Reuters – Estimates say that nearly three thousand people nationwide, and fifteen thousand people worldwide have died of the H1N1 virus or Swine flu and nearly eighty thousand cases have been confirmed in hospitals and clinics across the United States and the world, the World Health Organization reported. The influenza pandemic of 2010, while not nearly as prolific as the one that raged in 1918 still has citizens around the world in a near state of panic.
New York Post (Headlines October 31st) – Beware! Children Carry Germs! – Halloween Canceled!
New York Times – (Headlines November 3rd) – Swine flu claims latest victim – Vice President surrounded by family and friends at the end.
Boston Globe – (Headlines November 28th) – Swine Flu Vaccinations Coming!
Boston Herald – (Headlines December 6th) – Shots in Short Supply – Lines Long!
National Enquirer – (Headlines December 7th) – The Dead Walk!
There would be no more headlines.
It started in a lab at the CDC (Center for Disease Control), virologists were so relieved to finally have an effective vaccination against the virulent swine flu. Pressure to come up with something had come from the highest office in the land. In an attempt at speed the virologists had made two mistakes, first they used a live virus and second they didn’t properly test for side effects. Within days hundreds of thousands of vaccinations shipped across the US and the world. People lined up for the shots, like they were waiting in line for concert tickets. Fights broke out in drugstores as fearful throngs tried their best to get one of the limited shots. Within days the CDC knew something was wrong. Between 4 and 7 hours of receiving the shot roughly 95% succumbed to the active H1N1 virus in the vaccination. More unfortunate than the death of the infected was the added side effect of reanimation, it would be a decade before scientists were able to ascertain how that happened. The panic that followed couldn’t be measured. Loved ones did what loved ones always do, they tried to comfort, their kids or their spouses or their siblings, but what came back was not human not even remotely. Those people that survived their first encounter with these monstrosities usually did not come through unscathed, if bitten they had fewer than 6 hours of humanity left, the clock was ticking. During the first few hysteria ridden days of The Coming as it has become known, many thought the virus was airborne, luckily that was not the case or nobody would have survived. It was a dark time in human history. One from which we may never be able to pull ourselves out of the ashes from.