Monday, April 27, 2009

TEOTWAWKI And Tasmania

I should make you Google up TEOTWAWKI if you're so clueless that you don't recognise the acronym. But for the soon-to-be-Zombie-victims among you, I will remind the reader that TEOTWAWKI stands for The End Of The World As We Know It. Obviously, I am referring to the present outbreak of Swine 'Flu - or as our Israeli brethren apparently would have it "Mexican 'Flu".

I can understand how Jewish and Islamic folk would rather have a Mexican 'Flu than an Unclean Antikosher Stinky Piggy Flu, but... has anybody actually asked the Mexicans about this one? Do they really want their very own 'Flu?

Well, never mind.

My problem here is my wife's profession. I came down here to Taz to raise kids because frankly, Tasmania is

  • off the global geopolitical radar
  • not nearly as vulnerable to warming as mainland Oz
  • not nearly so vulnerable to sea level rises as most of Oz
  • self-sufficient in food
  • self-sufficient in power
  • self-sufficient in water
  • not overcrowded
  • not expensive (comparitively) to buy and live
  • very strong in terms of social capital in comparison to most modern communities of Oz
Not to put too fine a point on it, Natalie wanted kids, so I looked into the Flinthart Crystal Ball and saw trouble a-comin' in the future. Given that Elder Son was born in 2000, I'd like to point out the Flinthart Crystal Ball was pretty f__king good... but to be honest, any damned fool who kept up with newspapers and journals could have foreseen the shitstorm which has only just begun to break over us all.

Anyway. I did the best I could, and here we are. But... I really don't know what to do about epidemics. I know what I'd like to see: Tasmania should shut the doors. Cargo in, cargo out. Nothing more -- and all cargo handling done with minimum human contact, maximum quarantine precaution. (No, not necessarily for this Piggy Flu. It doesn't look like a civ-killer... at least, not yet.)

I just can't see the government being smart enough to do that, though. And how would we prevent desperadoes from the mainland fleeing here in their boats? Be nice if we could whip the Bass Strait into a frenzy on demand, but we don't have a navy to help.

So -- if it comes, when it comes, the Next Big Plague, the long-overdue cull of humankind... I don't suppose it will miss Tasmania. And when it comes here, my wife will be out there trying to keep people alive. In contact with whatever-it-is for days on end. While I'm here at home with three kids, at least one of whom has an over-active immune system that turns even a simple head cold into weeks of painful symptoms

I know. I worry a lot. Sure. But this one... this is the one I can't do anything about. And every time I read about another outbreak somewhere, anywhere, I get a nasty shiver.

Sure hope this Mexican Piggy Flu peters out soon.