Saturday, September 28, 2013

What would Louis do? OR World Rabies Day

Late last year I read a book about rabies.  & then became convinced I had rabies, despite not being bitten nor my dogs having been (to my knowledge) bitten or anyone showing any sign of biting anyone else.  I was just that sure.  The book was Rabid  A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik & Monica Murphy

After a few weeks of vague pre-rabies symptoms & no other signs that I had even been exposed to the disease, I began to accept that I was probably going to make it.  Then I quite unexpectedly came down with what later turned out to be the flu despite having been religious in getting my annual flu shot for the better part of a decade.  Did you know that the symptoms of the flu & the pre-hydrophobia symptoms of rabies are exactly the same?  Then I became not-hysterical but alert to the possibility that my craziness might actually be accurate.

As it happens, I didn't have rabies (I know you are shocked).  So my next step was to become a complete rabies junkie.  Briefly.  Because my life is a series of all-consuming obsessions of short duration.

One of the things I learned during my rabid enthusiasm is that TODAY is World Rabies Day.  Not coincidentally, it is also Louis Pasteur's death day.  I thought he was just a milk guy.  Just a milk guy, like any of us will ever do anything with a fraction of the impact on an even smaller fraction of human lives.  But he was way-more than the milk guy; I think you could make an argument for his more important contribution being the rabies vaccine.  More important to me anyhow:  I have not had a glass of milk in years & pretty much only eat cooked dairy products anyhow.  But I am typing this with three formerly stray dogs on the couch with me. 

Lastly, for you vampyre aficionados, the author offer a teaser into the origin of vampyre legends. Because vampyres are not real.  You know that, right? 

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