Friday, 26 September 2014

The Flu and The Stand


I just heard on the radio about many children having to be admitted to hospital for respiratory problems.  They were saying the return to school sometimes causes such a spike and of course, are advising the usual precautions.
It made me think of Stephen King and his book The Stand which I read several decades ago, when I seemed to have more of a taste for that genre of books.  That book made a lasting impression on me especially the part about how if there is going to be an apocalypse it will be in the form of a medical one.  In the book (if my memory is true) the medical crisis took the form of an air borne virus that caused influenza leading to the death of most of the world's population.  Later when Aids gained speed and was a daily news item, I remember a reporter making a reference to The Stand and wondering out loud was this perhaps the beginning of such a catastrophe.  But Stephen King or someone speaking for him made the point that Aids was transmitted in such a manner that it could be more or less contained.  It would take a virus that is airborne, and thereby easily transmitted, just like in The Stand to decimate the air breathing human population.
Every time I hear about a super bug or new drug-resistant strains of  viruses, I think about this possibility.  Maybe the Ebola news in Africa is adding to my concern; I really don't like the long incubation period that particular bug has.  You could technically be spreading this disease for many weeks before finding you have it yourself. 
I know I am a worry-wart of the highest order, but perhaps I  should remind you that science fiction writers imagined and wrote about many things often decades before such things were even an idea in some scientist's brain.
Oh, and a movie is in the current works for The Stand; it would have to be a very,very long movie, I'm thinking.