When thinking of major events that happened in Canada around the time that The Year of the Flood was published, my immediate (and only) thought was of the infamous H1N1 panic of ’09. I remembered it as a huge deal–I mean my school district that was already cutting as many teachers and classes as possible came up with the money to put a hand sanitizer dispenser in every single classroom in every single school. Though I only remembered the immediate effects the H1N1 pandemic had on me, I was sure Canada experienced a similar panic.
The secondary article I chose, written in April of 2010, after the panic surrounding the H1N1 virus had settled, looks back on and criticizes the Canadian government’s reaction to the pandemic. The author addresses how both liberal and conservative parties of the Canadian government were guilty of having a larger investment in their personal issues than those of the nation, having spent significantly more money on economic action ads than H1N1 preventative measures (the government spent five times more on political ads than H1N1 awareness ads), yet goes on to argue that the government ultimately overreacted.
Taylor presented two opposing sides of criticism towards the Canadian government during this time. The first being that the fact that more money was spent on economic concerns than health concerns and that the preventative measures taken ultimately happened after the peak in Canadian H1N1 cases shows lack of concern for the citizens of the country. The second, and the one Taylor ultimately sides with, is that even though the government didn’t pay as much attention to the H1N1 pandemic as other national issues, they still overreacted; having a panicked nation only worsens the effects of the pandemic.
While I doubt that Margaret Atwood’s waterless flood referred to the H1N1 pandemic because of how soon after the issue the book was published, I think it’s a neat (if you can call a pandemic neat) coincidence. This incident shows striking resemblance to The Year of the Flood, even if in a mild way. Rather than taking care of the people, those in power (the government=the CorpSeCorps) make sure to take care of themselves, something Atwood warns will ultimately bring destruction and chaos.
Article (Stephen Taylor: Ottawa overreacted to media hysteria, opposition panic on H1N1):
Extra nonsense on a cool primary source I found related to TYOTF under the cut.
When looking for a secondary source, I found this really neat primary source that I wish I had found to use for the other blogpost. The article I found comes from the same Canadian news source as the first, but is an editorial that ties religion into pandemics.
The Article is called, “Would Jesus Get Vaccinated?” and is written by a Christian man who advocates getting the H1N1 vaccine. Groenewald takes the WWJD stance in his article to convince the reader (presumably a Christian) why they should get vaccinated for the H1N1 virus. I found this interesting because the author brings up the point that many religious and conservative people are often skeptical about vaccinations for various reasons.
However, instead of supporting this skepticism, Groenewald justifies the vaccine by stating that Jesus himself would get vaccinated because his health not only affects him, but everyone he come into contact with.
This really struck me as interesting, not only for the unexpected opinion and reasoning, but how it ties in to TYOTF. This directly conflicts with the mindset that the Gardeners have, which is to avoid government/authority related medicines and supplements at all costs. The Gardeners were rightly paranoid that the CorpSeCorps was actually poisoning the people they were claiming to make better, which ultimately sheds light on a possible future that the author of this article is advocating against.