Nov 24, 2015

Danger Perkins

With the onset of a colder world, the US government cranked up the ol' Global Danger thermostat from Caution to Alert this tuesday. This really happened. The State Department issued an alart which covers the entire world excluding the US as an area to excercise elevated caution for terroristic activities.

This prompted Saori's sister to write us a well-intentioned and concerned letter that if we felt unsafe to travel, they would understand our cancelling our trip to the US this year. 

I thanked her for her thoughtfulness but assured her that plane travel to the US and within the US is probably one of the most secure things possible. Actually, I take security very seriously. I watch the news, I avoid mobs and protests, I look for exits in crowded spaces. 

Stuttgart is probably one of the most safest cities in Germany. We have to remind ourselves that we have to engage our "big city" awareness whenever we go to Munich, for example. Last year, people were shocked by a murder here. 

To be honest, Saori and I live really cloistered lives right now, actually. We almost never go out to events. I take mass transit to my work, which is probably my biggest exposure to terrorist danger, and Saori works at the far edge of the city center, away from large government or institutional buildings. 

I am actually a lot safer here in Europe than I am in the US, truth be told. Mortality rates for nearly everything are lower in Europe than in the US. Cancer takes a higher toll in the US. Infant mortality is higher in the US. 

In the US, I am twice as likely to be killed in or by a car than in Europe. And with gun violence on the rise, there are some cities where you are more likely to be shot to death than be killed by a car. If the US were another country, you know that the state department would be issuing constant travel Alerts cautioning would-be travellers.

Anyway, we are not changing our plans. We are still coming to the US, despite the risks we'll run on the other side of the border. 

Because my name is Danger.

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