Over the years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of medical experts. But by far, among the most interesting and revealing interviews are those I’ve done with the culprit itself—like the time I interviewed a tick and, another time, a mosquito. Those types of interviews give me the perfect opportunity to delve into the most personal questions and gain a full understanding of what makes them, um, tick.
For this interview, I was lucky enough to catch a flu virus (not personally and hopefully not at all) and get the scoop on how it thinks.
Q: Tell me a little about yourself.
Flu Virus (FV): I’m a contagious respiratory illness that loves to lodge in your nose and throat—and sometimes your lungs, too. To date, I get a gold medal for doing the most damage in 1918 (yes, I’ve been around quite a while), when there was a pandemic that infected about 500 million people (that was roughly one-third of the world’s population) and killed about 50 million people nationwide (about 675,00 in the U.S.).
As you can see, I take myself pretty seriously and have a big job to do.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
FV: I love the fall and winter. They’re both very hospitable to me, allowing me to thrive. Usually, the months between December and February keep me the busiest. And sometimes, even though it’s not my favorite month, I’m still around come May.
Q: Describe your perfect friend.
FV: Well, I must admit that as a virus, I…