I thought it was bad enough when I accidentally put three contact lenses in the same eye at the same time (and it WAS accidental, mind you). Anyone here who remembers Hee-Haw‘s “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me” can understand how I felt.
I’ve spent twelve years writing my book. I’ve researched everything from how to care for a horse to the finer points of DNA strands to verses in the Qur’an that support and detract from many popular Islamic beliefs. I won’t bore anyone here about the plot — it simply dealt with a form of biological warfare that hasn’t been tried yet. The vector used was the influenza virus. I first used the H1N1 influenza virus since it was the deadliest (in raw numbers) in human history…and then an H1N1 pandemic struck in 2009, fizzled out, and gave much of humanity an immunity to H1N1 — and there went that particular vector.
So I switched to an even deadlier form of influenza — H5N1, which has a mortality rate of about 60%. Fitting this into my novel took a bit of artistic license, to put it mildly…but it worked! This past Saturday the first volume of my epic novel was ready for publication!
And then fate struck. It was reported on Monday that a universal flu vaccine has been successfully tested on humans. Now this is TRULY wonderful news for humanity, for if H5N1 ever caught hold with the type of human-to-human transmission that most influenza viruses have, we’d have a worldwide catastrophe of truly Biblical proportions. Imagine half of everyone — everyone on Earth! — dying of the flu within a period of six months. And that, people, is not an exaggeration.
But as for myself? Well, there went the entire medical premise of my book right out the window…two days after it was ready to be shopped to agents and publishers. SOMEbody up there is chuckling, I think…but the prospect of a universal flu vaccine is so wonderful that I really don’t feel too bad about losing twelve years of effort as a result.