Tag Archives: disease

We need to stop Ebola before it evolves

I’m telling you right now, if Ebola figures out how to go airborne, we’re all in a lot of trouble. It’s bad enough that we have hospital workers in protective clothing getting infected. Can you imagine how much worse it’s going to be if this virus learns how to fly? And we’ll all have to wear those surgical masks, and nobody’s going to want to ride the bus or take the subway. If Ebola takes to the skies – and you can quote me on this, because I’ve been saying it all along – shit’s going to get real.

We’ve just got to pray that it never figures out how to drive, because if Ebola gets behind the wheel, there’s no telling the extent of the carnage we’d see on the road. While doctors and CDC officials are working around the clock trying to get inside Ebola’s head, our police forces and highway patrols remain wildly unprepared for an Ebola capable of going from zero to sixty on a full tank of gas. What happens when Ebola gets pulled over? You’re going to make it take a breathalyzer? What about when the next person uses that breathalyzer? We’re looking at even more Ebola. This is how it all starts.

And if Ebola learns how to talk, the threat is going to be ratcheted up even higher. Because a flying or driving Ebola is one thing. But a flying, driving Ebola that also knows verbal communication? I mean, we don’t know exactly what it would talk about, but it’s only safe to assume the worst, that it would start lying to us, telling us that it’s not that dangerous, that we don’t really have anything to worry about. And maybe we’d buy into it. “Let’s try to reason with Ebola!” some especially gullible officials might argue. “Maybe we can teach it to work for us!”

A working Ebola, one that knows the ins and outs of the business world? That’s almost too deadly to think about. Oh yeah, everything would start out OK, small mom-and-pop Ebola shops, promising a better future for the local economy. But when Ebola gets big, how are you going to keep it away from offshore tax havens? What’s going to stop Ebola from lobbying its way into our government? And when Ebola assures us that it’s only working on our behalf, what do you think it’s telling the Chinese? Are we prepared to keep Ebola out of the Middle East?

No, Ebola is only looking out for one thing: Ebola. Which is why it’s imperative that we make sure Ebola never learns how to sing. Talk about getting a song stuck in your head, if Ebola figures out how to start churning out hit pop songs, it has the potential to infect the entire country overnight. Especially if it’s one of those songs that gain popularity on the Internet before making it to radio stations, we’ll all be wiped out if the virus goes viral. Oh but I forgot, you don’t listen to pop music, so you’ll be fine, right? Wrong. You stand in line at CVS, you work out in the gym, if Ebola climbs the charts to the top-forty playlists, there’s really no avoiding infection.

Ebola’s no joke. It’s already here, and it’s spreading. It’s eventually going to mutate, and there’s no limit to the skills and abilities it could gain via natural selection. Ebola might learn how to write. I could be Ebola writing to you right now, trying to get you really afraid, leading you exactly where I want you to go, and then right when you think you’re safe, that’s when I’ll strike. But if I really were Ebola, why would I tell you that I might be Ebola? Maybe Ebola’s developed really strong mental faculties, maybe its plan for us is so complex that we’ll never be able to deduce its true intentions.

The point is, don’t trust anyone. Ebola has changed everything. You never know where it’s going to attack next. Like last weekend I had some friends over, and my buddy Jeff offered to help me clean up after everyone left. Jeff never helps out. Could that have been Ebola at work? Might Ebola have learned how to ingratiate its friends through acts of kindness? Probably not. But maybe. It’s safer to assume the worst, to cut off all contact with Jeff, with anybody that came to the party. Just burn everything and move. And remember: if it looks like Ebola, and smells like Ebola, you probably already have Ebola, because you should never be so close to Ebola that you’re able to identify it by sight or smell.

Originally published at Thought Catalog.

A nice, slow, zombie movie

What I don’t get about zombie movies is how the zombie plagues inevitably wind up spreading so fast. It’s like, every movie starts out basically the same, everything’s fine, people are happy, there’s maybe like a random clue, a piece of background news or something about an unexplained riot somewhere else, and then it’s like a countdown, five, four, three, two, one, zombies.


And from that moment, it’s just nothing but zombies. You look outside and you’re like, what? Zombies? Only there’s no time to even really ask yourself that question, because a whole swarm of zombies is coming at you from down the street. And, oh look, your wife’s a zombie too, sorry dude, yeah, she did complain about not feeling so well, and was that a Band-Aid she had on her leg? You didn’t think to maybe ask her what happened, did it have any relation to the zombie fever she was burning up with?

Well, too bad, because now she’s trying to bite you, and go ahead and run out of the house, but the police are no help by now, the entire force has already collapsed from within. The few cops that are alive have undoubtedly secured whatever firearms they could grab before the zombies made that whole station a zombie cesspool.

Someone should make a zombie movie, but make the pacing really slow. Like maybe they could just start out with like two or three zombies. They’d be walking through the park, maybe they’d have their eye on an unsuspecting jogger, someone who stopped to tie her shoe at the wrong place and the wrong time.

And then right before they approach, some police officer shows up, he’s like, “Hey! Stop it! Leave that woman alone!” Of course the zombies won’t heed the warning at all, but he’ll try to interfere, and when the zombies try to bite, they cop just kind of whacks them in the face with his police baton.

So then some sort of an emergency crew shows up, they contain the three zombies, and nobody gets bit. Or maybe one person gets bit, I don’t know, but they keep him in isolation. Under quarantine, he eventually turns into a zombie, and now the heavy-duty government science teams are brought in.

Would they let the public know about this? Of course they would. Come on, not two years goes by without some ridiculous overblown epidemic scare. Everybody stay inside so we can spray the entire country with mosquito-killing chemicals because West Nile disease is coming. Did we say West Nile? We really meant SARS. SARS is going to wipe out the planet. Or swine flu.

If there was a serious zombie pandemic, you wouldn’t see random news clips in the background, clueless reporters standing in front of a riot saying things like, “Nobody knows what’s going on!” Everybody knows what’s going on. Everybody knows exactly when something even has an very small chance of turning into a disaster. Media thrives on this type of nonsense. A real disaster like actual zombies would be a frenzy.

Of course, I guess that wouldn’t really make for that interesting of a movie. I mean, I could picture it, the whole film being a regular family just watching all of the news safe and sound from their living room. Super boring, yeah. But come on, even that would have been better than World War Z. “The cure is, you have to be sick!” Oh yeah, thanks Brad Pitt.

Good evening, ladies and germs

I don’t understand why viruses and bacteria and diseases always have to make us sick. Best case scenario, they lay dormant in your system for years not doing anything, just waiting for you to spread them to someone else, another more susceptible host body with a weaker immune system, one where they might get to do some actual damage. Worst case scenario, it’s Ebola, and an hour after you get infected, your intestines start swelling up and bleeding and then they start trying to escape from you’re your body all while the rest of your organs start to fail at the same time. Or, even worse worst case scenario, it’s that disease from that M. Night Shyamalan movie where everyone starts killing themselves, and then you realized that you just wasted fifteen dollars on the worst movie that you’ve ever seen in your life, and so you feel the same suicidal urges that the people feel in the movie, and you really can’t shake it for a while.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if, instead of getting sick, diseases could make us even stronger? Wouldn’t it be cool if, instead of like a SARS pandemic or an avian flu that threatened to wipe out half the population, we could have a disease where you gained the ability to run really fast for a while? Or maybe a little super strength? Maybe a fever where instead of running a temperature, you just got really happy for a while and food tasted even better?

If that were the case I’d say, please, let me get sick. Can’t we make these types of diseases a reality? Don’t we have the technology to bioengineer whatever type of simple-celled organism that we can imagine? I’m thinking up a microscopic worm populating my insides and, whenever I drink alcohol, they clean up all the nasty parts of the booze so that way I never get a hangover.

But then if getting sick turned into a good thing, we would lose our ability to take sick days, which would kind of suck, unless you could get some sort of flu that made going to work a really enjoyable experience. Or, if these types of good bugs start going around with enough regularity, then we could all be sick for a majority of our lives, and instead of taking sick days, we could just call out from work on the rare occasion where we’d be completely healthy, and we’d call those regular days, or healthy days, and your boss would give you five or six of them a year, and if you got to the end of the year, you might pretend like you’re not sick, even though you would be, but the regular days don’t carry over and, you might as well use them up, right? I mean, you’re getting paid for them whether you use them or not.

From a single-celled organism’s point of view, I don’t really understand the whole concept of infecting a host body and making him or her sick. You make enough people sick and all of the sudden doctors and scientists have to get involved. The next thing you know, there’s new medicines, public health awareness campaigns, and eventual eradication. Look at smallpox. You get enough people really, really sick, and some genius scientists goes ahead and discovers the vaccine. And now it’s gone. I’ve got to tell you smallpox, from an evolutionary point of view, you picked the wrong species to piss off. Maybe that whole oozing, bleeding, covered in deadly sores thing works on a bunch of gorillas, but humans are way too smart to let that kind of stuff go unnoticed. Or we used to be, anyway. Polio, smallpox, measles … all gone. But we haven’t made any new vaccine in a while. I’m looking at you, malaria, dengue, and AIDS.

Isn’t the whole point of any species or microorganism to be fruitful and multiply? How fruitful can you be if you just make everyone sick? Everyone’s just going to get annoyed and then they’ll take medicines and wipe it out. And what’s the end game? If you make something sick enough, eventually it’s going to die, and then, as a disease, you’re going to die too. The whole point of disease should be to make things better, a mutually advantageous situation.

It’s like if somebody comes over your house and just starts spitting on the floor, you’re going to ask them to stop. If they don’t stop, if they listen to your request and then, not only do they not stop spitting, but then they start going through your kitchen cabinets and breaking all the plates, and not even just the regular plates, but like the fine china and your grandma’s collection of antique teacups, you’re probably going to ask them to leave. But if you have a houseguest that doesn’t talk much and stays out of the way and also starts cleaning the bathroom and painting the walls with a fresh color that you wouldn’t have thought of by yourself but it really works, it really just makes the room pop, well then you might be less inclined to say anything if you happen to see them unroll a sleeping bag and start living in the basement, waiting for you to finish your dinner and then eating all of the scraps. If I were a disease, I would want the host body in which I live in to not only not mind my presence, I’d want it to be glad that I was there.

Also, if germs were good for you, then I wouldn’t have to worry about not washing my hands after I go to the bathroom, or not licking the poles on the subway, which, I always see these moms telling their little kids not to do, but it’s really hard to stop a two-year-old from doing something he or she doesn’t want to do, and so the mom’s either got to physically restrain the little kid, which might result in a crying screaming mess, or, she’ll just have to tell the kid to knock it off every once in a while, to give the appearance to everyone else that she’s doing her job, that she’s on top of the licking, but she’ll really just be ignoring it for most of the time because, honestly, this kid is way too much work, and if the kid wants to lick the subway pole, whatever, because if he’s not licking the subway pole he’s just got his hands all the way in his mouth, and then he grabs the pole and then puts his slimy, wet hands right back into his mouth anyway, and so, whatever, just ten minutes of peace, please, just five minutes of no screaming, please.