The Plague Is Following Me: Nasty Viruses On Screen
Guest post by Ghost Girl
“The most terrible thing of all was the despair into which people fell when they realized that they had caught the plague; for they would immediately adopt an attitude of utter hopelessness.”
So viruses freak me out. True story. Here are the best of the worst plague narratives currently stuck in my head…
The Walking Dead
In the last two episodes of the Walking Dead Season 4, “Infected” and “Isolation”, the zombie threat has been compounded by a rare inter-species virus. The virus spreads within the cells of the prison-home basically as quickly as human patient zero can succumb to the retched illness and turn.
Soon enough, there are others with the symptoms. They also die. Now we deal with the nasty questions: who will nurse the sick? Will medicine help, and even if so, where can it be found? How can we stop the spread? Who will make it? Who will die? What couples/families will be split up?
The first historian and journalist, Thucydides chronicled the war between the Athenians and their allies and the Spartans and their allies. Athens had walled itself off and, all of a sudden, the city was struck with a rare virus.
In The History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides tells us of the year 430 BCE, when “people suddenly began to have burning feelings in the head; their eyes became red and inflamed; inside their mouths there was bleeding from the throat and tongue, and breath became unnatural and unpleasant…”
Sparing you the gruesome details of the coughing, lung and sinus problems, vomiting, and dry heaving (signifying dehydration), I’ll fast forward to how “…the skin was rather reddish and livid, breaking out into small pustules and ulcers.”
Losing my lunch here, but Thucydides writes on: “… people could not bear the touch of even the lightest linen clothing, but wanted to be completely naked, and indeed most of all would have liked to plunge into cold water. Many of the sick who were uncared for actually did so, plunging into the water-tanks in an effort to relieve a thirst which was unquenchable.” Oh, great… !!
Those who made it past the above stages, somehow beating the internal fever, then faced “the disease descending to the bowels, producing violent ulceration and uncontrollable diarrhea…” Ah, jez! “It affected the genitals, the fingers, and the toes, and many of those who recovered lost the use of these members; some, too, went blind. There were some also who, when they first began to get better, suffered from a total loss of memory….The bodies of the dying were heaped on top of the other, and half-dead creatures could be seen staggering about in the streets or flocking around the fountains in their desire for water.”
Hmmmm, reminds me of the Walking Dead story line… !!!
A trippy as hell near future dystopia full of people infecting themselves with the viruses and STDs of celebrities. Ugh, a concept enough to make my stomach turn. Ethereally demented, enough said.
Seemingly a comment on the self-destructive behaviors that result from an over-idealization of beauty and fame, the film will have you writhing in your chair. I mean, to the point of practically becoming needle porn. Scared of viruses and/or needles, and want to get scared? Then this is one to watch, for sure–especially since it made the Best Scifi Movies of 2013 list!
Last night, I FINALLY watched the pilot, a good two hours of the lovesick but headstrong Olivia Dunham hunting for a cure to the strange flesh melting disease that has stricken her lover. Agent Olivia Dunham, I should have mentioned, is some type of governmental investigator who has unlimited resources at her disposal.
She chooses to track down a “fringe” scientist, the maddened John Noble, who does his best not only to analyze the virus but to sync Olivia’s and John’s brains so that she can recover the identity of the man who released the virus. Wait, all that and I didn’t even FINISH the pilot yet- off to do so…