It's what generations of liberal nanny-statism hath wrought, a sad collection of humanity so dependent on government that when left to their own devices -- however briefly -- everything is a crisis.
What a wake-up call these people have coming!
Nah, I think it was the media that was driving most of the hysteria, as usual. This quake affected Washington, DC, which to the MBM is the center of the universe.
You also have to consider that most of the people who felt this quake have never felt one before, including me. And it was felt over an enormous area compared to California quakes. Fractured and fault-riddled rocks don't propagate quakes over large areas. California quakes tend to be more localized.
But no one I've talked to was frightened or panicked by it. Yesterday it was an exciting novelty, but we knew we were never in danger. Today we were joking about it.
Likewise, the local weather forecasters around here tend to portray every snow flurry as the Blizzard of the Century. It's become a running joke. I have a friend who works in the newsroom at a local Philly TV station, and to hear him tell it, many of the employees regard it as a joke too. It's all about ratings. You get more ratings with drama, hype, and hysteria than you do by providing rational commentary and solid information.
As I said, I've never felt an earthquake before in my life. Here is the sequence of events from yesterday:
I was taking a smoke break and sitting in my parked car, listening to the radio. The car began shaking, but only mildly. It wasn't violent. I guessed right away that it was an earthquake. I assumed it was one of the tiny magnitude 2 or 3 quakes that sometimes happen around here. I occasionally hear about them on the local news but I've never felt one.
I went back inside the building. I was about to mention it when I heard two of my co-workers talking. One said that she thought there had been an earthquake. She felt the room shake, and the plastic vertical blinds on the window rattled. The other guy had been out in the shop, where presses and machinery were running. He didn't notice anything and was laughing at the woman until I said, "Yeah, I felt it too".
I went online and went straight to the U.S. Geological Survey website. I figured that it would be the best place to get information about a small local quake, rather than a media site. That's when I found out that it was a 5.8 quake in Virginia, and all the news sites began to report it.