we have entered another dimension
Have we reached a full blown fright-fest yet with the SARS virus?
The world is becoming a Twilight Zone episode. First the masks, then the quarantines and then the cancelling of school trips and baseball games.
Soon, we will fear the common cold the way we feared the Russians back in the 60's. Anyone who sneezes in your vicinity will be pointed at and run out of town. Spring allergies will be mistaken for deathly disease and your runny nose will make you a social pariah.
There will be standard procedure forms sent home from school and the principal will wear a mask and latex gloves at the SARS Assembly next week when he instructs the kiddies on the SARS Readiness Program. When someone says they don't feel good, sound the alarm. Run for cover. Head to the basement fallout shelter and for god's sake, don't let anyone with a temperature in!
Churches will be empty and movie theaters will close and Major League Baseball will force the Toronto Blue Jays to forfeit the rest of the season. Hideki Matsui will be banned from playing, even though he's from Japan and not China, someone will say close enough, it's one of them Asian countries, and he will be sent packing, on a separate plane for those banished from the rest of us, sent to some island for SARS refugees.
The world is ending, the sky is falling, pack up the kiddies and head to the bomb shelter and don't forget your Tylenol Cold and the tissues that feel soft to the touch. Forget school, forget the Boy Scout meetings and your best friend's wedding. You're not going anywhere that someone who knew someone who had a friend who visited a cousin in Chinatown who ate in the same restaurant as the niece of the latest SARS victim might be.
Rod Serling will eventually appear and in his best scary stage voice will inform everyone that this episode of panic and fear has been brought to you by the makers of duct tape and plastic sheeting and you should really get going on making your house airtight if you want to stay healthy.
Here, in the twilight zone.
UPDATE: Tongue. Cheek.