Alas, one need not be a prophet or read tealeaves to see some disasters coming, such as the wisdom of bringing a doctor with an incurable, highly infectious disease into the U.S. for treatment rather than maintaining quarantine on site and taking treatment to him. What could go wrong? Did anyone other than my wife and I immediately notice the exposed skin in the gap between the glove and the sleeve of the hazard suit worn by one of the health care workers in yesterday’s news reports? Are terrorists signatories to international agreements not to use chemical and biological weapons? (And do these help when countries like Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Syria are involved–to say nothing of the U.S. infecting native Americans with smallpox-laden blankets prior to such agreements in a particularly low-point in our history?)
One need not be prescient to posit a novel (yet I believe quite plausible) theory of cosmology or a low-tech means of allowing terrorists to bring about the end of the world by creating black holes with readily available technology (for a price) as I do in “End of Days.” There are far more pedantic means of achieving that end right now without any specialized technology or knowledge of physics or quantum mechanics. I wonder, for example, if any of the geniuses in Washington DC at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have thought what would happen if terrorists purposely infected the tens of thousands of children making their way to the US from Central America with bubonic plague, Ebola, antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, anthrax or any number of other readily available naturally occurring pathogens? It does not take a science fiction writer or much imagination to posit a scenario where infected suicide terrorists posing as cut-rate coyotes shepherd these unsuspecting children to the U.S. border where there is no screening of any kind for infectious diseases. These children are then relocated (for “humanitarian reasons”) to the four corners of the U.S. courtesy of an overwhelmed (and politically driven) federal government, thereby ensuring as wide a reach as possible for the infection as these hapless souls are welcomed into the unsuspecting arms of caring sponsors. Armageddon soup, anyone?
And if terrorists have scruples about using children in this terrible way (you decide how likely that is) not to worry: there is no health screening for visitors from many countries with whom we have friendly relations and which are overrun by terrorists and their sympathizers.
No need to move back very far from this pointillistic painting to see the clear picture. But fear not. Courageous men and women in improperly fitted hazard suits will rescue us if that impossible scenario from the overactive mind of a know-nothing prof ever comes to pass. So don’t worry. Be happy.