Advent is a season of hope and expectation, a time of waiting: for the Christ child, for prophecy to be fulfilled, for severe muscle aches and a temperature of 104.
This year, depending on your religious beliefs, Santa Claus may or may not be coming to town, but the bird flu definitely is, and it won’t matter if you’ve been bad or good. It will be bad.
Every major international health organization, including our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (motto: THE SKY IS FALLING!), say that it is not a matter of if a pandemic will sweep the globe, but when. And those of you with the annoying habit of saying “bless you” at every sneeze will be of little help.
The virus started in Asia, where it can be produced more cheaply, and is slowly spreading west, following the ancient trade route established by a dispirited Marco Polo returning from the east with the bad news that his countrymen didn’t, in fact, invent spaghetti. By April the virus could be in Paris, where fashion experts are predicting surgical masks will be all the rage.