Calm before the storm

The last time I felt this sense of foreboding I was 13 and sitting in a Middle School biology class with Mr Shoemaker. It had been a stormy morning and the wind gusts had been causing the school windows to clatter. We were Kansas kids, so we knew what it meant when the winds died down and the sky turned green. 

For months now, I have been lonely but not afraid. I knew what to do to keep myself safe and endured that to buy time while they developed better treatments and the UK decided to pay for vaccine alternatives.

I no longer feel that way. It’s impossible to ignore the warning signs. 

At the start of the pandemic I had a dream: Richard and I were sitting in a car on a beach. I was in the driver seat and we were stationary. Around us, other drivers were doing 360s in the sand, having fun but spinning closer and closer.  I felt trapped and couldn’t move. Finally I watched in slow motion as one hit us head-on and I woke up.

Around me the cars are spinning again: holiday parties, the heaving pubs, the Christmas shopping. “I can’t take another lockdown” “They’re all unvaxxed.” “It’s not as serious” “We have to learn to live with it” “Need to get on with normal life now.” 

Meanwhile the press raise their alarms: 2.5 times more transmissible. A tidal wave. 75000 deaths before March. Hospital admissions. Not a matter of if but when.  An emergency.

The world spins around me in slow motion and the tornado warnings sound. 

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