1350 A.D

A teenager lay in bed, his mother frantically placing wet towels on his head. It had been 2 days since fever struck her little boy. The doctor said, in a voice muffled by a strange mask, “He has black spots on his back”. The mother’s eyes widened, like they would burst any second. Her worst fears had come true. “He has the plague.”

2017 (present day)

Mrs. Andersen came home only to see her boy gazing intently at the computer screen. “What are you watching? Someone cure cancer?” She joked. “Mom! Eww, boring..” the boy said with a poker face, “I’m watching this viral video. It’s of this cat, playing a piano. How awesome is that!”  Mrs.Andersen replied with a fake smile on her face,”Very”.

The two stories have one thing in common – a plague. The first one is the ‘Black Death’ – the pandemic that engulfed most of Europe, killing around 70 to 200 million people in about 10 years. The second one is the most infectious and lethal disease mankind has ever faced. I call it the ‘Viral’ plague.

 The ‘Viral’ Plague

This pandemic spans the whole planet and affects almost everyone with a computer and lot of free time to spare. Having a low IQ too puts you at a high risk of contracting this disease. The symptoms are quite noticeable – you don’t have to be Dr.House to spot them.


Once infected, symptoms start showing within a day or two. The patient begins showing signs of degenerated brain function like – getting amused by cat videos, binging on facebook ‘memes’ and spending hours on end laugh uncontrollably at stuff that makes healthy people cringe. Dark circles beneath the eyelids are also a symptom, specially if they’re caused despite the lack of an actual job that requires a computer.


The only cure to this pandemic is sensible literature. As a ‘Viral’ survivor myself, I would suggest starting treatment with 50 pages of Tolstoy each day. And then as the treatment progresses, Blu-rays of the Oscar selections would suffice. The patient must be treated with care and understanding. After all,  ‘Viral’ victims aren’t dumb, they’re just intellectually challenged.



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