We didn’t expect it.
That’s the phrase the news had repeated over and over again in the days that followed the emergence of the pandemic. No one had anticipated it would come so quickly and with such a vengeance. For all of our zombie preparedness jokes and games, in the dismal days following the global sickness, those that survived realized that they hadn’t had a clue. I’ve lived this nightmare for almost three years now and yet I still can’t fully grasp what happened.
“Project M” was the code name for the disease. I have always wondered what benefit could come from developing a deadly disease, when if released it would cause world wide death and destruction. The government claimed that the development of such a virus could help them better understand the inner workings of other well known diseases; HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc. I always felt that it was a more subversive way of letting our enemies know that if they didn’t stay in line, we would unleash a virus upon them that would cripple and kill their women and children and of course, themselves. Conspiracy theories are all irrelevant now though; most of the government officials are dead and our enemies too. Billions killed within days of the outbreak; Earth’s total population was reduced to less than 100,000 uninfected people in only 72 hours. How did so many survive? Immunity.
Herein lies the framework for this seemingly dismal story. We are small in number now, with the infected killing off those who step outside the borders of the safe zones. But those that do remain survive, just as I do.
I will never forget the last thing the leader of our small safe zone said to me before he was consumed by the disease. He had told us he was immune, but in reality, he was always infected and managed his symptoms with the trove of antibiotics we had set aside for emergencies. Theft aside, his final words still ring true.
Survival is a state of mind.