Friday, October 1, 2010

The wisdom of illness

I've a piece on the ABC today, 'The wisdom of illness'.  I'm giving an account of what I learned (or re-learned) from swine 'flu, last year.  A sample:
This odd RNA bundle used me as its surrogate mother. Lacking reproductive mechanisms of its own, it used my cells to replicate new viruses, hoping I'd pass them on to a new host, and so on. It lives in me, and only through me - without so much as dinner and a movie.
It's an oddly intimate thing, what this virus and I had going on. And it causes one of us a great deal of pain. I can't say I've figured this out, but I'll tell you this: if this thing is alive (and the experts are still arguing), it's yet another proof that life is really, very strange. The oddness of it alone is worth recognising and celebrating.

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