A responsible journalist would first get the facts and then report them calmly, rather than splashing scary headlines and repeating rumors, but I'm only a blogger and the facts keep changing as fast as the World Health Organization can make them up. Besides, I'd rather write about the way things probably are than about the way they may have been made to appear.
Here are some facts, subject to change, about the coming pandemic. Apparently we're calling it the avian flu, rather than the more stupid sounding bird flu. Last night the virus killed two twin sisters in Vietnam. Their brother likely died of the same virus a few days before but they buried him without an autopsy. When the WHO reported they "feared" a pandemic if the avian virus mutated with a human virus, it had already happened.
So here it comes, carried on a sneeze, in a sniff, from a cough, off a doorknob. Anywhere that people gather, anywhere that mucus splatters, that's where it'll get you. Like a bad cold that kills you.
The experts have calmly implied there's not much sense in doing much; it's already too late to prepare. They predict that once the virus hits a city, it will quickly take out anywhere from one-third to half its population within 4-7 days.
Hopping a ride on international flights will turn aircraft into manmade birds, vessels of germ tourists looking for hosts, overrunning hospitals, knocking out doctors and nurses, leaving patients waiting until a Fed Ex guy shows up four months later.
Grocery stores cleaned, pharmacies emptied, gas lines, food shortages, massive outages, a workforce chopped in half, a crippled police force tries in vain to stop the looting, while the looters simply keel over.
It's not too early to talk about projections for morgues worldwide. We'll come up short. Gymnasiums and other large buildings have served as morgues in past emergencies, but in a pandemic such as the one predicted it might be wiser to implement a safer, more achieveable system. Since corpses remain contagious, they should probably be buried. But since manpower will be an issue, who will do it? How does half the population take care of the other half without getting sick themselves? Body bags, storage pods and lime?