I guess I was ten years old when I watched the movie “On the Beach”.
And I don’t want to be alarmist or anything, but I cannot help but almost have something similar to that On the Beach feeling, what with waiting for the possibility of an invisible cloud of radiation to come wafting over the Pacific towards my home on the West Coast of America.
The news at this moment is that the official line out of Washington or approved by Washington from the experts in the field is that no danger from nuclear fallout is expected here in the United States, even as Japanese nuclear power plant workers scramble to deal with several explosions and imminent (not necessarily inevitable) core meltdowns that could disperse highly toxic levels of radiation (there have been some high readings and there have been evacuations at and near the Japanese plants). The reports seem to suggest that things are or almost are out of control.
Of course there are those, perhaps some being opportunists, who may want to instill a kind of concern or panic and push you to purchase pills or iodine supplements, for good or commerce. I did see one official-looking but suspicious website that quoted a “doctor” as saying people might have to quit eating produce from the western United States. Now that would hurt. Much of my living is made off of that product as a long-haul truck driver out here — let‘s don‘t get too carried away just yet.
Oh, and for those of you too young to remember, On the Beach was a 1950s Cold War era movie adapted from a 1950s novel by the author Neville Shute about the aftermath of a nuclear war between the old USSR and the U.S. begun by accident and the remaining survivors who were awaiting the cloud of radiation to hit them.
Thankfully it does not seem that such is the likely scenario here and now, but then again this disaster, as the result of the most powerful earthquake to ever hit Japan and the resulting tsunami, late last week, has not played out yet and the news changes by the minute.
But life is always minute by minute.