The Demon in the Freezer

Y’all! How have you been? I’ve been off gallivanting. I meant to take a bunch of fabulous pictures to show you, dutifully packed my camera, then … never used it once. Um, how about we say I was busy doing top secret spy stuff? Sounds plausible, yes?

Anyway, while I was out being photographically negligent, I was also reading The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston in keeping with the spirit of Halloween. It’s about smallpox with a side of anthrax, not the supernatural kind of demons but I think perhaps infectious diseases get some bonus marks on the scary front on account of being indisputably real.

If I have occasion to think of smallpox, I generally think of it as an old-timey thing like slide rules or ladies’ evening gloves. I seem to recall a couple of conversations where I brought it up a a hazard of time travel since we have fuck all immunity nowadays. (Are time travellers ever quarantined? I can’t believe science fiction has overlooked this, but I can’t think of an example offhand.) I hadn’t really thought what a stellar accomplishment eradicating smallpox was but it absolutely is.

Then I had to answer Ebola screening questions to get back into the country. Scary stuff, indeed. (While I’m not personally worried about catching Ebola, it’s worrisome nevertheless.)

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One Response to The Demon in the Freezer

  1. Whoa, ARE time travelers ever quarantined? That would be a cool sort of story, right? Does something like that happen in that Connis Willis book The Doomsday Book? I vaguely recall that it does, but I wasn’t in love with the book. An epidemiological time travel story would be very cool.

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