Falling Out in the Swiss Alps
Radiation Level: Heightened
Listening To: The Nothing Song by Sigor Ros
Civil Defense: The Swiss Approach
There’s a lot of talk about the role of the US Government not only in healthcare, but in our lives in general. Some people fear that we are becoming socialists while others embrace the government bailouts. That brings me to this curious piece of information about Switzerland. Switzerland has not been in a war of any kind since 1815. It has not been in an official foreign war since 1515. However, Swiss law requires every house and building to be constructed with its own fallout shelter. Talk about preparedness!
Of course, many Swiss citizens of late consider the Cold War to have ended when the Berlin Wall came down and now use their shelters as wine cellars or to store their skis. But given what happened here in 2008, I’m surprised we haven’t joined on the bandwagon.
I live in earthquake prone Los Angeles and we’re not even required to have an earthquake survival kit. Of course, if the big one hits and I don’t have enough water, shame on me because I know better. Still doesn’t mean I’ll be properly prepared. But what is it about a society that feels compelled to think and plan ahead for every citizen on the off-chance they get nuked? Do they know human nature so well? Or is it invasive into the freedom of its citizens? It brings me to the issue of universal healthcare. Should we be required to have health insurance? We are required to have car insurance. Of course having a car is a privilege, not a right. Having a body is well, just circumstance – I was never asked if I wanted one. It was assumed by my parents that I would want one (they were right).
I wonder what it’s like to grow up in Switzerland. Do all children have the same shared experience of sneaking into the fallout shelter to play or hide from their older brother when he’s being mean? I wonder how many Swiss teenagers have lost their virginity in their shelter next to survival equipment and gas masks…
Gotta, go. Millionaire Matchmaker is on and I’m desperate to see Patty’s new look – she’s had a breast reduction, lost the bangs, got some major botox and limp plumper. Awesome.