Stephen King wrote his greatest masterpiece, The Stand, after hearing a radio preacher ranting, "once in every generation the plague will fall among them!" This phrase struck him as so creepy that he typed it out and hung it above his typewriter as inspiration. In the novel he places those exact words in the mouth of his prophetess, Abagail Freemantle. Once in every generation...
The other day, I posted a link and some quotes from Tom Peters' blog in which he discusses the new, foreboding World at Risk report of WMDs and bioterrorism. Today I saw the follow-up at the Anderson Cooper 360 blog, in which AC recommends the following book:
For a sense of what that would mean take a look at The Great Influenza, a powerful book about the epidemic of 1918 which killed 20 to 40 million people worldwide. In excruciating detail author John Barry writes about the disease and what it wrought. Then imagine something like that in our world.
Both the Stephen King quote and the AC360 blog post seem very prescient, particularly when I think of my particular family. see, my dad was born in 1919 during that pandemic that AC mentioned as killing 20-40 million people. For reference purposes, at that time there were just over 100 million people in the United States. Twenty some-odd years later, my oldest brother was born - during the 1951 flu pandemic, which some researchers figure was worse than the 1919 flu. I come from a large-ish family - five brothers, of which I am the youngest, having been born in 1969. Incidently, 1969 was during the third major flu pandemic of the century.
Being Presbyterian, we are strong believers in providence. God takes care of his people. But being southern and American, we also have this deep appreciation for the old axiom that 'God takes care of those who take care of themselves.' (Not a Biblical quote, rather a quote from Ben Franklin's 1757 Poor Richard's Alminack.)
Anyway, I'm interested in what can we do to help ourselves in the face of this impending health and infrastructure crisis, other than the tips I've posted on before. What do y'all think?