Last week Yankee HR sent us two or three messages about how we should wash our hands and not come to work if we were feeling ill. Fine with me! I didn't make an effort when I woke up yesterday to parse a headache and an iffy throat (stress? dehydration? allergies? cholera?) and instead wrote my manager to explain I'd be working from home, for fear of infecting my office with my zombie pig germs. And then she mentioned that she'd be the one with the zombie germs because she'd just been in an aeroplane from Asia and God knows that's where every illness comes from. Even the Mexican ones that are actually from feedlots in the States. And oh, how we laughed.
Anyways, I got an awful lot of work done. I get tonnes done when there's no office around me reminding me I'm an office worker. Not just work things either, but washing our embarassingly filthy kitchen floor, and making a fucking lovely wild rice casserole, and listening to a bunch of ABC podcasts. One very interesting one about the big influenza, the 1918-1919 one that killed all those millions of people around the world so quickly. I do reccommend it, it's quite good - Rear Vision is a nice series generally. But for me the most striking part of it was its discussion of the WWI front as the flu vector - that the virus may have started elsewhere, but the front was what gave it a chance to evolve into a killer - spreading in a very, very, very concentrated stew of all those fit, distressed young men in the trenches. A mutation that thrived in such hosts outsurvived the others - and then spread across the world like wildfire, even through the strongest members of the population.
Even more of a mindfuck was the mention of the idea that mustard gas may have contributed to the spread, as low concentrations of mustard gas actually seem to encourage the growth of simple organisms (like viruses, possibly) - with the implication being that the life cycle can be accelerated or the virus's reproduction sped up, increasing the opportunities for the genesis of a successful, super-virulent mutant strain . . . But a nice mindcigarette was the poor progress of the flu in Japan by Asian standards, where the doctors told everybody who got ill to fuck off to bed and drink lots of green tea, replacing the liquids and avoiding the dehydration that's the big killer when things get complicated. Dehydration, and drowning in your own fluids. Ugh. Death is gross. And the depressing thing is that drowning in your own liquids or swollen lungs or something is the way so many of us go. I expect I'll cling to life with undignified alacrity myself when my time comes, but reflecting that drowning in your own liquids is the way so many of us go makes me convinced the right to choose your time of death should be enshrined in law.
Speaking of death, and zombies, this weekend the F-word made me watch a Japanese rock-and-roll/zombie flick called Wild Zero which was easily the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life. I don't know what the hell it is with boys and zombies and young Japanese men screaming 'Lock an Lolllllllllll!' It wasn't bad, but fuck me, am I missing the reefer.
Here's the trailer: