Stephanie did not like the look of the people around her. Many looked like they had no insurance or means to pay. "Fringe people" she termed them; those people who always have children they cannot afford and stories to accompany their problems. The people who hold up the line at the bank or grocery store with their long tales about missing ID's and bounced checks.
A nurse called for the baby by name and Steph took the baby and followed the nurse to an examination room.
Stephanie entered through the double glass doors and nearly fell over when she saw what waited for her and the baby. The entire hallway was lined with people; children, adults, old and young. And all sick. They leaned against walls, sat on the floor and ever a few, were laying down parallel to the wall.
The nurse guided Steph to a counter, sat behind it in a spare chair and asked without looking up "Age of the infected?"
Seven hours later, Genna had a fever and was laying on a bed in the hospital with an IV in one arm and a monitor attached to the other. The bed was wedged into a small room with two other beds each containing babies as well.
One of the other mothers blowing her nose after letting off three loud sneezes into the air without covering her mouth. "No wonder everyone is sick" thought Steph to herself.
Steph phoned home and found that Charles had finally returned from the office and had picked up Ella and Will from the Brandons across the street. Charles would make the two older children dinner and help them with their homework and wait for Steph to get home.
Steph hung up the phone a few minutes later and wished she had a bottle of water or some coffee, but she did not want to leave the baby. Not with that sneezing woman just a few feet away.
Genna was sleeping as the nurse had given her something for her cold symptoms, but her breathing was rattling with every exhale.
A young intern came into the room and made the rounds. When he reached Genna, he took a look at her chart, squeezed Steph on the shoulder and started out the door. The doctor shook his head after he left the room. The next few days would be difficult.
About 15 minutes later, a relieved Stephanie made her way with a sleeping Genna out to the car. She was thankful the parking lot was well lit with extra security lights mounted on trailers. They must have needed the lights with all the extra people still trying to get into the hospital. There were several police officers still directing traffic into the parking lot which made her feel more at ease as well.
Genna was still breathing heavily when they got home, but she seemed to be sleeping soundly. Stephanie checked on the other children and found Charles asleep in the living room with the television on. He has left Fox News on and there were scenes of some people fighting with each other in the streets while buildings burned behind them.
Stephanie assumed it was one of those foreign countries and turned off the set without a thought. Had she left it on, she would have heard the anchor person speaking with a reporter on the ground. The city was Los Angeles and the riots were taking place in other American cities as well at the same time.