Snow Days and the Swine Flu.

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Both of these are colossal pains in my… neck.

When you think about it, they are quite similar (besides being a pain in my… fine we’ll stick with neck).This Isn't Enought Snow to Cancel School.

Don’t believe me?

Both give you the chance to stay in bed and watch the Price is Right (no offense Mr. Carey, but I miss Bob Barker).

Granted one may cause you to stare into the bottom of the toilet bowl; but other than that, they have a lot in common.

Both may provoke the closing of schools this winter.

Both are covered on the local news in a way that makes you think the world is coming to an end.

I could go on and on, but that’s all I’ve got.

The Crisis of 2009 is the Swine Flu.  Of course it’s only “The Crisis” until something more exciting happens.  After all you can’t expect CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News to cover happy uplifting stories.

I really believe when something more “entertaining” (sadly, it will likely be horrific or involve rich people stealing our money…) comes along, we will have heard the last of the Swine Flu.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think this is the crisis to end all crises.

There’s no way it’s bigger than Y2K.

Okay, bad example.

Humans like to be scared.  We love rumors.  We thrive on drama. 

Most of all, we fear the unknown.

The Swine Flu is all of these wrapped up into one mysterious disease.

As an added bonus, pigs are gross.  Who wants to get sick from something that started with dirty farm animals (I’m hesitant to speak for the group… but not me)?

Long story short, the Swine Flu has caught America’s attention.  At least for now.

Who cares that the southern hemisphere is just coming out of their winter (and flu) season and they found the Swine Flu to be less of a big of deal than predicted.

We’re Americans.

And if we say the Swine Flu is going to be huge, it’s going to be HUGE.

At least until something else comes along.

It reminds me of Snow Days (without the shots of course).

Each year, parents and students focus on whether school will be dismissed because of snow.  The excitement continues to build as rumors of an impending storm spread like wildfire. 

The news media (i.e. those weather people who are almost always wrong) like nothing more than to fan the flames.

For a school administrator the first snow of the year is always the worst.

An inch can cause people to go completely ballistic.

The phone rings off the hook at school just as soon as the first snowflake hits the ground (sometimes days in advance… and I’m not kidding).

Winter Weather Crises come in 5 Stages:

Stage One – the initial news reports (a week in advance) saying we could get between a single flake and 1 inch of light snow.

Stage Two – sheer panic by the general public that if school is not dismissed literally thousands of people will die on the streets in car accidents or by starvation (hence the run on stores for food… which usually means cookies, soda, and renting a movie).  Total strangers, without children, repeatedly call the school to say the administrators are idiots (sorry, this has nothing to do with a snowstorm… this is just an average day).

Stage Three – school is cancelled and everyone survives to go sledding or the mall by 10:00 am.

Stage Four – later that same winter (after 8 other storms) an actual blizzard drops 29 inches of snow in 30 minutes (that’s a lot).

Stage Five – parents call the school, begging the administration not to dismiss because they are sick of having their children at home and they need to go to work.

I wonder if the Swine Flu Crisis won’t go much the same way.

Initially everyone is in a panic.  This will be especially true when a school district has their first student with Swine Flu.

But what happens when the 7th, or 19th, 52nd, or 1,000th person contracts it?

Will everyone still be as paranoid?

Or will we send our kids to school and go back to work?

Time may prove me wrong.  It has before.

I can’t tell you how silly I felt when I locked myself in the basement with beef jerky, bottled water, and 37 People Magazines as I anticipated Y2K.

Excuse me if I don’t trust the government and the news media.  But as the president’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before."

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7 Responses to “Snow Days and the Swine Flu.”

  1. bill
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 8:44 am

    In the pacific northwest, if it smells like snow, they cancel school: this with everybody driving around in four wheel drive, giant chey suburbans, and for the faint or heart, studded tires and chains.

    I grew up in Michigan (yes, i remember the winter of ’79) and they never cancelled school unless it was drifting.

    I’ve taken myself off the phone tree.


  2. AllanahK
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 5:10 pm

    Coming from the Pacific Ocean we had the same sort of hype over our winter. Yes some people did die who otherwise might not have and it was very sad for them and their families but people seem to forget that people die from the ordinary flu as well.

    As you can see from the hit counter on our school website- there hasn’t been a lot of interest in pandemic flu planning.

    Good luck for your winter!

  3. Angie
    on Oct 26th, 2009
    @ 7:30 am

    Imagine what it’s like in Texas! We have slush days.

  4. Conrad
    on Oct 28th, 2009
    @ 4:01 pm

    I live in Alabama. The news announces FREEZE WARNINGS when it’s 35 degrees outside. We got less than 1/2 inch of snow one Sunday and most of the churches were closed. Before Alabama I lived in southwest VA and it snowed some. LOVED getting a day off…. HATED making it up in late June :(

  5. likenotlose
    on Jan 29th, 2010
    @ 1:06 pm

    Maybe you mean “sheer” madness?

  6. IT
    on Jan 31st, 2010
    @ 12:23 pm

    It is my opinion that swine flu was a conspiracy controlled the government. But many of others also think it was designed to control the population, however I think the whole thing was just hyped by the media who were influenced by all those companies who were the ones that sold the vaccinations to various governments! Do you guys agree??

  7. Roy T.
    on Feb 1st, 2010
    @ 8:00 pm

    I think that h1n1 is a simple conspiracy controlled the vaccination companies. But many of my other friends believe that it was ment to control the population, however I believe it was just hyped by the media who were controlled by the companies who were the ones that sold the vaccines to the many different governments. Do you guys agree??

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