I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Letter to the CDC

Dr. Thomas R. Friedman, MD, MPH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dear Dr. Friedman:

Recently I had the pleasure to meet with a good friend of mine named Allie for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. What began as a very enjoyable encounter quickly took a turn toward terror when Allie spotted a woman that I can only describe to you as a "carrier."

I call this woman a "carrier" because Allie explained to me that this woman was infected with herpes and has been spreading this disease to a great many people for some time now. I believe her immediate response, upon seeing this "carrier," was, "Iew! Don't go new that girl!" Allie wouldn't go into detail, but she was firm in her position that this woman is a threat to public health.

Outside of the film Outbreak, I don't know much about your policies concerning contagion, but I ask that you act quickly. Most of my family currently resides in Grand Rapids and it would break my heart to see the good people of West Michigan wiped off the map as a result of our inaction. Furthermore, I've read the terrible reports of the destruction of Europe due to the bubonic plague. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine that this herpes she speaks of is quite similar to Europe's bubonic plague and the deadly Motaba virus of the Outbreak. This means that the entire world could be threatened by a simple city-wide contagion.

I trust that you'll deal with this herpes pandemic quickly and decisively. (If it helps, the carrier was last seen at the Celebration Cinemas mall at Knapp St. and the East Beltline.) What I'm currently wondering is if there's anything I can do to survive the herpes plague myself. I'll admit that I fear the idea of living in a world where most of the people I used to know are gone, but I also recognize that someone needs to soldier on in order to rebuild the world post-herpes. Shoudl I stock up on fresh water? Should I avoid human contact? Should I wash my jeans more often?

I appreciate the existence of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To think that I might live next to carriers and not have a centralized authority that I can rat them out to is frightening. Wouldn't you agree? I thank you for keeping us safe!

I hope that you can find the time to write me back regarding both how you plan to respond to this herpes threat and what I should do in order to save myself and those dear to me.

Yours in vigilance,
Justin Tiemeyer

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