Last week, I took cover when I spotted what turned out to be a feather fluttering down from a locker to my gym’s floor. At home, my eye caught a loose thread swaying on a cloth bag in one of my cabinets, and I flinched. A green pepper seed stuck to a FedEx envelope on my coffee table turned my stomach. I freaked out as a drop of water ran down my chest. I was cooking dinner the other night and I realized that I did not like the way that the flame on my one burner was dancing. I did not like it one bit.
Bedbugs carrying a drug-resistant MRSA germ have been discovered in Vancouver. It's unclear whether the bedbugs can give the germ to humans—we might have even given it to them—but the story is pretty close to the platonic ideal for public health panics. (Needs more obesity.) It's a fractal of insidious bugs! Zoom in, zoom out, on the micro level, on the macro level: Bugs! A bugaboo of bugs, butt-ugly and bugging us until we bug out.