DC Braces for Zombies... Sort Of
Pic credit: Scott Beale @ Laughing Squid
OMG YAY the zombies are finally here!!
"We're a lot further than we were just a few short weeks ago. And we're monitoring what other states are doing to make sure we're not missing anything," D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said, adding that city preparations are "on par" with what he has seen elsewhere.
Fenty (D) appealed to business owners to be far-sighted about encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick, even if that means taking a financial hit. "Being very proactive at the beginning will save businesses a lot of money," he said.
Spotlighting some of the high-risk groups that will get priority when the vaccine is released -- it is expected in October -- Fenty and other officials outlined the city's plans outside Mary's Center, a maternal and child health clinic in Adams Morgan. Clinic doctors in the District and in Silver Spring provide 19,500 immunizations a year.
"This may be nothing, and yet it may be big," said Mark R. Fracasso, the center's vice president of medicine.
Fracasso met this week to discuss strategy with D.C. health officials and doctors from clinics across the city. As cases of swine flu prompt more residents to seek care or vaccinations, officials and physicians don't want hospitals to be inundated. "We're going to be the first line," Fracasso said.
Pierre Vigilance, director of the D.C. Department of Health, said officials want residents' own doctors to handle the bulk of the vaccinations if possible. Higher-risk groups will get the initial shots or nose sprays, with the general population to follow.
But for the significant numbers of people who don't have access to medical care, large-scale vaccination sites will be in place. Schools will be used, and Vigilance said recreation centers are being considered.
"They are relatively large, they have been strategically located around the city, they have gymnasiums" big enough to handle crowds, Vigilance said, "so you could get a lot of people taken care of."
Yeah, whatever, I remember the gymnasium scene. The worst thing a person can do in a zombie apocalypse scenario is go to where the crowds are. Didn't someone just warn us about the madness of crowds days ago? That's what I thought.
This may be nothing, it may be big, get vaccinated anyway. If one wonders why I'm turning into one of those right-wing extremist nutjobs, one need only read a story like this to see what is so damn disconcerting.
What I'd like to know is why swine flu suddenly makes a comeback now that the market is tanking again. Oooh, grab the tin foil hat, it's going to get exciting. Nevermind, it's flu season, let's not make this more than it is.
Point being, swine flu is back in the news and it's as close to zombie apocalypse as we're going to get. For now.
Note: all swine flu stories are dedicated to Michael Panzner, who was the first to warn me that shit was about to get crazy around here. That should tell you something.