Somewhere in Owl's Dung, Maine, Stephen King is perhaps the only person benefiting from the pending swine flu outbreak. The master of horror and author of "The Stand," a tale of the apocalypse brought on by a particularly nasty flu-like virus is currently preparing yet another "definitive version" of his heftiest volume. This one is a comic book. There are those who might suggest that Mister King has finally found his true calling, but that's a subject for another time. Currently, the best-case scenario is one in which we all get a little creeped out and end up buying more scary science fiction stories. The worst case scenario is just that: worst.
"I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," said Richard Besser, acting director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Those expectations have already been met in Mexico, where more than one hundred and fifty people have already been killed by the disease. Doctor Besser was referring more specifically to the deaths of United States citizens. Perhaps to lend credence to the good doctor's ghoulish bedside manner, a child in Texas has died. There are currently sixty-eight confirmed cases of swine flu here in our country, and more are lining up outside the nurse's office even as we speak. In New York, there were growing signs that the virus was moving beyond St. Francis Preparatory school. The outbreak came just days after a group of students returned from spring break in Cancun. Hangover? Maybe a case of diarrhea or two, but you wouldn't guess that spring break would be deadly.
Unless, of course, it was being scripted by Stephen King. So far there hasn't been much in the way of a conspiracy theory being attached to all of this, but I were Barack Obama, I would be a little suspicious. After all, wasn't he just at a summit of Latin American countries? And hasn't he been doing surprisingly well in the polls? Has anybody seen Karl Rove recently? Keep popping that Vitamin C, kiddies.