A worker disinfects the exterior of a school in Richardson, Texas.
In addition to closing the schools in Tarrant County, Cleburne, and probably a host of other schools who will continue the freak-out - the entire State of Texas has declared a Disaster and cancelled all UIL sporting events.
I'm all for being safe, especially when it comes to our kids. I'd rather do "too much" and be embarassed by over reacting, than do "too little" and regret not doing enough.
But there's a danger to this sort of wild over reaction, though. It dulls the senses for actual dangers, for one thing. It uses up valuable resources that might be needed elsewhere, for another. My Wife works in the medical field. Local emergency rooms are becoming over-run with every drama queen with a runny nose who is now convinced that they have the Swine Flu. Declarations of Statewide disasters do allow us access to federal funds to "combat the epidemic", but where does that money come from?
You and me, in the end.
There is one other interesting observation I've made so far throughout the unfolding of this panic-fest.
By ANYONES definition, this whole pandemic has been really weak in the US, so far, using any measure of actual health risk and danger. Mostly just mild flu symptoms, not requireing hospitalization in the vast majority of cases. Even with the low number of cases, and the almost non-existent mortality rate, it has shown just how vulnerable we are to an actual biological threat - either natural or manmade - should it ever visit our shores.
Imagine, for a moment, what people's reaction would be if a weaponized virus were let loose in a US city and people started dropping dead by the dozens? If this puny little swine bug is over-loading the CDC, as was reported on one TV show this week, what would happen then?