Longlasting effect of terrorism

Yesterday, four people were inconvenienced by a mysterious white powder, discovered by custom officials, at Pierre-Elliot Trudeau international airport in Montreal. The inconvenience they had ranged from headache, throat irritation to cardiac faintness. Now, it turns out that the mysterious white powder was not a chemical or toxic agent, but was flour or maybe sugar (it's kinda weird that after 24 hours they still not able to differenciate flour from sugar). So the symptoms these people experienced were psycho-somatic. It was all in their minds. This is the real consequence of terrorism. While acts of terrorism kill people, it is how they affect the living people that makes them act of terrorism. And the real cost of terrorism is not the immediate lost of lives but the long lasting effects they have on people. Everybody remembers of the Anthrax scare that happened soon after the 9/11 attack. Since then, nothing relly happened. We had many unfounded scares, but no real threats. So even if the Anthrax scare directly affected only a handfull of people, they have long lasting effects that spans many years. It may even kill again. People of so fearful that they can get an hearth attack just by looking at some unknown white powder. In this case, the anxiety probably reach one person of the group (there was 11 people in the room where they examined the package) and he exibited anxiety related symptoms. The anxiety gradually reached more people and one of them (with historical hearth condition) had cardiac faintness. Because these threats don't happen very often, they strike our imagination a lot more. Nobody get stressed out like that when they climb into their cars, even if they have a greater probability of being killed in a car accident than in an act of terrorism. References : * De la poudre aux yeux (french site) (sorry, the link no longer work and I can't seems to find the article in this web site archives)

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