Problem SOLVED! Flu SeasonByErik Amonson October 18, 2007 - 8:00 am |
It's flu season again, and that can only mean one thing: old people are getting sick and costing us tons of money. Fortunately, I have the solution, and all you have to do is reap the profits.
I know what you're probably thinking. That is, I know what you're probably thinking if you have the knowledge that I have about where the flu comes from: China. Every year, about nine months before our flu season begins here in the States, researchers are gathering information and samples on all the various strains of flu sweeping China, for they know that -- in about nine months time -- some of these flu strains will sicken Americans, which keeps them from going to work, which keeps them from being vital cogs in a winning U.S. machine. So, naturally, you're probably thinking that the best way to rid ourselves of the flu problem is to simply rid ourselves of China. We could do it. We have the technology.
What we don't have, though, is a replacement market. Our continuing relationship with China is in large part what allows us to carry our multi-trillion dollar debt without any necessary sacrifices. If China suddenly vanished, sure, our debt would be clear, but what major population base would bear the weight of our enormous deficits? India? Not bloody likely. They have enough trouble trying to manufacture enough bicycles for themselves. Who else is going to do it? Effing Zambia? The French? No, it has to be China. Sorry, prospective flu solvers, but nuking China is not a viable option.
Now, it should bear mentioning specifically what about the flu is a major problem. Apart from the opportunity cost of millions of days of work missed by our more virile, productive citizens, we also shell out millions of dollars for the preventative medicine of vaccinations. While vaccinations in and of themselves are a good measure against the outbreak of a widespread epidemic, it would obviously better if it wasn't necessary to incur this massive cost. Naturally, the flu spreads most rapidly amongst populations of the infirm and elderly, so these are the groups to which many of these expensive vaccinations go. And again, while vaccination is expensive, it is not nearly as expensive as the alternatives of hospitalizing flu-stricken old people or the aforementioned cost of missed work, though it is more expensive than not needing to vaccinate anybody.
No, you still aren't allowed to bomb China.
However, there may be a type of war that could provide a solution. Surely, you recognize that I'm writing of interstellar biological warfare.
Just this week, scientists in Switzerland discovered a planet -- a planet they are referring to as a "Second Earth" -- orbiting a star only twenty light years away from our own Sun. This planet has a habitable temperature, likely has an atmosphere and water and, says scientist Stephane Udry, "We wouldn't be surprised if it has life." How they can know any of these things is an utter mystery given that science is nothing but a conveniently arranged matrix of falsifications and egos, but due to my fear of aliens, illegal or otherwise, I must in the interest of public safety assume these scientists are telling the truth. So, it seems likely that we have not yet run out of things to productively bomb.
Bombing these aliens, though, would only solve the problem of the aliens' existence as our prime competition in this quadrant of the galaxy. It would do nothing to mitigate our problems with the flu. So then, how can we kill these two birds with one stone, or, in this case, with one spaceship?
Simply: we load all of our elderly onto a giant spaceship, set a course for the Second Earth, and infect one of them with the flu. Such a long journey, though, you say. Surely they'll require food. Well, yes, they will. But the spaceship will contain all of our elderly -- which includes the fat ones -- and old people, who have lived long and thoughtful lives, are accustomed to making tough decisions. If you have any doubt as to the evil intents of our alien "brethren," only look to this logic: if we are already plotting to rid the galaxy of them, then surely they are doing the same with regard to us. It's eat or be eaten, only replace "eat" with "conquer and colonize a faraway planet" and replace "be eaten" with "pay out the ass for flu medication."
We should also consider the fact that, since this planet is a Second Earth, it should also provide us with a Second Supply of Fossil Fuels and Other Second Natural Resources. In other words, it's a cash cow. Once the alien species are exterminated by our 21st century smallpox blankets, we can move in the mining companies and strip that planet bare.
Not only, then, will we have rid the United States of the flu menace, we will have effectively doubled the world's resources, enabling everyone to live out their days in extreme and flu-less prosperity. No other problem has ever been so exceedingly solved.