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Boston's anthrax drill

Posted by Joshua Glenn  September 24, 2007 12:18 PM

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Boston ran an anthrax drill this weekend. On Sunday morning, some 23,000 households in the South End and West Roxbury received small white cardboard boxes (empty) and a flyer -- delivered by the post office. I live in West Roxbury; here's the flyer I received.

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And here's the box:

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According to today's Boston Globe, the deliveries were "a drill designed by health and postal authorities to measure how swiftly life-saving medications could be delivered if terrorists seeded the air with anthrax." So what was the result? The 23,000 of us who live in the South End and West Roxbury could receive our antidote in 6 hours. Not bad!

Assuming, of course, that the postal carriers don't desert their posts, and are able to hack their way through the panicked crowds between the South End and here. Residents of Roxbury, JP, and Roslindale, I beseech you: Do not stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds!

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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