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Prologue: Fragile Part One

Nobody knew where the virus came from or how it was created. Many thought it was a natural occurrence, others thought it was deliberately created while some thought it was simply, "an act of God". Regardless, it came, it killed, it left.

The virus attacked in two ways. Some people simply got the virus, got sick and died within three or four days. That was the really young and old who fell into this category. Others got sick, got better a few days later and then relapsed a week or so later and then died.

A small number got sick, but never relapsed and of course, never died, but they were carriers. Others, simply never got sick. Those people are still here to this day.

The first week, over one hundred million Americans were estimated to have been infected. After that first week, nobody bothered with tabulating the numbers, it did not make any more sense and the medical experts were too overwhelmed to make any progress.

The hospitals and doctors offices filled in the first few days before the public was warned to simply stay home, drink plenty of fluids and rest. It must not have made much of an impact as most hospitals were surrounded by abandoned vehicles for miles around. The overflow of patients and dead, were placed in tents and temporary shelters spreading out from the parking lot between the abandoned cars, trucks and vans.

Within three weeks, the virus had swept the world over. Most were dead or dying. How and who the virus infected and killed versus those who lived, made no sense. Even as the virus wound down, many who were still alive, infected or not, were left to deal with a world without any infrastructure or organization.

This one was story...

The Taylors were not much different than the rest of their neighbors in their upper middle class suburb. Dad Charles worked for a mortgage broker business. Sure, business had not been great the past few months, but he had high hopes things would get better in the next few months.

Mom, Stephanie, was a stay at home which was a bit of a misnomer. Most of her time was spent carting the two older kids, Ella and Will, to school, sports, friends and activities in her SUV. Then there was her tennis game and the club she belonged to with a dozen other women she met at her kids' school. The baby Genna, a surprise, was Stephanie's joy and life.

When the virus hit, the Taylors heard something about it on the news, but those stories came up all the time, especially with kids in school. Another flu bug was standard, so they thought. The kids and Dad had taken flu shots last November so they should be fine, right.

When the youngest, Genna, age 15 months, came down with a cold, Steph gave her some Benadryl and kept her in plenty of fluids in the form of watered down juice. On day two, when the baby kept Steph and Charles up all night, Steph decided to call the baby's doctor.

The doctor's office informed Steph to bring the baby to the hospital. "We are no longer seeing patients" said the receptionist who then hung up. Indignant, Steph packed the baby up in her car and drove over the Presbyterian which was only ten minutes away.

Worried she forgot her insurance card, Steph quickly forgot everything when she saw the sight at the hospital. Police were directing traffic into the overflow parking lot. A lighted sign, the kind found on highways and construction zones flashed "Emergency cases left only!!!".

After parking and bringing the baby, now crying uncontrollably, to the door of the hospital, Steph was alarmed at the state of the place. People were everywhere. Sick people. In the lobby, she was handed a clipboard by a volunteer wearing a mask. Steph filled it out and attached her insurance card to the clipboard. She waited 45 minutes for the volunteer to make her rounds through Steph's section of the lobby.

The insurance card was not needed and handed back to Stephanie. "Strange" she thought.

Stephanie waited for over three hours in the lobby, all the while the baby was getting more and more cranky. Virgina would not take the bottle or be consoled. Not that it mattered as the whole lobby and other waiting rooms were full of crying, sniffling and sneezing toddlers and infants.

1 comment:

  1. I was hiking the Art Loeb Trail in western North Carolina the last few days and reflecting that multi-day backpacking would probably become a frivolous activity after the SHTF. I thought about post SHTF story-lines and couldn't remember reading a story about war-lords that decide to take over adjacent communities/tribes because they could and no one to stop them. A plot could involve various tribes banding together to resist encroaching war-lords with this collaboration leading to a rebirth of order and civilization.

    Just a thought.