Friday, January 29, 2016

First World Mothers Briefly Seize Upon, Promptly Dismiss Fears of Zika Virus

First World mothers in the United States breathed a collective sigh of relief this week, after quickly concluding that terrifying reports of Zika--a mosquito-borne virus--did not apply to them or their children.

An article in yesterday's New York Times reported that Zika was “spreading explosively in the Americas," and that as many as four million people could be infected by the end of the year. The World Health Organization "rang a global alarm," with the "focus of concern" being the "growing number of cases of microcephaly, a rare condition in which infants are born with abnormally small heads and damaged brains."

"Oh great," said one mom reached at her home in Scarsdale, New York. "I'm six months pregnant with my third child, and now I have to worry about imported cheese, sushi, AND mosquitoes?"

"Wait . . . 'Americas' doesn't mean here, does it??," another mother, who asked to remain anonymous, wondered aloud to a fellow parent at a soccer game in Newton, Massachusetts. "I was super scared of Ebola . . . I can't handle another one of these third world virus things."

A flurry of iPhone traffic then ensued in which briefly frightened parents began reading aloud to each other from the Times article. 

"Hang on hang on," said a frantic mother of two from Park Slope, Brooklyn in the parking lot of a nearby Whole Foods. "It says right here  . . . 'the risk of a homegrown outbreak is very low.' We have plans to go to Cabo over spring break, but it looks like this thing is really only in Brazil and Venezuela. What a relief."

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