Second, I believe the Age of Immunology is not only a result of the extreme self-consciousness that characterizes modernity, but a coded parable (a story) about identity stasis. On the microbiological level, Descartes's mask has its analogue in the virus that only comes alive when it is "worn" by a cell-- becoming a cell that looks like its prey. The viral cell is, as it were, the "product" of self-consciousness: it perpetuates its own stasis by donning your appearance. It looks like you. It fools you in order to "reverse engineer" you. In this way, viruses are no different that Descartes's mask, since his self conscious motives are structurally identical to the pathogenic behavior of viruses. Descartes's act of "possessing" the other is the same act that accounts for our fear of being virally possessed.
-David Napier, The Age of Immunology: Conceiving of a Future in an Alienating World, p. 5