Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Of flu and flyovers

The threats of pandemics and terrorist attacks certainly add excitement to hum-drum economic meltdowns and massive job losses. I was getting bored with those. Folks need a new catastrophe now and then to add a little spice to everyday drudgery.

New Yorkers don't seem all that frightened about swine flu, at least not this day, this hour. Even though NYC boasts more cases than any other city. Woo-hoo! Go New York!

One or two people are walking around with face masks, which, by the way, medical experts say don't do much to ward off the flying pig virus. I suspect more people are stocking up on soap and hand sanitizer, and I hope more are covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze, but beyond that I haven't noticed any panicked subway riders. However, this nonchalance may turn ugly at any moment. Never can tell.

Low flying aircraft over Lower Manhattan are another matter. It was uncommonly stupid and irresponsible to swoop so close to densely-populated skyscrapers in a city that survived the 9/11 attacks. Many have experience in getting wrong information, or right information too late, to stick around and see who might be flying incoming jets. You can hardly blame them for evacuating their buildings yesterday when a 747 and a couple of fighter jets appeared to head straight for them.

'Fraidy cats? Hardly. No one, NO ONE, should be flying planes so close to Manhattan. You'd better have a damn good reason to do that, and "photo op" ain't one of 'em. Let them head for the buildings of the folks calling New Yorkers panicky, just to see if they stick around to see who might be buzzing their office.

Still, it's a beautiful day in here in the City. Flowers and trees a-bloom. Breezy. I'll not worry about a pig-type flu or insanely close aircraft today.

Tomorrow, now, may be a different matter.


jcb said...

Mary, I am so not getting this.

Manhattan has, for years, been the home of a veritable airshow...TV helicopters, jets, blimps, and lots of lowflying aircraft careening over Central Park.

Some of them have crashed. One or two have plowed into the Empire State Building.

It would seem to me that part of getting over the trauma of having two hijacked airplanes smash into two towers (more than 7 long years ago) is to again become used to the "normal" experience, not create this sort of artificial no-fly zone because, you know, of what happened.

Should Oklahoma City ban Ryder trucks inside its city limits?

From outside your fine city's metro area, this feels like admittedly a poor job of public relations and planning, but also a clear indication that sensitivities remain racheted up way, way too high, especially in Lower Manhattan.

And, uh, stay healthy.

jomoore said...

How did you manage not to mention flying pigs...?

Seriously, I must say that it's more worrying to me than any flu that someone somewhere thought it was OK to let a jet fly low over Manhattan pursued by a fighter. That no-one stopped and said, "Hang on. What are we doing exactly?".

Seeing the footage really made me feel for you New Yorkers - I'd have been outta there quicker than you can say 'pandemic'!

Swine flu, though... Actually, I am feeling a bit achey...

jomoore said...

(Ah - you did mention flying pigs... My mistake...)

Anonymous said...

Yes,Jo. Pigs are flying - in more ways than one!

Jcb, my friend. You live - where? Ooooh, dangerous Va-Hi in ATL? Um, to my knowledge Manhattan hasn't been a hot-bed of air shows since 9/11. Yep, helicopters fly over all the time but not jumbo jets and fighter planes. I expected more from you than "get over it." And people DID get hurt evacuating.

chux said...

I'm with you guys on this - its beyond belief....stoopid stoopid stoopid idiot who agreed to do that without giving NY a headsup at least.