Deadly Diseases

WTF, Bubonic Plague?

Holy God, someone just had the Bubonic Plague. Someone in AMERICA.

I thought modern science whipped that guy’s ass, am I right?

WTFH, you guys???

Sorry, I’m just FREAKING OUT a little bit. I remember studying the Bubonic Plague in middle school, and from what I remember, EVERYBODY DIES.

The Triumph of Death, courtesy of Pieter Brueghel, my second-favorite medieval artist. Yes, this is it – this is how I imagined it going down…

Okay, so it’s no secret that I have an overactive imagination, and I truly don’t believe I will die from this disease (I envision going out in a blaze of glory, like rescuing a baby from a runaway tractor)  –

But knowing it’s out there scares the ever-loving heehaw out of me.

See, I have this problem. An embarrassing problem.

I mentioned two weeks ago that I get sick more frequently than most folks. What I didn’t mention was the extent of my very welcoming immune system. An immune system prone to inviting in the strangest and most random illnesses known to mankind. It especially favors arcane diseases that are expensive and won’t go away, the kind of visitors that park their pick-ups on your lawn, takes off their pants, and proceeds to eat the entire content of your fridge while watching Swamp People re-runs on continual loops. Then you get a citation for their truck parked on your lawn and they set your house on fire.

Do you remember the swine flu pandemic two years ago, which they renamed H1N1 because scientists have no imaginations?

So do I. Because I was hospitalized for it, parked in a sealed ICU chamber where only doctors and nurses in space suits could visit, and then stuck with a bill totaling more than double the down payment on your house, probably. God bless the USA and its healthcare system.

I had pneumonia at the same time. Then I got a really freaky rash from the antibiotics, so you know, GO ME!

That’s just a recent sampling of my luck with infectious breeds of death, and I won’t go into an accounting of my medical history right now. Just know that there’s more. Oh boy, is there ever more. One day, Internets, I will share with you the aberration that is my medical history, but today is not that day. You’ve been reprieved.

Naturally after reading the Yahoo! article about the little girl recovering from the Plague, I did a Google image search. All I can say about this is BIG MISTAKE, DO NOT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GOOGLE “BUBONIC PLAGUE.” For that matter, do not Google “Black Death,” either, or any other such alternate terms. I care about you and don’t want to expose you to the gruesome horror I witnessed there.

You’re Googling it right now, aren’t you? That’s what I love about you. Your fearless, independent nature. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One of the tamer images. Still creepy in the way only medieval art can truly be.

In addition to the fright-fest on my Google spelunking tour, I discovered that 10-11 incidences of Plague in the U.S. are reported to the CDC per year. PER YEAR, you guys. Worldwide? 1,000-3,000 per year. Holy mother of guacamole. And here I’ve been living in this bubble where the Plague is no longer a “real” threat, along with the music of Wham! and velociraptors.

Another fun fact: a man got it in Oregon earlier this year and lost his fingers and toes. How did he get it? From pulling a dead mouse from his cat’s mouth.

I HAVE DONE THAT at least TWICE this year, PEOPLE.

Hello, little friend. I look harmless, don’t I? Watch our for that pesky Bubonic Plague, though. It’s a real bitch. And it turns your skin black and then you die.

So in case I inadvertently contract the Plague via my well-meaning kitten and her penchant for mousing, please send Mike cash in lieu of flowers. Or you can send cash now. Just in case.

We all know I’m probably going to catch it eventually, so I’m just saving us all an extra step.


  • Stefanie Carpenter

    HILARIOUS blog today! Not that I rejoice from your pain, but I am a fan of making light of our biggest fears and exploring over the top nightmares in comical ways- It’s a little lethargic that way. I had to refrain myself from googling puss filled pics of boils. Mostly because I ALREADY spent two hours researching global genocides today…. I watched “In the land of Blood and Honey” earlier (so I’m blaming the movie). Only allowing myself one horrific obsession a day.

    • Natalie the Singingfool

      How could I NOT write about the Plague when it comes up on a major news outlet? It’s the obvious conclusion that that’s what I’ll have next, right? Unless I get lucky and it’s only bird flu or something.

      And it’s wise of you, little rabbit, to heed my advice and NOT Google it, especially in view of the earlier genocide romp through the web. It was disturbing, even for me.

  • Banana Stickers

    Holy crap… I had completely forgotten that the Bubonic Plague was a thing. That’s some intensely scary shit. Right up there with caterpillars and necrotizing faciitis. Which I suppose I could have just typed “flesh eating bacteria” or “microzombies” but the actual term is quite fun to say and, sadly, I seldom get to use it in a sentence.

  • Amy

    And this is why I’m a dog person… Hey, my Mike might be like yours when it comes to fake wrestling, but YOU are like Mike here. If I told Mike people still get the Bubonic plague he would be sure he had it about 24 hours later. (though it seems you actually get it… he just spends too much time on WebMD….)

    • Natalie the Singingfool

      I personally try to avoid WebMD, it just further confuses me. The last time I consulted with it, I had Ricin poisoning (really turned out to be a sinus infection – way less glamorous). I am strictly a self-diagnoser. Like right now, I am claiming the pain in my finger joints is arthritis, even though I have no confirmation that this is the case.

  • Erica Schatz

    I can’t wait to hear about your medical history one of these days! I always thought I had the worst immune system on the planet (I even named them “immunes” because I feel that I probably have enough to humanely count and a major need to protect each and every last one of them). I’m glad I’m not alone.

  • B

    I was quarantined for the bubonic Plague when I was a peace corps volunteer in Mongolia. The quarantine lasted three weeks and I ran out of food for my cat, although a local family made sure to feed me from their extensive stock pile that the stupid American never believed in building. It’s carried on the fleas that live on marmots and I swear there is a public service campaign to not shoot the “slow marmot” and eat it.

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