Science Reporter bitten by Blood-Sucker becomes Zombie
Brian Vastag, science reporter for the Washington Post has published “A science reporter becomes a West Nile zombie” explaining that the virus, first introduced because of globalization, is becoming more prevalent in American mosquito populations and that this year’s drought conditions counter-intuitively made the risks worse.
Vastag also likens the symptoms of the virus (overheating, aching joints, “head felt full of cotton”) to the post-modern (zombie) condition of “what the 21st century feels like”. He writes:
I felt disembodied, as if on drugs. But there are no drugs to treat what I had.
I was a West Nile zombie.
I turned into a cranky hermit, yelling “Human! Human! Human!” at the robotic voice of my health insurer when I called with a question. (Here’s where you can safely assume my dealings with our fragmented health-care mess have been a tedious, exhausting nightmare within a nightmare.)
Fortunately for Vastag his condition seems to have currently improved somewhat:
the zombie departed with the summer heat. He did leave some calling cards, though: the up-and-down malaise, the pseudo-fever, weakness and tingling in my arms and feet. I figure that puts me right in sync with the planet: overheated and with an uncertain outlook.
Unfortunately, for all of us, climate change, the new dangers from globalization, and the feeling of zombie condition are all very real.