The plague burned itself out three weeks ago. Or maybe they were plagues; nobody seems to be sure. The immediate effects were obvious: "flu-like symptoms", and possible death. There was no vaccine, no cure, and every attempt at quarantine failed miserably. With a worldwide death rate of seven percent, that was horrible enough. There wasn't any particular pattern to the deaths, either; the elderly were slightly more likely to succumb, but only slightly.
We were lucky. We survived, all four of us. The wife and I got it first, and then the boys came down with it just as we were starting to recover. "Lucky" doesn't seem to cover it, when more than one out of every twenty people we knew had died. For a week or so, it looked like most of the world was going to slide into a full economic collapse, but civilization held together. Barely. Mostly.
Things are different in the wake of the plague. It's not just the reduced population, though we're still feeling the effects of that. It's not just the shell-shocked look on so many faces, or the way that people will suddenly break drown crying in the middle of their work. It's not even the suicides, or the disruptions in water, power, and other services - fortunately, we haven't had too many of those.
No, things are really different. It's like the plague opened the door for other things. The parasites that make the zompires, for example. Or the big, scaly dogs that a friend of mine said are spreading through the woods around the Cumberland Plateau. The flying leeches. The Ghost Plague that made them evacuate London. People claiming that drinking blood now makes them stronger... with YouTube videos purporting to prove it.
We're doing what we can, of course. Keeping the servers up, keeping the information flowing: emergency announcements, safety advice, reports on new developments and how they're being dealt with. And waiting, of course. To see if this is going to level off, or if things are just going to keep getting worse. We've got the cars loaded, in case we have to leave... but I don't see anywhere that's particularly safe to go.
There's been hoarding, naturally, along with calls for repentance and the usual predictions about the end of the world. First time since I was sixteen that I've taken those seriously. But like I said, right now we're just waiting.
How about you?
I realize I've asked this sort of question at least once before, but I'm a bit burned out so I'm asking it again. What would you be doing if the world seemed to be spinning out of control en route to some sort of apocalypse?