The Daily Show: Doubtbreak '09

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta got the virus during a recent visit to Afghanistan, and anchor Anderson Cooper apparently caught it from him.

"The cough was the worst cough I've ever had," Cooper said. "It even hurt my heart while I was coughing."

"I could barely take a couple of steps without feeling really light-headed and just those profound chills," added Gupta.

I had explosive diarrhea, how 'bout you? I'm telling you, my underwear looked like the mud flaps on a swamp buggy.

But the main symptom has always been ... fear.

"Fears grow of a global pandemic like the 1968 outbreak that killed a million people," explained Fox News' Geraldo Rivera.

Ah, 1968. I remember, that was the summer of upchuck. But this time, just as the virus is about to metastasize, a breakthrough - the FDA approved a swine flu vaccine in September.

We're saved! Hail Zeus, the Greek god of timely pharmaceutical research!

So it seems we finally contained the swine flu outbreak, but can we contain the doubtbreak?

"They worry the vaccine was rushed and not adequately tested," said Fox News' Gretchen Carlson.

Is it safe? Has it been tested? Should you get the vaccine? Should you give it to your kids? Do we really know what the government wants to inject into our bodies? Is the vaccine a deadly poison?

Oh, and there's one other thing - will we have enough?

Perhaps no one embodies this fearmongering ethos better than Dr. Glenn Beck, M.D.

"Will you take your chances with the swine flu or the vaccine? Will you take the vaccine and give it to your children?" Beck asked. "How much do you trust your government? I think that's the main question."

Wait, when did that become the main question? I always thought the question was does the vaccine promote the growth of H1N1 antibodies that could help ward off infections?

I think the virus is more interested in killing you than the government is, but I guess I'm just one of those "pasteurized milk drinkers."

I'm sure the vaccine isn't perfect, and science certainly isn't perfect, but does everything have to be so spooky?

So Mr. Beck, are you going to get an H1N1 vaccination?

"I've decided not to share if I'm going to get it or not," Beck said on The O'Reilly Factor.

Really? You talked about your ass surgery on YouTube and now you're holding back on us? Now you've decided it's time to be a little bit more discrete and ladylike? C'mon, Beck!

"I think this is important for everybody to make their own decision," said Beck. "This is injecting something into your body, and there are great arguments for and against."

He's right. On the "for" side, it protects against a potentially fatal disease, it was found safe in clinical trials and it can keep you from infecting those most vulnerable to the flu.

Whereas on the "against" side, the government is out to get you, science is out to get you and, oh my god, look behind you!

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