Horrors these days are real

Remember when Halloween was the year’s biggest terror?

All of four or five, I’d don my best hobo or Indian maiden costume and take to the streets, holding tightly to my dad’s hand.

The thrill of not knowing what lay inside that plywood coffin cast in a bath of orange and green lights out on the neighbor’s front lawn but knowing the treat would make the scare worth it still hangs with me. By night’s end, my brothers and I would take stock of our plastic pumpkin’s contents and swap tales of horror and frightening moments we’d encountered along the way.

Sadly, these days, it’s not zombie encounters or haunted houses that have the public on edge. It’s deadly viruses, terrorist groups and armed gunmen we talk about.

A conversation with friends retraced the horrors our parents’ generation and ours have endured. My parents spoke of hovering under their wooden and metal school desks to stay safe from the fallout of the atom bomb. Unfathomable. Not just that they’d have to consider living through bombs, but that anyone thought a desk would protect them.

My generation was more fortunate. We experienced the annual fire drill, but that was about it.

Imagine the horror the first time I learned my pre-Kindergartener had spent the day practicing shelter in place, not in anticipation of a storm but in the event of a shooting. That was 1999. In 2012, we were horrified again when a shooter – one of many since the shocking Columbine killings – gunned down children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Ebola looks to be the latest scare in an unending list of threats. America has been slow of take up the cause, but we are seeing movement.

Troops are setting up mobile treatment centers in Liberia, and President Barack Obama has tapped Ron Klain as his Ebola czar. Closer to home, Lafourche Parish is keeping a close eye out for Louisiana’s first sign of Ebola. And Terrebonne General is circulating reminders to wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and to seek help if you have come in direct contact of bodily fluids of a person who is sick or has died from the virus.

Time will tell if we’re really ready to tackle the latest health care threat.But lest we just agee to spend the day under the covers, let’s just agree God is in control and has watch over his flock. Whatever is to come, reality lately is much scarier than fiction.