Saturday, October 28, 2006

Report from the Pragmatism and Paramecia Dept

In flu crisis, we all can't stay home: Harvard survey raises realities of a pandemic

Ask Americans whether they would hole up at home to keep from spreading a super-strain of flu, and at first they pledge to cooperate.

But probe deeper, and here come the doubts. One in 4 adults says there is no one to care for them if they got sick, raising the specter of Grandma gasping alone in bed or a single mother passed out while her children wail.

Another 1 in 4 could not afford to miss work for even a week.

And 1 in 5 fears the boss would insist they come to work even if they were sick and contagious.

This is bizarre. It's like they're surprised that people aren't all rich, living together, and/or have nannies.

No, this is America. We all work our asses off for too little money, with an ethic that demands we work no matter how bad we feel, with little to no job protection. And yes, there's a hell of a lot of elderly living alone, single moms, and just generally a lot of people out there who live alone.

Oh, and all of us with no health insurance.

Well, duh.