After suffering paralyzing gridlock as the result of just 10 inches of anticipated snow, many in Boston are questioning the efficacy of Mayor Thomas Menino’s oft-touted “evacuation routes,” recently made evident by the sprouting of signage on every major street.
The mayor highlights these routes as proof that the city is ready to host Boston University’s (BU) proposed biolab, since we will all be able to flee town if there is an accident at the lab. The Dec. 13 storm popped that bubble.
Beyond the problem of the mechanics of Menino’s proposed “Operation Bio-Flee” is the fact that President Bush has said that he would use the military to isolate pockets of any bird flu outbreaks. Therefore, a likely scenario would be that Boston would be put under quarantine should there be a contagious outbreak from the biolab.
Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control lists diseases that may trigger the use of quarantine, and many of those diseases will be present in BU’s biolab. Mayor Menino must discuss the details of the true emergency plan with the citizens of Boston before an accident happens and not just hope for the best when the emergency hits.