A Sense of Community

Tina sat watching the world go by from her balcony, life was difficult at the moment, they were only allowed to leave the building for food supplies, you even needed a piece of paper to leave. The outbreak had started a few weeks before, the government were desperately trying to contain what seemed to be a truly unpleasant form of elephantiasis. People started getting sick when the local river changed colour a few weeks ago, the town council didn’t do anything at the time of the change, it seemed insignificant, it looked muddy but that was normal, it was the same after a big storm. This time the water didn’t clear up, normally when they had a storm it would all settle within a day or two, local scientists were monitoring it closely, they tested multiple samples and there didn’t seem to be the usual worm infestation conducive to the cause of the disease. The disfiguration caused was horrific, the council refused to believe it was because of the water changing and blamed it on peoples poor hygiene, although the local doctors thought differently, they knew some of the patients they had seen were fastidiously clean (largely because they were helping them with dealing their OCD cleaning habits) but it was useless, it got to a point where people were quarantining themselves. The problem was the water was still infected, so quarantine wasnt helping, the cases stacked up in the hospital and the council started scratching their heads, resources were disappearing faster than they could order them and the budget for the next 2 years had already been spent.

People attempted to carry on buying bottled water, but soon the demand was so high it was impossible to get, boiling the water seemed to make no difference and the cases continued to increase, water was rationed so people took to drinking alcohol instead. The town was overrun with zombiefied drunk people, swollen from the fluid trapped in their bodies, Tina was watching yet another person stagger down the road, the 4th this morning, the sun was already high and the heat was making everything smell, the atmosphere in the town had become charged with bad energy, like the earth was punishing them for not taking heed. She had been working from home for the past few weeks and although she had a mild case it had actually passed quite quickly when she stopped drinking the water, others werent so lucky, they hadnt made the connection between the water and the swelling they just assumed it was something in the air or on peoples skin. Life was going to continue to be difficult until someone sorted the water source, unfortunately the council were slow and ineffectual, she foresaw that it would get much worse before it got better and something had to be done. Knowing that she could submit an anonymous story to the papers she drafted a proposal for a lead, slightly nervous of the outcome she uploaded it to the portal and hoped that someone would run with it. It needed an outsiders perspective. Within the week there was news coverage and the council were forced to take measures to prevent the spread, new rules came in and the river water was starting to slowly clear with the filtering system they had. It was a long process but eventually people would be safe and life would return to normal.

Life is a fragile thing, treat others as you would expect to be treated.

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