"So this," begins Brian Vastag at The Washington Post, "is what the 21st century feels like."
On Aug. 22, I wrote here that this year's West Nile virus epidemic, the largest seen in the U.S., deserved more coverage than it was getting. Lena H. Sun of the Post wrote about the epidemic on Sept. 5. The next day, Vastag was standing in 98-degree heat on a Washington sidewalk. "My face radiated, my joints ached, my head felt full of cotton," he writes. He got a call from his doctor, who told him that his test for West Nile had come back positive.
Vastag's wry observation of the 21st century is the lede on a first-person account of his experience with this tropical virus, more likely to appear in Louisiana than the District of Columbia. When he got the call, he reports, he'd been sick for eight weeks. "I felt disembodied, as if on drugs. But there are not drugs to treat what I had. I was a West Nile zombie."
Vastag somehow managed his commute and his work. I'll let you read the details and learn the outcome in his nicely written account. But I can tell you that he is unsparing in his blame: It goes, he writes, "to the dual juggernauts of our time: globalization and climate disruption."