Lauren grabs a bag of A positive blood and heads to the corridor. She has taken five already, slipping them under her coat. The government assured all of the population that they would be fine after everyone received the vaccine, but they left out a few details.
The Covid-19 pandemic ran its course, even with the mutation of the new strand. Coronavirus was eradicated.
Lauren went through the lobby of the hospital as usual after working twelve hours. The temperature checkpoints, spray down of antiseptic were enforced with entry. The locked doors between the screener and the patient had become vital. Only one person at a time with any signs of illness would be isolated immediately.
Richard, Lauren's husband, managed to get her attention as she walked down Milligan Boulevard. He had to relocate to evade capture. Richard was fifty-six and married a younger woman that he was thankful for every day. Lauren was bringing his lifeboat. She worked in the Lab as a phlebotomist and had access to the blood supply. Richard would have died months ago without her administering his transfusions. They longed for the good old days when age wasn't a factor in medical care.
During the pandemic, the government gave special treatment to the older population. The vaccine was given to the elderly first, then subsequently down to the young. The administers of the vaccine were not aware of the different strands. The way the government kept track of the variation was through generational screening.
The Greatest Generation was administered the first dose with only a few surviving. The Silent Generation's longevity depended on their body's ability to fend off the contagion before it overtook their RNA. Like the Bubonic Plague, they eventually all fell. Boomers survived longer due to their vitality, and Richard was in that group. The government found a way to control the population without the necessity for war. They were able to remove the aging population from the healthcare system.
Lauren needed to find a way to keep Richard alive. She knew she would eventually be discovered, fired, or even arrested. The transfusions only helped him temporarily. He was getting weaker with every infusion. Richard was the strongest man she knew, and it was devastating to watch as his body attacked itself. The mastermind behind the declining population executed their plan flawlessly. A target cell was introduced into the vaccine when administered to anyone over the age of fifty-five. Activation was not immediate, for the scare that the public would refuse the administration. The delayed effect gave the government enough time to feign innocence.
The media was given limited access to the data and only reported what the government deemed appropriate. Socialism was on the rise. A veil had covered the eyes of society with lies and misrepresentation, and the public had become immune to death.
Lauren discovered the transfusion to be effective accidentally as a last resort. She had smuggled antiviral medicine as well as antibiotics to no avail. Richard's symptoms kept deteriorating until Lauren noticed the pallor of his complexion. She brought the first bag home before he had to go into hiding, and he miraculously recovered for a time. Lauren decided that anemia was a symptom of the tainted vaccine. At work, she continued to analyze Richard's blood under a microscope discreetly. She was trying to identify the antigen and find a way to eradicate it before his blood supply ran out.
The government continued to issue false statements. The hospital was in on the hoax. Their patients' illness was on the death certificate under various causes of death such as Influenza, complications from Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, and Anemia. Lauren was struggling to make a breakthrough in determining the other components of the vaccine. She didn't know how many more times Richard would respond to the transfusion.
Two more days of work and Lauren would be able to stay with Richard. Their time together was minimal post-pandemic and had to be planned wisely. The conversation Lauren heard at the hospital between Dr. Cohen, and his colleague, Dr. Smith, made her aware of the urgency to hide Richard. He stated the main goal of the vaccine was to exterminate anyone over fifty. The government-funded programs would benefit. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid could be filtered into the stock market instead of paying out large portions monthly. The younger workers would be protected from the bankruptcy of the programs before they were old enough to collect. Dr, Cohen was satisfied with the government's decision since he was only thirty-two.
Times were changing; people didn't seem concerned with humanity. Death was expected and didn't evoke any emotions. Funeral services were closed to the public as well as hospital visitation. Everyone could only hope that they were given the opportunity to tell their loved ones how they felt while they lived.
Lauren walked into the Lab with a vial of Richards blood. She hoped today she would make the breakthrough of discovering the genetic mutation added to the vaccine. Lauren had come close several times to be disheartened by the wrong protein antigen. She wished she could trust someone. A microbiologist would be helpful in the study of the origin of the virus.
After completing the patient's lab work, Lauren took time to look at Richards's blood. She discovered an endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide, which she felt was responsible for the inflammatory response. She had been giving Richard ibuprofen which was readily available but realized the propionic acid in it aggravated the virus. Aspirin was made of salicylic acid. Lauren wondered if the cure could be as simple as taking a drug that was invented in 1897.
Lauren couldn't wait to get done with work to meet Richard and try Aspirin. As she went by Milligan Boulevard, she wasn't met by her husband. Lauren started to panic and went to the abandoned house where they had previously met. She found Richard laying on the floor. She ran to him to tell of her discovery. His body was still warm but she soon realized he was dead.
Lauren laid on the floor next to him crying when she saw his note.
My dearest Lauren, please don't cry for me. I know you will find a cure and be able to save many lives. My sacrifice will not be in vain, I am at peace knowing my blood contributed.
Until we meet again, my love.