I don't know about you, but I'm expecting the worst from the Year 2000. Not from the infamous Y2K Bug itself, I think we'll be OK from that. Instead, I think Y2K will be a case where the cure is worse than the disease.
I'm not talking about all the recoding work done by tireless Diet Coke-stoked computer programmers. That cure, for the most part, will probably work just fine. I'm talking about all the measures ordinary people are taking to deal with the Y2K Bug and all the havoc it's supposed to create.
I don't think you'll be seeing reports on the TV news of people suffering from exposure because of a power blackout. Instead, I think you'll be seeing reports of people suffering from exposure because they couldn't get the portable generators working in the remote cabins they retreated to in anticipation of millennial chaos. And speaking of portable generators, why do I have this funny feeling that carbon monoxide poisoning will be a big story in the early days of the Year 2000. Before you “head for the hills,” be aware that most power companies will be Y2K-compliant by the middle of this year. None have discovered any Y2K issues serious enough to cause a blackout.
We will likely have a hard time getting money from ATMs. Oh, they'll be working fine, they probably just won't have any cash in them because of all the panic withdrawals made in the last few days of the year. Solution? Get to know your bank teller.
And let's not forget all the millennial kooks who will come out of the woodwork to effect their own versions of Armageddon that they've been preaching about the last few years. Many of them have strongholds in the same areas where some of you have your cabins and your generators and your Heath Kit crystal radios and God only knows what else. I wish you luck.
What are your plans for coping with “Y2Khaos”? E-mail News Editor Dennis Callaghan firstname.lastname@example.org.