Published on February 20th, 2015 | by Richard Black0
Why I Recommend the Latest Strain of Influenza and the Benefits of Disease
This past week I had the pleasure of hosting a truly spectacular case of influenza. If you only catch one version of the flu over the next few years I highly recommend this version. It comes on with a slight headache and over the course of 24 hours renders its host bedridden for three days through agonizing joint pain, high fever, and bouts of incontinence. In order to ensure that it blesses as many bodily systems as possible with its presence the bug finally takes up residence in one’s lungs rendering sleep pretty much impossible and ones breath akin to the sound of a diesel engine.
It truly is a magnificent experience and while I was enjoying it’s many physical pleasures over a few bottles of cough syrup I had the opportunity to reflect upon the benefits of disease from a societal point of view.
Most of us are, at least peripherally, aware of the upside of disease. There’s nothing like a good case of the stomach flu or a rousing bout of the skitters when one wants to shed those last few pounds before a high school reunion or PTA meeting. As a parent I can vouch for the benefit of disease. One of the few times I have a chance to catch up on my sleep is when I’m suffering from some fever or bug or bout of gastrointestinal liveliness as I pass out on the toilet.
But what about the good disease provides to society at large? Certainly it keeps the elderly on their toes and provides them with something to discuss during their last remaining years. Without disease there would be no healthcare industry or, if there were, it would be markedly different from the benevolent entity we know today. Over the past few weeks as influenza ran through my home like Sherman in his march through Georgia I came to the conclusion that illness is pretty vital to our health as a people and, perhaps more importantly, our economy.
Take the following completely plausible scenario I’ve created if influenza were to stop making its rounds and the subsequent influence upon the real estate market. Influenza as most of us know generally culls the weak, the young and for the specific purposes of my argument, the elderly a segment of the population that owns approximately 105% of the available real estate.
Without an annual thinning of the herd through influenza the real estate market would be in pretty dire straits. Prime beachfront property would remain more or less indefinitely in the hands of geriatrics. Instead of looking to Florida or California new retirees would be forced to spend their twilight years in perfectly suitable locations like Arizona, West Virginia and Arkansas. In the span of a few decades even these remotely tolerable locations will become flooded with robust elderly couples speed walking and possibly even twerking towards an oblivion that lies far in the future.
As the elderly fail to pass the supply of condos and homes across the nation will dry up. Demand will skyrocket and a studio apartment over looking a tailing pond in Texas will cost about as much as a three bedroom ranch on Mars, quite a tidy sum despite the fact that the planet will be colonized solely by wealthy Northern democrats. It would be the ideal seller’s market unfortunately no one would be selling and once those last few efficiency condos by the Love Canal were booked the market would stagnate like so much undigested red meat in a fat man’s bowels.
It’s not a pretty picture but then again neither is the rest of the story.
As the median age of society moves towards 115 and elderly parents remain uninfluenced by the the annual cull of influenza and their children approach their 90’s the ugly side of human nature will show its face. As aging Boomers refuse to die their children will begin to view them and their property with a more pragmatic eye. I’m not saying that the rate of negligent homicide or tacit homicide would increase exponentially but it looks like I just did and, if I were somehow miraculously still alive in this scenario some forty years hence and a Boomer I’d be more than a little careful about who was behind me the next time I went down the stairs to check on a load of laundry in the basement.
At first these matricides and patricides would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and met with the sort of public outrage that inflames society for a full month or so and provides no lasting benefit of movement. After a few years and as real estate begins to open up, the national economy rebounds and the police and courts will become encouraged to overlook the increasing number of “oopsies” resulting in a massive wave geriatric deaths.
In order to capitalize upon the situation real estate brokers move into the role of de facto fixers to facilitate murder and the subsequent transfer of property. I’m sure that there will be a lengthy indemnity clause tacked on to all contracts but the more tangible outcome and tragic effect upon the market will occur in the form of higher fees and, subsequently, higher sale values for property that is already highly overpriced. Unencumbered with their parents and homes the noveau riche will look to spend their remaining years outside of the United States, probably in Venezuela or some other country with a warm climate that refuses to extradite criminals.
Their migration in addition to the large amount of cash that has fled the country will spark a national movement to investigate the death, and most likely prosecution, of anyone related to anyone over the age of 108 but the damage will have already been done. The massive outflow of capital will put the economy into a tailspin and the subsequent incarceration of hundreds of thousands of morally ambiguous 90 year old children who’ve taken it upon themselves to relieve their parents of life and property will sound the death knell of our nation.
With the death of their grandparents and the incarceration of their own parents millions upon millions of 60 year old men and women will be left to their own devices which normally wouldn’t be an issue. These people however will be the product of the helicopter parents of our day and age. Indulgent, stupid and self entitled little shits who have grown to become indulgent, self entitled and largely unemployed men and women incapable of tending to their own well being.
In order to care for the crashed copter generation the government will subsidize existing foster care programs, increasing the allowance for caring for a “child” to a ten thousand dollars a month. It seems like a lot in terms of 2015 money but given hyperinflation over the next few decades ten grand will be the cost of few pairs of Depends (Kimberly Clark being one of the few remaining solvent companies) and a bucket of Taco Bell genetically modified chicken.
Given the imminent collapse of society the government will intervene more forcefully. At first formerly vacant nursing home facilities will be rented out by ostensibly well meaning single mothers and fathers who “just love raising hundreds of foster kids,” and some of them, I’m sure, will be quite lovely. In reality however most of these makeshift homes will become de facto sweat shops for the masses of the soon to be elderly as they make the shoelaces for the Malaysian kids who make Nike footwear.
In response to the last whiny public outcry of the helicopter generation what’s left of the government will intervene one final time and use its last few tax dollars to construct and manage a series of massive state homes. They will be dull grim concrete affairs, scarcely more welcoming than the prisons built a few years earlier to accommodate the generation of blood sucking, thankless and murderous parents who played a large portion in the demise of our once great nation.
The U.S will limp along for a while but the ultimately turn into a de facto socialist state to care and tend for the massive number of its wards in prison and elderly orphanages. At best I see us as being the new Myanmar with a slightly more benevolent government and one that oversees millions upon millions of men and women in their twilight years as they work in sweatshop conditions to make handmade quilts and charm bracelets at cut rate costs for the international market. It’s not a pretty scenario but then again truth is often ugly. The fact is that until we stop vaccinating our grandparents we are putting our nation’s future at risk.