Read an Excerpt
From Sea to Shining Sea
Risk Scenario-What Would You Do?
Unbelievable. You knew it was going to happen, but now that it has, you can't believe it. First it was your ski trip, and now your spring break plans for Cancun.
The ski trip was going to be incredible. You and close to a hundred of your classmates, in the mountains for an extended weekend, surrounded by fields of snow, all the hot chocolate you could drink, and all the hot skiers you could handle. You had plans to show up that arrogant jerk, Jason-he thinks he's god of the slopes; you were gonna teach him better. You had plans to bunk with your three best buddies. The four of you would have been raising hell-prank calls to your friends' rooms at three in the morning, raiding the mini-fridge, and ordering pay-per-view. It would have been a perfect vacation.
Until the head honchos at the school freaked out and decided that traveling anywhere was "just too risky." After that one guy got thrown off of a Greyhound bus for making threats, the administration doesn't want anyone traveling anywhere-especially out of state. Never mind the fact that you would've been on chartered buses, and you were only going a few hundred miles. So says the school board; so shall it be done.
Cancun was different. You didn't think anything could mess up your Cancun plans. Your parents had done the coolest thing ever-decided to take that trip over spring break, and told you that you could bring two friends. Jamie and Becca were all for it, ready to go. You'd been saving your money so you could spend it all on sexy swimsuits and spa treatments. You had plans to spend some quality time with the sand and sun, soaking in the UV rays until you were golden brown. We won't tell your parents, but you also had secret plans to hook up with a hottie while you were down there, too. After all, mysterious strangers are made for romantic beaches. Even though the trip was months and months away, you had your bags mentally packed.
Too bad your parents decided it was-survey says: "Just too risky."
Now, this you really can't understand. Everything you're hearing says that planes are probably safer now than they've ever been. Sure, the extra security checks might be a hassle, but not enough to deter you from the beach. And it's not like you'd be headed even in the direction of any major city a terrorist might want to target.
Not to mention the fact that the trip wasn't until April. You're positive that things would have blown over by then. Everything would be back to normal, and planes would be just as safe as ever.
And now you have to disappoint your friends, too. You know they'll understand-Becca had plans to go to New York for Christmas, now that's totally off-but that's not the point.
It just doesn't seem fair that an event hundreds or thousands of miles away has to disrupt your life months in advance.
To put it simply, you're PO'd.
But at the same time, you're starting to get a little worried. There must be something to the school's claims if they'd go so far as to cancel the entire trip, right? And it's not like your parents to flip out for no good reason (unless you're a few minutes late for curfew, but that's another story).
You're also getting mixed messages from the media. Everyone's telling you to go back to your life, that the airlines are safer than ever, that we can't let the terrorists disrupt our lives. Simultaneously, they're telling you of breaches in security at national airports, warning you of credible threats and the need for "highest alert," telling you that airport security might be federalized. Any time anything happens to a commercial jet, the media questions whether the terrorists have struck again.
So, when being ticked wears off, you're just confused.
Who do you believe? Who's telling it like it is? Were your parents and the school administrators totally wrong for canceling your vacations? Or did they maybe have a point? And does this mean you're not going to get any vacations at all for a while? You think you'll go nuts if you have to stay in town until this is all over. So what can you do instead of taking faraway, extended vacations? Hey, there's a lake only a few hours' drive away-it's no Cancun, but it'll still have sun and water. Maybe you'll talk to your parents about that. And maybe you can get your friends together to convince the principal that while he might be right about canceling the ski trip, isn't there something else closer to home that he could organize?
What is happening to life as we knew it? Is all the fun soon going to be gone?
How Much do You Know?
1. Since the United States began its offensive against terrorism, there have been how many incidents of terrorism at airports or involving air travel?
a. a dozen b. less than a dozen c. no one knows d. none
2. Since the bombing raids in Afghanistan, air travel in this country has incurred:
a. minor delays, but little disruption b. major disruption c. there has been no air travel d. no one knows
3. True or False: Travel in this country is important only to the tourism industry and we can live without that.
4. True or False: Every year in this country millions of business men and women travel millions of miles and conduct billions of dollars of business.
5. Travel, for reasons other than vacation, is:
a. unimportant b. uninteresting c. vital to the economic interests of the country d. a perk that should be eliminated
6. Since 9-11, travel fares across the country are:
a. generally higher than ever b. generally lower than ever c. unchanged d. nonexistent; I'm telling you, no one is going anywhere
7. Increased caution and security is important when traveling by:
a. plane b. train c. bus and every other d. car conveyance e. cruise ship f. all of the above
8. True or False: People aren't really afraid of flying, or restricting their travel; that's just media hype.
9. True or False: Only commercial airliners, not private planes, pose a threat to safety as the result of a potential terrorist attack.
10. Travel in our country will:
a. go back to normal on October 5, 2003
b. go back to normal after we win the war against terrorism and terrorists c. never be the same, but will be manageable with some adjustments d. stop
Answers are Below
1. d- 2. a-3. F- 4. T-5. c- 6. b - 7. f- 8. F- 9. F- 10. c.
2002. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Live Aware, Not In Fear by Donna K. Wells, Bruce C. Morris. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.