KidsPost answers kids’ questions on the Bird Flu:
What happens if the virus starts spreading among people, including here?
If the virus changes so that it can pass easily from person to person, through a sneeze or from germs left on a doorknob, your daily routine might change for a while. You would avoid crowded places such as movie theaters and grocery stores, and you might wear a doctor’s face mask in public. Some schools might close and offer classes over the Internet so that children could learn at home. People would be told to wash their hands often — and that’s a good idea anyway! This could last a few months, until the outbreak slows down.
The “unclean,” who may include some of your friends and members of your family, will be relocated to “Happy Camps,” guarded by pointy metal wire and friendly G.I. Joes. 30-40% of your classmates will be sent to live on farms, where they will get to run around all day in the fresh air. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Mr. Policeman will be become Mr. National Guard and Mr. Secret Police. You may notice school buses, ice cream trucks, and cars being replaced by tanks and armored personnel carriers — they, too, will be your friends, but you probably shouldn’t approach them directly or interfere in their work, which may involve putting your loved ones out of their misery. Within a week, your neighborhood will resemble a desolate ghost town, with shuttered homes and storefronts lining the fetid, corpse-laden streets. The hellish perfume of rotting flesh will fill the air, and the sweet embrace of the afterlife will come quickly only to those willing to take matters into their own hands. Your parents will realize that you only slow down their escape, and though they will regret their abandonment of you to their dying day, they will know, at heart, that we are still ruled not by notions of civilization, but by the biological imperative of survival. All symbols of your past, carefree life will become bitterly ironic reminders of your foolish naivety. You will no longer fear Hell. The living will envy the dead.
When will this happen?
Right after the killer bees and the SARS get you.