Year 2000 Problem
Why
is the Y2K problem being overlooked? The Year 2000 is rapidly approaching! Will
we be ready in time? Y2K stands for Year 2000 Catastrophe. Y2K seems to be
overlooked for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is because
people are not aware that there is a Y2K problem because so few are computer
literate. Most of the general public, while being exposed to computers, just
does not realize how computers have taken over the grueling task of keeping our
country running. From writing social security checks to timing traffic signals,
keeping banking account records to controlling food stocks at the local
supermarket, computers are involved. Some other reasons include that the general
public just doesn\'t care about Y2K and that the government doesn\'t want to
expose the issue and cause a panic. No one in the world knows what\'s going to
happen. Y2K could cause chaos and destruction, or just pass over as if nothing
happened. The real question on my mind is what\'s going to happen to when the
world hits midnight on January 1, 2000? Dale Kasler explains, "The Y2K
problem is this: Many computer programs recognize years only by the last two
digits, rendering them incapable of telling the difference between 1900 and

2000" (2). My definition of Y2K is billions of computers that can\'t
decipher the difference between a two-digit date and a four-digit date. This
problem makes the computers go haywire, or just shut down because it doesn\'t
know the difference between 1900 and 2000. For example, the computers figure out
how old you are by the year of your birth year. I am 19 years old by subtracting

\'79 from the current year of \'99, but in two years when I subtract \'79 from \'00

I will be -79 years old. "The Government was first notified in

1969-70" says Rickey Staves, RGS Consultants, President. The government
overlooked the Y2K problem, because they figured that they didn\'t need to worry
about it. Yes, there was a crisis in Vietnam at the time, but there should have
been some sort of effort to bring out this issue of Y2K to the American people.

The government didn\'t care because, why take care of a problem that is 30 years
away? This problem would have been no problem if Y2K had been addressed to the
general public, business community, government departments and, utility
companies. Instead, the government decided not to deal with the Y2K problem and
let the children of the future deal with it. There are many people who have a
lack of awareness of the Y2K problem. Other problems are pressing, but we need
to start taking action. There has to be some kind of acknowledgement by the
public. One field that should start taking action is our nation\'s hospitals.

They have a total lack of awareness of Y2K. "According to a nationwide
survey of 1,700 hospitals, fewer than one-third of the respondents had developed
a year 2000 compliance plan and only one in five had implemented such a plan.

Worse, and most alarming, 18 percent of these hospitals are planning no action
to protect their systems. Pity the patient who checks into one of these
hospitals on January 1, 2000" (Hyatt 144). You would think hospitals would
be the first to be 2000 compliant. It\'s terrifying to know that many hospitals
don\'t even have a plan to be 2000 compliant. It\'s about time for the hospitals
to start getting ready for the new Millennium. There might be situations where
respirator machines stop working or someone gets the wrong dosage of medication.

These are just two of the possible tragedies that could happen. Many businesses
have overlooked the Y2K problem, according to Tasha Getlin; "twenty-three
percent of all companies and government agencies have not started to address the

Y2K issue. By addressing this issue it could cause panic to their customers, but
if you tell your customers that the Y2K problem is under control and you don\'t
have it under control; you opened yourself up to a lawsuit" (5c). Isn\'t it
better off to have the Y2K problem under control and be ready so it will not
cause a panic or a lawsuit from the customers? A substantial number of people
don\'t care about the Y2K issue, or they just think it\'s all a big scam. It may
look like a scam because it hasn\'t happen yet, but there is evidence to support
that Y2K is not a scam. There are warning signs that this problem does exist.
"Honolulu\'s electric utility system recently ran a