SOME DAYS the news is nothing but good. Yesterday, for instance, we read that President Reagan believes the Soviets will give us notice of a week or so before firing their nukes at the old home town. Gee, that's nice of them--time for us to stock up at the Safeway, load the cat, the dog, the kids and the groceries into the car and take off for our designated "host area" in the country. Sort of like a picnic--with gridlock.
Have we missed something here? The government is going to spend $4.2 billion over seven years on a program to relocate two-thirds of the population within a week so that 80 percent of us might survive a full-scale nuclear attack. We find it easy enough to believe that the government might allocate $4.2 billion to this plan; we find everything else about it considerably harder to believe. Does President Reagan seriously believe the Soviets will rattle their armaments for a week before unleashing them? What are we doing in the meantime? What, for that matter, are the Soviets doing when they notice all that traffic lurching toward Lynchburg or whatever our "host area" may happen to be. That scene, you must remember, is repeated at 380 "high risk" areas in the country, including essentially all cities over 50,000, whose populations will be moved what is described as "a safe distance," 40 or 50 miles away, where they will not be affected by the nuclear blast and fire. Nobody said anything about fallout. Well, as we said, bring your own groceries.
We don't know about you, but if the sirens go off announcing the imminent end of civilization as we have known it, we're locking ourselves into the closest 7-11, where for 15 delicious minutes--or however long it takes before the final fireworks in the sky-we shall munch our way through the Hostess Twinkies, the M&Ms, and the Haagan-Daaz coffee ice cream, blissed out before the bomb. But fond as we are of Hostess Twinkies, we're not looking foward to nuclear Armegeddon, and we think the administration, in its comendable zeal to protect the populace, might better focus its attention on prevention and spend that $4.2 billion elsewhere.