From The Telegraph:
"Television movie takes bird flu fears to extreme
WASHINGTON – Bodies piling up so quickly it takes dump trucks to haul them away. Barbed wire to keep whole neighborhoods quarantined. It’s Hollywood’s version of bird flu, a blur of fact and fiction that some scientists say could confuse the public.
“Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America,” an ABC made-for-television movie, airs Tuesday just as scientists are to begin testing of wild birds in Alaska that could herald the arrival of bird flu in North America. Scientists fear the bird flu virus could evolve so it could be passed from human to human, sparking a global pandemic.
The two-hour movie plays up that notion to the fullest, with a running ticker that tallies tens of millions of victims worldwide. In one scene, the bodies are thrown on a pyre, like the carcasses of cows torched in the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Great Britain. The producers of the movie, from the writer of 2002’s “Atomic Twister,” bill their work as a “thinking man’s disaster film.”
“We call this a plausible worst-case scenario. This could actually happen. It may not be this bad but it could be this bad. The reason to portray it this way is to kind of give a wake-up call to everyone and this is something we shouldn’t ignore and we should be as prepared as we should be,” said Diana Kerew, one of the movie’s executive producers.
Bird flu expert Michael Osterholm said the movie realistically portrays the shortages of goods and services, and some of the ensuing panic, that could occur in a pandemic. But Osterholm frets the blurring of information and entertainment could do the public a disservice and hopes to arrange a conference call with television critics before the movie airs to set the record straight. He singled out for criticism how the movie shows Virginia officials using barbed wire to fence off and quarantine entire neighborhoods.
“This is too far important an issue to create further confusion in the public’s mind,” said Osterholm, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota.
For the record, a spokesman for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said the commonwealth has no plans to roll out cyclone fences and barbed wire. “We haven’t done that since, oh, the ’50s,” joked Kevin Hall.
“Fatal Contact” begins in China, where – in the movie – the bird flu virus has mutated to the point where it’s being passed human to human. It’s only when an American businessman – “patient zero” – prepares to catch a flight out of Hong Kong, after crossing paths with an infected factory worker, that the global pandemic really gets started. Playing supporting roles are a wadded-up cocktail napkin, stuffed olive and an apparently less-than-sterile martini."
Woooo! So where's the part that's outrageous and totally fiction? Oh, there isn't any... This is just the visceral, fictional recording of a worst case scenario for a flu pandemic. Sounds like it's gonna scare the shit out of me, like it should any American.
At least in the movie they are smart enough to burn the bodies. If I hear the godamned question "what would we do with all the bodies?" one more time I'm going to scream bloody-murder... "WE FUCKING BURN THE BODIES, THATS WHAT!!! MORON!!!!"
Ok, I need to go take my meds now...
Sunday, May 07, 2006
From The Telegraph: