Oct. 18, 2001 The Nome Nugget casts a skeptical eye on bio-terror hysteria

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2001

The fear of mystery powder and germ warfare and retaliation has taken some crazy turns. It's almost funny when someone says they won't open their e-mail because they don't want to get anthrax. Anthrax is not a computer virus. It is a bacterium.

As far as germs in the mail, well, we all know how long it takes to get mail, and if the mail if ''funny'' looking we should not open the letter. Guess we have an out when it comes to paying bills. Instead of ''The check is in the mail,'' we can say, ''Gee, that envelope sure looked funny, so I threw it out.''

Of course all western Alaskans are safe from bugs on UPS or FedEx second day delivery, because we know there is no such thing as second day delivery in Alaska.

We are consumed by the absurd. There are public opinion polls stating the guestimated probability of terroristic reprisal in response to retaliation. There are people consumed with the certainty that there will be an attack on a shopping mall on Halloween. As if Halloween isn't scary enough. Of course Nomeites will have to worry about being blown away by wind-slammed doors in the Alaska Commercial store lobby.

Terrorism is a real problem and we have to be alert for strange activities. But we can't let the threat of terrorism make us stupid. We can't let it drive us under our beds waiting for the sky to fall.

We have to go about our lives as normally as possible. We can't let ourselves get wound up by fear and ignorance. We have to maintain a sense of humor through this mess.

There is a very interesting solution to the bin Laden problem being talked around town. Don't kill him. Capture him and his buddies, bring them to the Unites States, give them a sex change operation and return them to Afghanistan to live as women.

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