While it looked like things had surely gone from bad to worse for poor ole Thurston, maybe the booby hatch really was the best place for him. There’s a new theory in medical circles right now that’s gaining real traction. It’s called the Insanity Virus, and it could explain a lot about Thurston and germaphobes just like him.
For a long time, the cause of schizophrenia is believed to have been genetic, even environmental; but this new theory puts forth the proposition that the disease may be in fact brought on by a virus. Germs.
A leading researcher found that schizophrenics show signs of inflammation in their white blood cells, the ones that are supposed to fight off infection. One woman who thought she was going mad actually discovered she had developed a rare autoimmune disease that is known to attack the brain: Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis.
One geneticist even places the source of the virus with a lemur-like creature from over sixty million years ago. Once the virus got into the monkey’s testes, it was just a matter of evolution running its course.
So maybe Thurston really was onto something. I mean, there actually is a planet called Germanicus right here in our very own solar system. Germanicus is a minor planet, located in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. It’s classified as main-belt, minor planet No. 10208 and is named after the ancient Roman general, and father of Caligula. The same Caligula, by the way, who is believed to have suffered from encephalitis, and meningitis, both inflammations of the brain, and was by most accounts completely mad.
Of course, there is also the Gamma Germanicus star system, but that’s located in the Star Trek Universe. Given Thurston’s state of mind, I just naturally assumed he was referring to the latter.