Sometime Thursday or maybe Friday morning I encountered a virus particle looking for a home. Once introduced into my respiratory tract, said virus attached itself to one of my cells, injected its RNA into my cell, and began to replicate. Later my hijacked cell burst open, releasing more copies of the virus, which in turn found other cells to hijack and create more copies. In the meantime I developed the classic symptoms of the common cold: a sore throat, sneezing, a runny nose, fatigue, and a stuffy head. The virus and I have been in constant battle, with it trying to replicate as much as possible before my body's defenses can overwhelm it. Think of it as a biological 'denial of service attack.' The virus isn't alive....it's unable to reproduce on its own without the use of a host cell, namely one of mine. This means that the virus doesn't meet the general definition of a living organism, one that is able to replicate on its own. I just wonder if those viral particles don't experience a frisson of pleasure each time they hijack a cell.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Another dreary, drizzly day suitable for hanging out on the sofa with the dog under a nice, comfy throw. Yesterday I longed for the chance for some "sofa time", and I was thrilled to take advantage of a slow Saturday afternoon to do so today. But I wasn't counting on harboring a gajillion rhinovirus particles that are currently making my nose run, my head stuffy, and my back ache. Instead of using the down time under a throw to plan out my upcoming week, I'm just concentrating on trying to breathe through my nose. Funny how a cold can turn you from being a reasonably intelligent person to a mouth-breathing cretin unable to focus on anything for more than a minute or two.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Today is chilly and damp, with a constant drizzle that makes me want to go back to bed. Or at least back to the sofa with a throw, the dachshund, a mug of coffee, and a good book. Summer left the New River Valley early this year, but hopefully we'll have a long, drawn out fall. I'm looking forward to warm sunny days followed by crisp nights, red maples blazing in the sunlight, bonfires with roasted marshmallows, and piles of pumpkins. The rain we're getting right now will soften up the soil in the garden, making my fall landscaping chores that much easier. If I can just get myself out from under the throw and off the sofa, that is.