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what would have been the 'right' way for gov't to handle CT?


'Big Brother' is such a villain in this story, but what were they supposed to do? Obviously it was wrong for them to resort to violence and firing squads, shooting at point-blank anyone in the media who talked about the superflu....but aside from that, I really don't know what the U.S. government could do that would be any better. Once the superflu virus escaped into the air, they knew the overwhelming majority of the population were sitting ducks. It wouldn't have been ethical or responsible to release that news and cause a panic right off the bat, would it? Would not have made things any better. I would imagine, given how quickly CT spread and killed, that they didn't know much about what was happening until the damage was already done.

On that note, the extreme speed of CT did seem like a stretch. Even given the communicability level of 99.4%, how could a virus escaping from the tiny locations of a CA reservation, and then Arnette TX, make its way to 240 million people in just two weeks? I don't know what the timeframe WOULD be, but mid June to early July didn't seem like enough time. (A minor complaint, but something I always think about for some reason.)

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Assuming that each infected person gave the virus to ten other people, that is just eight generations from the start to spread to the entire population. Given that, it is entirely possible for the virus to spread quite quickly. So this time frame is well within possibility.

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I've argued for several years now that Captain Trips was far more than just a deadly virus. It was God's new version of the Great Flood. Nothing conventional would stop the virus. You were either immune or you weren't. I'm not a Bible Thumper, but I think it's safe to say the an underlying theme of the novel is God moves in mysterious ways and God will not explain things to us. However most people don't seem to like this opinion. Oh well.

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[deleted]

Well, speculation about the supernatural aside, I think the only good course of action would be to come out with it right at the get-go. Have the President declare martial law and order a nation-wide curfew. Anybody on the streets will be shot on sight.

Drastic and harsh, but with something so deadly it seems like the only realistic choice. They were already screwed with little chance to quarantine it. It is doubtful that Arnette was the source of its spread. Likely it was spreading from other places that Campion visit in the two days before he reached Haps' gas station.

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Drastic and harsh, but with something so deadly it seems like the only realistic choice. They were already screwed with little chance to quarantine it. It is doubtful that Arnette was the source of its spread. Likely it was spreading from other places that Campion visit in the two days before he reached Haps' gas station.


This. In spades. This point wasn't really addressed in the novel, but touched on briefly in the miniseries when Ed Davis' character points out in passing that basically the only chance to contain this epidemic went out the window the moment Campion and his family stopped at roadside burger joint and/or had to stop for gas.

I mean, think about it. There's no way they could have gotten from California to Texas without having to refill the tank. And they had to eat. At some point, they must have stopped for gas and/or food and Campion would have infected someone else, thus starting the chain.

Arnette was basically the physical location where he and his family finally washed up after Captain Trips had run its course.

All of the things the military does after Arnette were basically CYA, but with a good reason.

That reason being that there was essentially no way to stop the superflu from spreading once it got out. Once it got out and started spreading around, it would have taken off like wildfire. And what was the military supposed to do to contain it? Basically nothing, except what we see in both the book and the miniseries.

The only other thing the government and/or military could have done was to have come clean with the American people. "Er, yes, we developed this superflu. It's basically 100% communicable, which means pretty much everyone is going to die because we don't have a vaccine and even if we did, we do not have the time to make enough of it to stop the superflu. Sorry, but we're all screwed. Have a nice day."

Essentially they were doomed the moment Campion infected another person outside the Project Blue base.
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6533152/1/Payback

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by FbxCycler
ยป Mon Dec 14 2015 23:56:55
IMDb member since July 2000

Drastic and harsh, but with something so deadly it seems like the only realistic choice. They were already screwed with little chance to quarantine it. It is doubtful that Arnette was the source of its spread. Likely it was spreading from other places that Campion visit in the two days before he reached Haps' gas station.



"This. In spades. This point wasn't really addressed in the novel, but touched on briefly in the miniseries when Ed Davis' character points out in passing that basically the only chance to contain this epidemic went out the window the moment Campion and his family stopped at roadside burger joint and/or had to stop for gas."



It was EXTENSIVELY covered in the Novel. Even more so in the Unabridged 1990 version.

This signature really brings the room together, Does It Not?

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Probably the 'right' thing for the government to do is be honest and say this is real, real bad, but hopefully not as bad as we fear, and we aren't giving up and this is what you need to do while we're busting ass trying to put a stop to this thing...and then outlined the rules like staying in doors, no leaving your house, Period. Eat dirt if you run out of food because you are not to leave and while your're at it, hug your kids and make peace with your god and family and wait and see what happens.

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Probably the 'right' thing for the government to do is be honest and say this is real, real bad, but hopefully not as bad as we fear, and we aren't giving up and this is what you need to do while we're busting ass trying to put a stop to this thing...and then outlined the rules like staying in doors, no leaving your house, Period. Eat dirt if you run out of food because you are not to leave and while your're at it, hug your kids and make peace with your god and family and wait and see what happens.
Usually the truth is the best answer, is it not?

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Not to make too fine a point, but the "right" thing for the government to do was not to breed this horror in the first place.

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Not to make too fine a point, but the "right" thing for the government to do was not to breed this horror in the first place.
Good point,

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I agree with the posters that said that the government in both the book and the movie should have been honest from the get-go with the media and the public and declared martial law and order everybody to stay indoors (much like our government has ordered us to do so with the threat of the coronavirus) regardless of the risk of starting a panic.

Too much damage was done by the military/U.S. govern. trying to conceal the truth until it was too late. Look at all the bad stuff that resulted by them trying to conceal the seriousness of Captain Trips (the military/or police gunning down college students, soldiers gunning down the radio host Ray Flowers, the black militants killing soldiers on live TV). Seems to me that, again in both the novel and in the show, the government spent more time in trying to keep the deadly nature of the disease a secret by any means necessary than they were in trying to find a cure to it.

At least now with the current coronavirus our government and president has been open and honest about the seriousness of the coronavirus and I do believe much effort has been made and will continue to be made in trying to find a vaccine.



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Captain Trips is the new flood. The disease is so freakishly unstoppable because it it was meant to be that way. It was time to erase the board and start things over again. Yes the virus was developed by Human beings, but I've always had the impression that there might have been a spark (or two) of divine intervention. In the introduction to the 1989 publication King refers to the story as a tale of "dark Christianity". Captain Trips is not a normal or natural virus. I've always been amused by the folks who discard the disease as being unrealistic and that there has never been a virus of such lethality (which is true until it isn't incidentally). Those folks obviously miss the whole supernatural/religious aspect of the novel.

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