Up a Level
Beginning to Break

Got my driver's license yesterday. About 3 hours in the DMV, nice people, finished an article I had to read for school, and basically just hung around. I didn't even have to talk the written or driving test because I was just changing it over. On the other hand, I almost failed the vision test. And, with everything else going on, from being kicked out from the flood to news I can't talk about yet, the idea of having to wear glasses again actually hit me rather hard. That and the feeling of staring into the vision test, realizing that I simply couldn't read half the characters because I have permanently blurry vision (drawback of LASIK) was getting really damn close to making sure I couldn't drive.

And that bothered me, a lot.

We are also seeing if I have to head back to Illinois this weekend to fix the MythTV box. I'm hoping not, I really hate driving and every trip I take is just that less money for GenCon. Not to mention, I think I'm going to be hit with a $500 medical bill unless I can pass the buck to my insurance company who may have already rejected it.

I wonder why I'm not feeling the greatest in the world? I feel like I'm breaking at the ends and one thing is being added on top of the other. The cable man refuses to enter my apartment without me, I have meetings that I have to be at, the phone guy couldn't do anything yesterday, and basically I spent all last night mindless playing a video game because I couldn't find the energy to write.

Now, on thing that doesn't make me sick. This salmonella outbreak. And here is why, we'll take an article from US News:

A contaminated jalapeno pepper had been identified two weeks ago at another Mexican farm in a different part of the country, which turned the months-long search for a source of the nationwide outbreak away from fresh tomatoes.

Meanwhile, the latest victim count across the United States and Canada, as of Wednesday, stood at 1,319 , with at least 225 people requiring hospitalization, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Millions of dollars lost because of this, but let's look at the hard numbers. 1,319 people were reported as sick. We'll be nice and say ten times that actually got sick, but didn't report it, so about 13,190 people were sick. This includes people in Canada, but let's just pretend they are all in the USA. Why? If we got to the estimated population of the US, the US Census Population Clock, we'll see that there are an estimated 304,742,854 people in this country. That means that the 13k people sick comes out to 0.0043% of the population.

On the other hand, according to this site, we have over 23.6 million people with diabetes or somewhere around 7-8% of the population. Guess what I think should have more panic, discussion, and effort on?

Ah, but that's a long-term disease. How about something just as short of a response as E. Coli? Maybe influenza (i.e. the common cold). With this site, which is based on 2002 numbers, 65,313 have died from the cold. Died, not just gotten sick. That's 0.0214% of the population. If we were going to compare those numbers, we have to go less than the 225 people who just went to the hospital. We dealt a major blow (in terms of millions) to the tomato growers of this country because we thought it was infected, just to protected less people than normally die of the flu every year.

And that is why that doesn't really bother me.