January 12

Posted on: January 13, 2013

Now that we’ve got two vehicles in the driveway, there needs to be a different arrangement.  Jason had to move his truck so I could get my car out of the barn, but what if his battery was dead?  We wouldn’t be able to get to my car to jump start his. Or a flat tire?  I told them to figure something out, that I was going to the office.  It wasn’t so simple.  With Jason there to keep the house secure, John insisted on going with me, and there was no arguing with him.


Darlene looked like hell.  She had the flu.  Joe let me pass only when he saw I had on a better mask than he did.  I insisted John wait in the car, away from any exposure.

I leaned against the door jamb of Darlene’s office, not wanting to get too close.  “How are you feeling?”  I know that was a stupid question, but knowing the symptoms might be good.

“Like a truck hit me, then backed up.” She took a breath and started coughing behind her mask.  I just stood there, waiting for the spasms to subside.  That cough was deep in her lungs.  “How are you feeling?” she managed to wheeze out.

“I’m fine, Darlene, but I’m worried about you.  The town needs you.” I didn’t move from my spot.  I went on, just to make small talk while she caught her breath.  “Even though John and I were both exposed to Paul, it was less than 24 hours after his exposure.  We aren’t sick, neither are Jason or Jacob.  I’m keeping them all mostly isolated, though John is out in the car; he wouldn’t let me come here alone, but I wouldn’t let him come in,” I chuckled.  “Anyway, I’m guessing there is a window there, before the new host is contagious, and we were lucky.”

She looked up. “Your mask is different from the ones Gary gave us.”  That’s when I noticed she wasn’t wearing gloves.

“Mine is an N99; yours looks to be surgical.” I knew those were barely effective, but wasn’t about to tell her that.  “Why no gloves, Darlene?” Knowing I had mine on under my mittens. I was still careful not to touch anything.

“Oh, Gary gave us all some, but sitting here I don’t see the point,” and another coughing spell started.

“You need to be home and in bed.”

“I know, I know.”  She put her head down on her desk.  “But there’s something I need to do first.”  It was hard for her to stand, but she insisted, as she gave me the oath of office to be her official and legal deputy.  I told her I didn’t want the job, and only when she promised it was temporary, that I agreed.

“Now,” she went on, “I’ll go home when I bring you up to speed on the school situation.”  That’s when I found out that half the town was sick.


When Donna called Gary concerning her husband, Gary made the connection and called Kim to keep her out of the school, but it was too late.  Kim had already exposed two teachers, and from there it went from bad to worse.  Kim was now in isolation at home and was actually no worse.  It seems that some have immunity to this strain, and if not outright immunity, they have some natural antibodies that fight it.  The school has been close indefinitely, and those with children are either home schooling or letting the education slide.  The school is now a triage area for the sickest.

This spread really, really fast.  So far, no deaths.  I hope it stays that way.

Outside, I took off my mittens, surgical gloves and mask.  They all went into a plastic garbage bag I had in my pocket.  I tied it shut, then opened the door and got in the car.  John drove us home in silence.

4 thoughts on “January 12

  1. I was wondering if the homes of those already deceased could be checked for any medications they hadn’t used…..

  2. These are great questions. In some populations, people do better when their food is restricted, and their meds are decreased. When I was in Russia, in Siberian Winter, and my diet changed radically, I had to wean some of my meds, and I did very well. I do not do as well in the hot US South. However, some patients, depending upon the issues, really would pass quietly within a week or two of not getting their regular medications. This would depend on the people and the geographic location. People in fragile health often don’t live in places in the country where living is already challenging.

  3. I wonder, really, if those of us on meds were forced to taper down, while at the same time losing weight due to strenuous activity/lack of junk food-well, how many of us might actually thrive under those conditions?
    There are some cases where these things can be reversed by lifestyle changes…
    Just wondering!

  4. Half the town sick.. wonder how long it will be before people start dying? Some are bound to die, can’t be helped. Most aren’t getting enough food, or able to stay warm enough, and I am sure (though you have yet to mention it) some have chronic medical conditions that need medications to stay well, and I am not talking psych meds either, but diabetes meds, thyroid, blood pressure.. things of that sort…

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