Sunday, March 20, 2011

Of Salt and Spinach

Aunt: Just keep away from the spinach and the milk, okay?  They're poisoned with radiation!
Me:   Really?  That's probably why they're so cheap.  The spinach pie was great tonight.

No definitive word on when the nuclear crisis will be over.  Workers today sprayed reactor number 4 up at Fukushima, and radiation levels continued their slow decline.  However nothing will really settle down until if and when power is linked up to all the reactors and the cooling systems fully restored.  Meanwhile spinach and milk from the area has been irradiated.  I genuinely feel sorry for the dairy farmers of Fukushima; nobody will ever buy their milk again and in many cases their life's work is ruined.

Life in Yokohama has pretty much returned to normal; or should I say, stabilised at a new normality.  The new paradigm includes daily press conferences on disaster relief, as well as a nightly radiation level report following the weather.  Just something to think about when you're planning your next picnic, I guess.  'Great, it's not going to rain, but what about insidious poison levels?'

Nowadays there is also communication between the sexes.  These days, if you wife says, 'Where's that blue jacket?", you don't pretend you didn't hear her because you're reading the newspaper.  Instead you help her find the blue jacket because she is packing an emergency bag that will you need in case you have to flee nuclear contamination.  Sharpens things up a bit, I can tell you.

The overseas press is currently diverted by the war in Libya, but there are still reports of Japan burning sinking and exploding in a radioactive cloud.  Be assured if the radioactive mutants start massing I will report it.  Kind of looking forward to it, actually.

The sensationalist reporting has already resulted in unnecessary suffering.  For example, there are worldwide reports of people overdosing on iodine tablets and requiring hospitalization.  You could argue that people so stupid as to overdose on iodine thousands of kilometers away from radiation danger should be in hospital anyway. However, I wouldn't be one to argue that.  Would I?

I also read that in China everyday iodised table salt is sold out in supermarkets as it is being hoarded by people who believe (incorrectly) that it can protect them against radiation poisoning.

Those wacky Chinese.  They probably think they're going to be the world's next superpower.


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