rotten and minus some neurons

Lucky I’m not a Calvinist or I’d know for sure the last few days earthly torment was God’s punishment for having too much fun last week. Personally I suspect a kind of annual Bird Flu or SARS, as it was almost this time last year I found myself going from fairly normal to hospital in a matter of hours. Oh sickness, malady, feebleness of my body, what a crappy few days it’s been.

Normally I’d say, “Hence absence of blog”, but you all know how tardy I’ve been at this lately.

Anyway. Much expectorating of lungs and tightness of jaw, so … Tuberculosis. Or SARS. I thought maybe Ebola but my viscera didn’t seem to liquidate fast enough. However in keeping with the lucky small fraction who survive that virus, my brain has been drastically reduced. Mostly I is zombie. I have to think to walk. … So … this is what it’s like to be stupid … or average.

Finished Harry Potter though, and cried. My favourite is still Prisoner of Azkaban, but Deathly Hallows is really very good. I feel I should read them all one after the other now.

Lots of profoundly odd dreams populated with close friends I’m attributing to flu hallucinations. I’ve been writing down the more disturbing, striking or just naggingly remembered ones since the start of the year, a little collection of alptraum.

bird flu in nar nar goon

I’ve had a very unintentional absence from the world after landing in Melbourne on Friday. Saturday evening I became sick at an alarming rate and ended up in hospital with needles in my arm and sealed in a Negative Pressure Zone surrounded by doctors in all manner of sterile suits as I managed to meet the requirements of epidemic paranoia, viz. I had been in Southern China, had been in close proximity to chickens, and was now mostly comatose from some unknown-until-all-the-blood-had-been-drained-from-the-patient-for-tests malady.

I was also completely delirious and unable to even sit up without expectorating my last meal in sticky threads of bile and Indian curry goo, and in a moment of quite sublime and flattering strangeness as the radiologist was about to take chest x-rays, he asked, “you’re not pregnant are you?”, replied by another stream evacuated from my stomach.

Paul and Bonnie have been looking after me since, and I have been mostly asleep or insensate, being woken for pills, soup, pills, water, pills, and today I managed to shuffle around and am still trying to work out what day it is, and what exactly happened. My brain and body are not functioning very well and I intend on sleeping a lot, however if large swathes of people commence reenacting the black plague, once again as with SARS, it was me.

bird flu

I’ve had Bird Flu for the last few days, I know because I checked the symptoms on the internet, and it’s definitely Bird Flu. I thought it might have been SARS, but I had that in 2003, and remember being the vector for Hong Kong, Toronto, and a few other cities, and this was different. I thought it might have been Malaria, Ebola, or the Black Plague, but decided on Bird Flu because I like to be topical and have the latest maladies before all my friends. Black Plague was quite tempting though in a Renaissance, Baroque, London 1666 Year of the Beast Apocalypse kind of way.

SARS prevented by group showers

In the renewed fight against SARS, the propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution have been put to good use. Maybe something is lost in the translation, perhaps the writer didn’t realise the significance of shouting “Spray! Spray it all!” while having a group shower to scrub clean. With a bunch of army boys. And a bar of soap.

Or maybe because in that picture the pump is causing a veritable geyser to seem to emanate from his proletarian crotch the writer knows all too well the joys of a group shower a dropped bar of soap and SARS is just another cardboard storyline for everyone getting their gear off in People’s Liberation Army Anal Gang-Bang Volume 6: The SARS years

Read from left to right, top to bottom.

1. Comrades! Bad News! SARS is here!
2: How could this happen? What can we do? 3. What’s to fear? I’ve got a gun!
4. Won’t work! The enemy is crafty. Guns won’t work! (other guy) Hey, what about grenades?
5. No go! SARS is only afraid of disinfectant! 6. But we’ve got none!
7. Brothers, Chill! First of all, we must pay attention to hygiene to prevent SARS.
8. Right! Bathe! Wash! (other caption) Hey, where’s the soap? 9. And don’t forget to wear a mask!
10. Good thinking! I’m off to put up posters to tell everyone to wear a mask!
11. Comrades! The disinfectant is here!
12. Excellent! we’ve washed so much, we’ve taken off a layer of skin!
13. Spray! Spray it all!
14. ‘Victory!’ ‘We have defeated SARS.’ ‘Great!, as a matter of fact, I hate washing.’ ‘No more masks, no more anti-rash powder!’ ‘Now we can eat whatever we want!

SARS is back

Last year we were on the train from Wuhan to Guangzhou when we got a barrage of text messages warning us to stay out of the city as there was some new mysterious illness, noone knew what was going on, rumours of people dead all over town, everyone wearing face masks, and coincidently a guy in our carriage coughing his lungs out. Turned out to be nothing serious, just another new south China virus, everything went back to normal in a couple of days excet for the stink of burning vinegar and 1/2 empty bars.

I went to Hong Kong the same day as the doctor who brought SARS to Mongkok did, and outbreaks followed me to Australia (just a rumour), Toronto, Beijing, and pretty much everywhere else.

This time, i can be certain it wasn’t me. Vice Minister of Health Zhu Qinsheng confirmed the occurence of two cases, one in Beijing, and one in Anhui. He assured a meeting of Asian health ministers that unlike last year, China had learnt denial was not an effective method of treating SARS, and he would keep the public alerted. Now how about the same attitude to HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis?