**** DAY 81 ****
Est. # infected: 538 / 10796
# treated: 3
# dead: 12
Virus X: 12 terminal cases today. Revised pathology of disease now suggests four distinct phases of deterioration in neural and comedic functioning: irony, puns, intentional bad jokes, and deadpan. The following is now our revised definition of effects caused by Virus X.
PHASE I, IRONY: Difficult to diagnose, often coincidental. Abnormal increase of metallic signatures in blood. All known cases began humourous injections in this phase. Recovery to normal humour level expected. Humour readings may be totally normal in this phase, 50 or higher.
PHASE II, PUNS: Rapidly increasing metallurgical propagation in bloodstream. Often accidental cases of wordplay. Neurochemical reactions may produce addictive feedback loop. Some stabilized with injections of healthy humour. Prognosis for patients at this stage is poor. Must stop patients at first sign of symptoms before they become uncontrollable and enter phase III. Typical humour range 49–25.
PHASE III, INTENTIONAL BAD JOKES: Blood at peak metallic content. Subjects lose all sense of appropriate comedic conduct. Humourous injections now may worsen condition. Occasional echolalia-like behaviours emerge. Patients in this phase may find anything funny. 29 patients currently in phase III, none recovered. Humour levels below 25.
PHASE IV, DEADPAN: After sustained, high levels of bad jokes, we now find a few patients lose all humour. Their bodies reject any humourous injection quite violently. They cannot suffer a punchline or even a chuckle in their presence. Must be quarantined for safety and morale of station. Death by laughter-related asphyxiation typically occurs in 3–5 days, +/-2. Humour levels no longer register properly in the disease's final phase.
Notice announced: All crew now subject to daily, public testing with the semiogelotometer. Jokes told at end of duties are to be reported in the station's log. Any indication of humour levels below 50 requires further scrutiny. Humour levels below 30 require immediate action.
One final note. Speculations on cause of viral mutations that spawned the disease suggest it may have come from chemical experiments on planets of the Heliospellagan system. Investigations suggest those chemicals originated in arsenic ores mined here at Signus Station.
“The number of black holes in the universe is directly proportional to the number of well-worn black socks in the universe.”
. . .HUMOUR LEVEL: 58.
[end of entry]
**** DAY 141 ****
Est. # infected: 622 / 10280
# treated: 60
# dead: 516
I was in the middle of telling the one about the drunk man, the dog, and the old woman when another interrupted me with the punchline, spoiling it for everybody. I had no back-up joke, but sincerely believed nobody would have heard that one before.
We diagnosed my fellow physician with phase IV of Virus X and rushed her to quarantine. There was nothing we could do. She hid her infection from us the whole time, it turns out, by doctoring her reports. When we returned to the test, some phase III patient or other had taken down the semiogelotometer by jamming it with blueberry preserves. What a sick thing to do!
What with all these new mutations of the phase II virus popping up everywhere, I admit to prodigious strain. Constant diagnostics make everyone testy. Certainly other doctors have their own healthy wards in this case, but personally I am quickly running out of patients. The stress of working with the ill-humoured is punishment!
. . .HUMOUR LEVEL: N/A.
[end of entry]
**** DAY 168 ****
Est. # infected: 2177 / 2543
# treated: ???
# dead: 7737
NEW SYMPTOM: The healthy are regressing in age! It's spread everywhere. Nobody on this station is healthy anymore. Solitary quarantine for everyone.
Quaran-TEEN. Get it? Regressed in age, so they're quaran
. . .HUMOUR LEVEL: 5.
Your motherboard has humour level 5!
. . .HUMOUR LEVEL: 4.
Those humours we injected everyone with, I knew they were funny!
. . .HUMOUR LEVEL: 10.
That wasn't even meant to be a joke. . .! What do I look like, a radio?
A radio? Huh? Radio? Do you get it? Get it? Get it?
… computer. . .?
. . .HUMOUR LEVEL: 0.016580.
[end of entry]
***+ DAY 2++ *+**
Es+. # in++ct+d: 1 + 1
# t+eated+ +++
+ de++: 10811
It's o+er. Th+ w++le st+tion +s d+++. Ge+ out +f h+re a+ +ast ++ yo+ ++n. N++hing +ut c+rpse+ +n +uaran+in+. Ev++yon+ i+ de+d +nd I
ca+'t+stop++aughi+g +t +++++ it +++ts it hur++ h+++ha
+++++++ me to+ +ake i+ +top hah+ha
h+++ +a h+ha++ hah+h ah
++++ +++++ +++++++ ++ + +++++
. . .
. . .+UMO+R L+++L: +00+
[end of entry]
[end of log]