few years ago, the prospect of billions of people being displaced or not having access to food or water is maybe the scariest thing around.