Maybe it was reading a short story from 1975 about the fear caused by cholera on Wednesday night...
... "No, there is more than the body of a man that you have in there," I said. Because now I was sure what it was. I had heard the talk up and down the river, and everyone was afeared that it was coming back, any day now. I don't mind saying that I was afeared too. And had been for a long time at the thought it was coming.Maybe it was the dead squirrel on my side walk Friday morning.
from The Burial by Jack Matthews
I love making up stories so all day Friday I found myself telling this one...
Have you heard that Squirrel Flu has come to Lansdale? You see, when I left the house for work I saw what I thought was a dead squirrel on the sidewalk at the bottom of my porch steps. I went in to tell Mosaic Woman that she may want to stay inside for a moment. I was going to head back to the garage for a shovel when I realized I had a snow shovel in the mudroom. It was when I was scooping up the squirrel that I realized it wasn't quite dead. It turned and faced me and with a final gasp, it coughed directly at my face. Knowing that deadly flu viruses can spread from other species, I began to be concerned when I my temperature rose over 100 and I began twitching nervously in the middle of a road not sure which way to run away from oncoming traffic. A concerned friend tells me that the final stage of the disease involves raiding bird feeders and making squirrel like sounds.Anyway. I have always felt blessed to be living in a country and during a period of time when fear of infectious disease has been so low. Cholera, Typhoid, TB, Polio.... I am also glad that my tax money goes to the CDC. I don't expect them to always say the wisest statements, but I believe in their mission.
I imagine the human brain has a special section to fear diseases that spread causing much suffering as they move through populations. Listening to folk this week, I believe our brains are alive and well, and thus full of fear.
For my part I tell stories. And my students, who know me well, say... "You're lying to us again."
and I say, "part of it is true."
may peace be with you.