Well, at least that’s over | NevadaAppeal.com

Well, at least that’s over

Should you laugh or cry at those 50-pound bags of rice sitting next to that brand-new, never-used generator in your garage?

Should you be angry at the Chicken Littles who told you planes would fall from the sky at midnight? Or should you be eternally grateful that billions of dollars were spent to make sure the chips would continue to zip on 01-01-00?

What the heck … you might as well laugh.

Certainly, that’s what they were doing at the Ormsby House and Carson Station when, a few moments after midnight, the power actually did go out.

But it turned out to be some Mylar balloons let go into power lines by New Year’s revelers, not the dreaded Y2K bug.

As much as anything else, what happened in downtown Carson City was symbolic of the situation worldwide on what some feared would be the night to end all nights.

Something went wrong, sure. But not much more than is likely to happen on any other night of the year. Breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

Nothing like the Y2K scare has caused panic since Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast of “War of the Worlds,” but a look back into history shows apocalyptic warnings have seized the population from time to time – with less-than-dramatic results.

Near the end of the first millennium, itinerant preachers in France, Germany and Italy began predicting the world would end 1,000 years after the birth of Jesus Christ. So thousands of pilgrims began making a trek to Jerusalem and, by 999 A.D., some European hamlets were left without anyone to turn out the last torch.

Think of the Salem witch trials in this country. Twenty people were actually executed in 1692 over devil panic.

So was it worth $100 billion to $600 billion – the range of estimates for fixing the Y2K bug in the United States alone – to make sure life as we know it wasn’t interrupted?

Of course it was. If not simply for the entertainment value, then to remind us that despite the best efforts of a few naysayers, the world works pretty well.