Publish Novellas 27 April 2022
EPISODE 3 – HOPE
Drug manufacturers ramp up production of vaccines to flatten the curve of Covid cases and deaths.
Stimulus checks of equal amounts go out to every adult, including those in prison. The relief is sufficient for most people to pay bills for a week or two. Randal is happy to discuss with Cindy, his wife, what they will do with the money.
“I feel so thankful to receive these stimulus checks. As suggestions, we could buy clothes for the children, pay off bills, or have a date night.”
“Why choose one or the other. Let me budget how we can do a little of each.”
As the presidential election nears, there is confiscation of half the mailboxes in the country, 10 percent of mail sorting machines are taken offline, and many voting locations are closed. Despite what some view as election tampering, the political race continues and President Brandon receives the majority popular and electoral votes.
President Trope launches the most expensive legal battle in history, contesting election results to retain his White House leadership. Citizens complain that he is diverting attention away from the pandemic to himself.
During December and January, vaccines receive emergency-use-authorization. First priority are medical professionals and elderly within nursing homes. Nancy is so pleased to receive her injections that tears stream from her eyes during the vaccination.
The administering nurse asks, “Does it hurt?”
“No, I am just happy to receive my second dose of protection. I wouldn’t care if it burned like fire,” Nancy replies.
Margaret delivers her healthy baby girl named Amelia on January 6 in California. This same day, the nation’s capitol counts ballots to confirm the President Elect Brandon.
A few blocks away, President Trope holds a rally for thousands of assembled supporters. He fuels their ire by saying he is the true victor of the election. The massive crowd leaves to interrupt the presidential confirmation and deface the capitol. With two casualties and many injuries by nightfall, authorities regain control and the legal process continues.
Military commanders still under control of President Trope begin strategizing how to maintain order through the transfer of power at the inauguration on January 19, 2021. With a massive show of military force and a limited number of invitees, the new president is sworn in without further interference.
President Brandon announces a 100-day plan to turn the country around. He vows to accelerate vaccine production with a goal of the United States being mask-free by Independence Day in July. His goal is that the nation will be near to achieving herd immunity by then. By autumn, everyone in the country should have access to the vaccine, he envisions.
As more doses become available, the highest age group outside of nursing facilities receive vaccinations. Months pass and the age limit progressively drops. By June, the world discovers that COVID-19 is not restricting itself to the elderly. So those 12 and over qualify for vaccine. By September 2021, children age 5 and over can receive vaccinations.
Margaret is still traumatized by the events occurring on the day of her child’s birth. Though doctors say the vaccine is safe, there has been so much conflicting information. She does not want to risk contaminating her breastmilk with it.
There is a precipitous drop in the number of weekly vaccinations. The president does not anticipate that half the country would believe false stories and conspiracy theories, thereby refusing vaccination. Many vials expire and are destroyed. More ship to other countries.
With outdoor dining at local restaurants, mask wearing, and half of the country having vaccinations, the number of COVID-19 cases declines. But it is still spreading. Disturbing reports of a delta variant worry scientists. India becomes the country with the most COVID-19 cases. There and within the United States, the dominant number of patients contract the delta variant, which is 1000 times stronger than alpha.
The purpose of the vaccine is not to make people immune to the virus. It is to prevent severe illness and death. Vaccinated people can experience breakthrough cases of the virus—particularly the delta variant—and feel various symptoms for a day or longer.
One of the drug manufacturers recommends and begins preparing for distribution a booster shot. Fearing such an announcement will further erode confidence in the first vaccine, the CDC tells the public that a booster is unnecessary at this point.
In July 2021, state governors decide to open up businesses for vaccinated people. The maskless unvaccinated public tags along. News comes out that vaccinated people may be asymptomatic carriers. Within two weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases triple across 98 percent of the country.
Some leaders backtrack and order that wearing masks at indoor public places is necessary for everyone. It becomes mandatory for healthcare workers and government employees.