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Science Reporter bitten by Blood-Sucker becomes Zombie

October 2, 2012

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.

zombie brian vastag

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.

From → Academics

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