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Rise of the MAD Flu: Day 6

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I’d been wondering what my mom meant when she said she’d seen things. I’ve never heard her so worked up.

Steph got home shortly after myself. It was then that she clarified the static-filled conversation we had as she was driving through the mountain pass toward home.

She told me what had happened before leaving early for the day; how she began to question everything she’s ever believed in, and come full circle.

A child by the name of Robert was feeling ill. From what I’ve heard in the past, this wasn’t unusual. Robert was gone 3 days a week with claims of illness. Those magical days he did show were filled with onslaughts of complaints; I have a headache, my stomach hurts, I can’t stop coughing (he would say with exaggerated loss of speech).

Steph never expected that the boy who cried wolf would be, well…the boy who cried wolf.

Once again, Robert was granted pardon. He knew the path to the nurse’s office well, which came in handy. Steph said that he looked like he was having real difficulty – like he was losing mobility and couldn’t see straight. He bumped into two students on the way to the door. Steph was thinking that if this was the fever, it was working quickly. It was only after everything happened, that she heard the details of the tragic event that took place at Emerald Elementary.

After a brief examination, Nurse Monica knew he should be at home or hospital. She instructed the boy to lie down on the cot as she made the call to his mother, who sounded like she was coming down with the same thing. She then called Stephanie to have a student bring Robert’s backpack to her office.

Given the symptoms, the nurse thought it best to contain what she had diagnosed as MAD flu.

Robert must’ve looked like he had fallen asleep. Worried, she went to check his forehead and was shocked to find a dramatic decrease in temperature. The fever had gone down, that much was certain. The strange thing was that it reduced in a matter of minutes.

Jacob, who was delivering the backpack, approached the glass wall to the nurse’s office. From there, he could see Robert pushing Nurse Monica against the east wall.

Blood sprayed against the glass. As the nurse forced the child away in shock, Jacob realized that she has been bitten. Horrified, he dropped the backpack and ran back to class.

All but one of the secretaries sprinted towards the principal’s office. The attendance secretary, Rose, remained. As she had the only seat not overlooking the nurse’s office window, she went to check on Robert and Monica. Rose gasped as Monica’s cries for help were silenced with a vicious bite to the throat.

Through the principal’s office window, they could see the blood making its way out of the nurse’s office. There was so much blood…pooling under the door and spreading across the floor.  Eustace, the principal, dialed the police…and called for a Code Red Lockdown over the intercom.

In her class, Stephanie did her best to keep the kids calm and quiet. Lights were off, doors were locked, and the children crouched under their desks; standard protocol, only this wasn’t a drill.

After the police arrived, Eustace ordered an emergency evacuation until further notice. Stephanie, Jacob, and the office staff gave their statements to the police, who answered with disbelief.

Most of the staff, including Stephanie, left immediately after.

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Rise of the MAD Flu: Day 5

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There was only one person I could turn to for some perspective; my mom.

My mom is known for being a little reactive in times of almost-crisis; Y2K, the Bird Flu and Swine Flu scares, to name a few. She has, however, been a nurse for over 30 years and a student of alternative medicine for nearly a decade. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the guru of everything medical.

Under normal circumstances (if there have ever been ‘normal’ circumstances), I would be warned to prepare for the worst, followed by rational, yet extreme arguments to explain her reasons for concern. This was a different kind of conversation.

She told me to leave work right away, and that on my way home to pick up ER bars, freeze dried food, and bottled water as I could. I barely had time to ask her what was going on when she said “Please, just listen to me. I’ve seen things that…” her breath stopped, “that you wouldn’t believe. Just get out of there now and make sure Stephanie”, my wife, “does the same. I’ll call you soon to figure out a plan.”

The conversation ended with my compliance. After what I’d heard yesterday…let’s just say I’m not feeling completely comfortable remaining a skeptic. No matter how much I’d like to avoid being caught up in this…well, despite not being able to explain yesterday’s turn of events, there is something…beyond my understanding going on here.

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Rise of the MAD Flu: Day 4

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It dawned on me. Not until this morning did I realize that Aaron, who works with me in our e-commerce department, also trains at that very base that is now quarantined.

I wanted to ask him if he’d seen anything this past weekend that might hint as to exactly what’s going on up there. When he sent an email out last night saying he wouldn’t be in to work due to illness, I assumed he was taking the day off to play the new Call of Duty (his own personal crack). After a long weekend on base, what better way to relax is there, than to slaughter unsuspecting human beings?

Figuring he was in perfect health, I called his cell to ask about the containment, if he’d seen or heard anything. That’s when a woman answered the phone. It was his mom. She had mentioned that he had been hospitalized several hours ago with fever, which took me by surprise.

I will never forget what I heard after that; a man in agony…a dying friend in the background of the line. Seconds later, the room went quiet, and a chill shot down my spine. The fever had killed him.

The phone on the other end dropped to the hospital bed. The next sound was her sobbing.

Then came the screams.

I can only describe what I heard as the tearing of flesh. Not just flesh…the sound of living tissue being ripped apart, followed by a gag and a gurgle against the speaker of the phone.

Commotion filled the hospital halls.

The line went dead.

I can’t begin to make sense of anything I just heard.

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Rise of the MAD Flu: Day 3

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Patient Zero. Nothing is being divulged to the public, except that a man by the name of Dean Foes, who had been stationed at Travis Air Force Base (about 30 miles southwest of San Francisco), is now believed to be the first diagnosed with this flu.

They’re calling it the MAD flu, which stands for Motor Ascendency of Dependent. The name obviously has reference to Mad Cow Disease, and basically means a complete motor function authority shift, in which the virus is completely in control of, and dependant on the human brain.

More paranoid theorists are calling it the Zombie Virus, as it apparently causes severe dementia, lack of coordination, and leaving the host to fits of rage, though no cases of that sort have been confirmed.

Of course, those who look to gain from mass hysteria (those out for ratings and/or with stock riding on the success of the new vaccine) aren’t objecting to the free publicity. The Zombie Virus title, conjuring sensational images of mindless, slow-moving and unrelenting creatures of the undead, coupled with the Travis Air Force Base quarantine, have certainly helped the buzz factor.

Though details are sketchy in regards to why a quarantine would be necessary, I have little doubt that, because this has quickly become a nation-wide scare, the President would rather over-react to this situation now than be eaten alive after the fact for not doing enough in times of supposed crisis…if this were to actually become a real threat.

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Rise of the MAD Flu: Day 2

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I wouldn’t classify myself as paranoid or a conspiracy theorist, by any means. But when we’re told that this new virus can actually alter the behavior of those infected…to be a danger to those around them, one has to wonder what the media’s true objectives are.

Now, instead of feeding on fears based on our own health, they intend to attack them as they relate to our family and friends.

This is a sample from the latest newscast: “We strongly urge everyone to be vaccinated. There have been reports of serious injuries to those within close proximity to the infected, by the infected. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.”

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Rise of the MAD Flu: Day 1

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Let me start by saying that I’m sick of the media feeding on our fears. It seems they’ll stop at nothing for ratings; embellishments, omitting facts, creating entire stories based on a grain of salt. Whatever happened to honest reporting?

Well, that’s why I’m writing this. We can no longer take what the major outlets try to pass off as truth. Those days are gone.

Let me begin by introducing myself and lay out what you can expect from me. My name is Nathan. I’m a designer for an online retailer and, given my occupation, I felt like contributing something more, something with substance.

So here I am. If I can lay some truth out there so the world isn’t completely over-saturated with bull, I’ve done my job.

The first topic of discussion is this new flu going around. I’ll be reporting what I see on a daily basis; how many people I see keeling over in the frozen goods aisle of Vons, the number of employees calling off work, etc. I’m looking forward to your comments to tip the scales in favor of truth and honesty for a change.

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