At this very moment, I sit with my b-cells, T-helper cells and T-cytotoxic cells and watch lame tv-shows and zombie flicks. And what occurs to me immediately is that I look like one of the zombies. In fact, the zombie looks better because she’s styled and I’m in my PJ’s. I started off this blog comparing Umbrella to the experiments being done on the tsetse fly and the genetic horror it might create.
But I never came to think of thanking the virus for being a muse for centuries. Everyone who knows me knows that I admire the virus as a phenomenon. It is elegant, in many ways intelligent and always one step ahead. It keeps populations down (yes we don’t need hunting there is actually a small thing evolution prepared to make sure we won’t be out of resources). It might sound like I don’t want us to cure viruses, that is not true. However, we have to acknowledge that each one we survive (or find vaccines against), our survival skills become stronger. That is why the elderly were a lot less sensitive to the H1N1 virus, their bodies had seen more.
In the meanwhile, this is all the creatures we wouldn’t have without viruses.
I hypothesize that the modern zombie is a result of Trypanosoma brucei (sleeping disease) transmitted by the tsetse fly, who was discuees in a previous post. In combination with necrosis or perhaps leprosy with some form of neuroiflamation causing aggression due to damage on the entire frontal lobes. Either way. Parasites and viruses definitely inspired some part of this myth.
WAREWOLVES AND VAMPIRES
This I don’t need to speculate too much in. It’s a clear case of rabies. The two main sources? Bats and Wolves (dogs/foxes). So it was no surprise that one day someone would glorify this condition.
It is not uncommon to portray biological danger in extreme ways. Ants remove their sick from the colony so that they won’t infect the others. We have found our own way to view viruses, to avoid getting them by making those that suffer in to monsters we can comprehend (and ostracize). I won’t get too deeply in to this deep dark topic, let’s leave it for another day.
Now I’m going to my sofa, lay back, press play, let Shaun of the dead roll and thank the little virus keeping me home today for inspiring to some fine action.