America : The land of the free and the home of the brave. Or is it? It seems to me (and many other who are on the outside looking in) that Americans are the most scared people on the planet. They’ve feared all sorts of things. communists, soviets, Muslims, terrorists, immigrants and now the latest thing to add to the list, bird flu.

TV Network ABC made a TV movie called “Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America” which follows an outbreak of an Avian Flu from its origins in Hong Kong through its mutation into a virus transmittable from human to human. Facts have no place on American television of course, and this is a movie so to hell with facts right? In the movie mass panic and near anarchy spreads across the ‘home of the brave’ as everyone tried to avoid certain death in a global pandemic.

From the movie’s website you can imagine the guy with the deep voice who does all the movie trailers reading the following. There are times that test humanity and challenge the soul of a community or a nation. News images and headlines tell stories of rising waters, quaking ground and tragic acts by man himself. But the real story, the human story, is found in the lives changed forever, in the strength of the survivors, and the resilient hope that gives them the courage to recover.

The site goes on to claim that the movie was “meticulously researched”, but what do we care about that? More importantly that sexy older woman from TV’s ‘Nip Tuck’ (you know the blonde one) is the movies heroin, and she discovers that those pesky backward Chinese folk have been too lax in dealing with avian flu and because of them we’re all going to die. The H5N1 virus, that bird flu to you and I, mutates into a version that can spread from human to human and microbes start to permeate the atmosphere killing lots of people in wonderfully dramatic fashion.

Although the movie itself makes no mention of the actual facts and theories that surround bird flu the website does at least have some good news to put scared Americans minds at rest. An ‘informational Announcement’ reassures us that; “To date, there have been no cases of the H5N1 virus in the United States nor has there been a human transmission of the disease in a form that could fuel a pandemic.”

So America, not only do you need to be on the look out for communists, terrorists, pedophiles, and your garden variety ‘bad guy’, you now need to be on the look out for the next big threat, a sick bird.


Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America
Some boring factual website about bird flu
Joely Richardson – Sha-wing!