Tag Archives: virology

2244. Virulent virology

(Thanks to all who read/joined in the last 15 days of the vignettes of my past 20 years. Today we return to the stories, etc. There is a link at the top of the page to a pdf of those chapters. Just click on “My Neck of the Woods”.)

It was hard to believe. Antonio had a breakthrough in the laboratory. For almost forty years he had laboured as a virologist developing vaccinations for relatively rare and not very mutagenic viruses. What is more, they weren’t particularly contagious. In fact they spread from pet hamster to human but not human to human. These viruses might be uncommon but they still affected millions of people on the planet. At last a cure! At last!

And here it was: a universal, one time only, antidote. One for all. It had not been tested on more well-known viruses such as the common cold, but Antonio was convinced it would work there too. Of course it didn’t kill any of the millions of harmless viruses; only the bad ones. At present he had two beakers of the serum but it was so easy to make! And so obvious! He jotted down the formula – in fact, it was more a recipe than a formula. It was something, as it turned out, that people could make in their kitchens. He phoned his friend and mentor, Professor Przemysław Gerszewski , and told of the breakthrough. “I have made two beakers of the stuff but won’t tell you how it’s done until I see you.” He took the sheet with the recipe and drove to the professor’s house.

On the way Antonio ran off the road, hit a tree, and his vehicle burst into flames incinerating everything including Antonio. Scientists couldn’t work out what the formula was to create the content of the two beakers so they gave it to Wuhan scientists who have a reputation for such things.

“We already know,” said the Wuhan scientists not batting an eyelid and tipping the content of the two beakers down the plughole. “Working with bats is only a cover-up. We’ve been hacking Antonio’s computer for years. And we’re not going to tell you how it’s made.”