Jessica Ariel (liret) wrote,
Jessica Ariel

lj idol week 13

I'm honestly not even sure how the human race has survived this long.

Granted, I held this view even before I decided to spend all my time studying disasters. We don't inspire confidence, as a whole, and there's just so very many ways things can go badly. And yet humanity still keeps rolling merrily along, no matter how improbable it may be.

I learn a lot of new and interesting ways we can die. It's plague vectors in my 9:00am class. (Did you know that V. cholerae bacteria survive in the human small intestine by developing tail-like appendages, letting them essentially swim through our guts?) At noon we're learning to work with software that estimates threat zones from hazardous chemical exposures. Later in the afternoon it's vulnerabilities in transportation systems.

I now know the average proportion of injuries to fatalities for bomb attacks using grenades vs. those that use mines. I can think about it on the train home, while I'm reading about hurricanes.

Sometimes it seems like I should just stay in my apartment, expanding my federally-recommended 5-day supply of food and water into a full-fledged survivalist bunker. It wouldn't help. I could have a house fire. I'm in a 100-year flood-zone. My roof could collapse. Those carefully horded canned goods will probably give my botulism.

So instead I just go about my life. And I pretend not to be surprised, every morning, that we're still here.
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