Can you tell me this book from a vague description?

There’s a virus that makes people stupid. It infects all of the United States. I read it in the early '80s, I believe.

Scenes I distinctly remember:
A lab researcher sneezes and absentmindedly puts the tissue in the regular garbage instead of the bio garbage.

A person with the stupid virus empties out salt and pepper shakers instead of just switching the tops.
Any idea of the title and/or author?

Arthur Herzog’s IQ 83 (1978)?

There is a Stephen King short story that has everyone get something akin to Alzheimer’s in the end. I don’t think it has the two plot points you mention. The story is in one of his anthologies.

Yes! Yes!
God, I love this message board. It rarely lets me down. Thanks Steve.

P.S. I love your comedy routines.

Is that the same Arthur Herzog who wrote The Swarm? 'Cause this book sounded like it might be worth a shot, but with that track record, I’m not too sure.

If you’re looking for a book with the exact opposite idea, you could try Brainwave by Poul Anderson. In his book, everyone on Earth suddenly has their IQ go up by several hundred points. Humans become so intelligent that nobody wants to do menial work anymore and animals become intelligent enough to start working against humans.

Yes, it is. I believe the book The Swarm is better than the film, though that’s not what you’d call a high bar to clear …

Yeah, no argument there. :slight_smile:

Well, I haven’t placed an inter-library loan for myself in a while, maybe I’ll give this one a spin anyway.

Non-fiction, right?