Why did some of the workers at Project Blue drop dead in their tracks?

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Sep 3, 2016
4
20
48
#1
I'm rereading The Stand again for the first time in 20 years and that's the one thing I still don't get. I had assumed the reason they were struck down in their tracks (like Frank D. Bruce, who collapses into his bowl of soup and dies, and others described as still sitting at the lunch tables with drinks gripped in their hands) was because extreme measures were taken to sterilize the facility of the virus (like maybe evacuating all the air), but then when Starkey walks through before he commits suicide, other workers are shown to have taken their time to die, presumably of the flu. So what gives?
 

Dana Jean

Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
45,117
184,434
Thornfield
#2
welcome Linus. It's been so long since I read this, but vaguely remember thinking people are like people that way. Some are more susceptible to disease and succumb quickly, others have stronger constitutions and last longer.

And it was ground zero.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
14,836
65,860
United States
#3
welcome Linus. It's been so long since I read this, but vaguely remember thinking people are like people that way. Some are more susceptible to disease and succumb quickly, others have stronger constitutions and last longer.

And it was ground zero.
I was thinking ground zero, too. Not sure; don't have any scientific facts or book quotes to back it up but that'd be my guess. It must've been potent because Charles Campion and his family got the heck out of there, immediately. Still, they were dead within a day weren't they? The Project Blue people had direct contact and everyone else got sick secondhand?
 

not_nadine

Comfortably Roont
Nov 19, 2011
29,378
137,452
Behind you
#4
I was thinking ground zero, too. Not sure; don't have any scientific facts or book quotes to back it up but that'd be my guess. It must've been potent because Charles Campion and his family got the heck out of there, immediately. Still, they were dead within a day weren't they? The Project Blue people had direct contact and everyone else got sick secondhand?
That bugged me too. But yes, Ground Zero. But so fast to have face in soup?
I think Charles Campion travelled further than one day, but not sure about that.

I think the best part of the book was how he described the passing of it.
The Cop. The lady having her grasshopper in the lounge. The baby coughing while Lilly admired the Last Supper picture on the wall. A real work of Art.
 
Last edited:

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,910
USA
#6
Yup, I think it was Ground Zero effect. Plus, people are kings of denial. The soup guy could have been very ill when he sat down (at this point, we don't know exactly how long it's been since the virus was released and the place locked down), but thinking that forcing himself to eat will make him feel better. It didn't, and he died face first in a bowl of Chunky Sirloin Burger soup (which, BTW, I haven't been able to even look at without feeling sick since I first read The Stand in 1980 or so--lol).
 
Sep 3, 2016
4
20
48
#7
Welcome Linus. I always assumed it was because the virus was full strength when it first got out so they got stopped in their tracks.
Yeah, I thought something like that too, the workers were exposed to a concentrated, purer version that was lethal much more quickly, and as it spread it mutated into a strain that took a bit longer to kill. Personally, though, I think it was just artistic license. King decided to break the rules of the The Stand universe to create a creepy scenario for the sake of dramatic effect. Kind of reminds me of the church scene at the start of 28 Days Later. The pews are full of people who came in to pray and then apparently dropped dead where they sat, despite the fact that the Rage virus was not lethal, just its victims were. Once again, drama and mood trump adhering to the rules, and in both cases I think works.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,027
307,978
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#8
...this scenario reminded me of The Andromeda Strain....it is as all have felt, due to the Ground Zero effect...the virus was at it's most virulent and undiluted...also, who's to say what else was cooking in the Petri dishes and may have been dispersed in the melee?...and a good point was made about immune systems...many could have been compromised already and the transmission vector delivered its payload that much quicker...
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,773
#10
none of them were going to las vegas and none of them were going to boulder...not that any of them knew of the possibility at the time. same with the rest of the world. some lived. some died. most everyone complained about the situation.
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
7,937
35
#13
I was thinking ground zero, too. Not sure; don't have any scientific facts or book quotes to back it up but that'd be my guess. It must've been potent because Charles Campion and his family got the heck out of there, immediately. Still, they were dead within a day weren't they? The Project Blue people had direct contact and everyone else got sick secondhand?
They actually took a few days to die, as i recall. It might mention specifically in the book somewhere but i'm at least sure it wasn't 24 hours
 

doowopgirl

very avid fan
Aug 7, 2009
6,601
22,616
60
dublin ireland
#14
Yeah, I thought something like that too, the workers were exposed to a concentrated, purer version that was lethal much more quickly, and as it spread it mutated into a strain that took a bit longer to kill. Personally, though, I think it was just artistic license. King decided to break the rules of the The Stand universe to create a creepy scenario for the sake of dramatic effect. Kind of reminds me of the church scene at the start of 28 Days Later. The pews are full of people who came in to pray and then apparently dropped dead where they sat, despite the fact that the Rage virus was not lethal, just its victims were. Once again, drama and mood trump adhering to the rules, and in both cases I think works.
Nothing wrong with a little dramatic license when it works.
 

melindaville

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2011
307
1,061
Boston and San Francisco
#15
I'm rereading The Stand again for the first time in 20 years and that's the one thing I still don't get. I had assumed the reason they were struck down in their tracks (like Frank D. Bruce, who collapses into his bowl of soup and dies, and others described as still sitting at the lunch tables with drinks gripped in their hands) was because extreme measures were taken to sterilize the facility of the virus (like maybe evacuating all the air), but then when Starkey walks through before he commits suicide, other workers are shown to have taken their time to die, presumably of the flu. So what gives?
I always thought it was because they were so close to the exposure sight. As soon as they accidentally (?) released the virus, it was immediately toxic to everyone within a certain proximity. At least that is how I always thought of it. It was a wildly variable virus anyway--affecting people so differently.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,027
307,978
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#16
I always thought it was because they were so close to the exposure sight. As soon as they accidentally (?) released the virus, it was immediately toxic to everyone within a certain proximity. At least that is how I always thought of it. It was a wildly variable virus anyway--affecting people so differently.
...pretty much sums it up....they were ground zero of the transmitting vector.....
 

melindaville

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2011
307
1,061
Boston and San Francisco
#17
...pretty much sums it up....they were ground zero of the transmitting vector.....
Yes, exactly--that's how I even thought of it: at ground zero. I think SK might have even referred to the base as ground zero. I need to reread that book. I cannot help it; it's one of my two favorite King books. I read that book every 5 years or so--and I find something new in it each time I read it. And I love it each time. My husband thinks I'm crazy for rereading books (though this is ONLY done for my favorite, can't-live-without-them books). The Stand was the book that made me a King fan for life.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,027
307,978
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#18
Yes, exactly--that's how I even thought of it: at ground zero. I think SK might have even referred to the base as ground zero. I need to reread that book. I cannot help it; it's one of my two favorite King books. I read that book every 5 years or so--and I find something new in it each time I read it. And I love it each time. My husband thinks I'm crazy for rereading books (though this is ONLY done for my favorite, can't-live-without-them books). The Stand was the book that made me a King fan for life.
....mine too.....
 
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