Just what we need. Another panic.

April 30, 2009, 5:02 PM UTC

face-maskThey’re killing pigs in Egypt. Hundreds of thousands of them. Is there any indication that killing all those pigs will stop swine flu? No. At this writing there has yet to be a reported case of it there, by the way.

They closed a school in Chicago because one kid there came down with the sniffles. Also absentees were up a little bit higher than normal. You can just see the administration of the establishment sitting around and discussing the insurance implications of an apparent lack of attention to the matter. There is no punishment for joining a panic. There is harsh retribution for refusing to do so.

For a while in our corporation I have been among those who really didn’t want to see a mass e-mail go out to all our employees telling them all the good things we’re doing to avoid the ostensible pandemic. I’ve seen such memos from others. It informs the corporate body that everything is being done to sanitize their phones. It instructs people on how to wash their hands. It tells them that if they sneeze, they should try not to do it on other people. And if they are sick, they are to stay home.

The subliminal message, of course, is that they shouldn’t panic. I always love that message. A guy stands in the middle of a mass evacuation as Godzilla comes in from the seashore, snagging electrical wires as he goes, and screams over the trampling mob, “DON’T PANIC!!”… thereby ensuring its immediate onset. 

So that’s where we are today. The World Health Organization is screaming DON’T PANIC! and governments around the world are yelling DON’T PANIC! and corporations, schools and churches are bound to do the same.

If I hear somebody tell me not to panic one more time, I may just panic. I feel kind of guilty I haven’t done so already.

In fact, my assistant sneezed about twenty minutes ago. Do I look all right to you?