Samantha Ashford, General News
In 1981, the AIDS epidemic, called PCP at the time, began in the united States, ignored for years by the government, labeled “the gay men’s disease,” and swept under the rug; in 2015, a flu of unknown consequence has hit, targeting mutant populations, and no government research has yet been announced. While new quarantine measures have sprouted up in many Maine cities, with more being set up each day, the U.S. government has yet to make a statement, and as of July 25th, 2015, no funding has been issued to support research or to find a cure for this mysterious illness.
41 cases have been reported, and the people of Maine are in a panic. Last month, a team of Bugle Reporters, myself included, took a bus into the city and saw the perturbation for ourselves–quarantine tents, volunteer nurses, doctors who responded with little besides, “I don’t know.”
In the early 1980′s, an unusual amount of gay men in NYC fell sick due to a mysterious illness–no one knew how it spread, no one knew how it had been caused. Did the government step in? Did medical professionals rush in to save the day? No.
The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, a non-profit, non-funded group of volunteers took charge–making the calls, making noise, and making a difference. The press, after all, had remained mysteriously silent when it came to reporting the now counting death toll; the mayor of NYC had not a word, not a syllable to say on the matter; the US government denied research.
“It’s all familiar. We’ve been here before,” says mutant activist and proudly bisexual Terry Cramer. “You take a marginalized group of people, say ‘it’s only affecting them’ and no one’s exactly bending over backwards to give you funding. With HIV it took cataclysmic numbers to get the government to even bat their eyes. If straight people hadn’t begun to contract HIV, the government would have happily let every gay man this country die and call it a ‘tragedy’ after the fact. How many mutants will die this time before the government takes the Mutant Flu seriously? Our people are dying, and no one is looking twice. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. You say ‘it only effects those kind of people’ and every one else looks away.”
The death toll has risen to 7 reported cases–not high by most standards, but if we are to look at the public out cry that swept this nation at the spread of the ‘swine flu’ or ‘bird flu’ it seems oddly convenient that such a sickness as this is being quietly looked over.
“Four people contracted Ebola in the U.S. last year, a disease that has been rampant in West Africa for years, and no one cared until it affected white Americans. Four cases, and the U.S. was in a full-country-wide panic. We’re seeing over 40 cases of the Mutant Flu, but it doesn’t affect the dominant class, and so no one cares,” says Cramer. “You take a marginalized group of people, what looks to be a highly contagious virus, and the world says ‘oh well’. If we’re going to solve this, it’ll be on our own.”
The Maine governor was unavailable to comment.