Olena's Journal: July 24th

A lot can happen in 24 hours.

I called the next-door neighbour, Julie. She has four kids and works for the newspaper. She was at the end of her rope caring for them, so I made sure my family was as comfortable as I could make them and went next door with some of my electrolyte solution. She was upstairs with her husband.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that he was dead – probably within the last five or ten minutes. July didn’t seem to be acknowledging it. I got her to go downstairs and I saw to the kids for a few minutes. I couldn’t deal with forcing her to see it. I suppose I’ll have to learn to do that at some point, but today I couldn’t.

Anyhow, the reporter came by. He’d heard people were gathering at the community centre as a makeshift hospital, and he’d come to drive Julie and her family over there. He did that and came back to tell me what was up. I borrowed Julie’s van and took my family over there, too. The librarian, Ms. Schiller, is the main organizational force there. The woman is insanely organized. She’s got me working triage, mostly, and sent the reporter off to do a mini-version of the paper and let people know they can come to the community centre.

It seems not quite everyone is sick. It runs to about three out of four people getting sick, which is about four times the infection ratio of the 1919 Spanish flu. The people dying are dying mostly because there’s no one around to make sure they get electrolytes. Katarina was put on an IV as soon as she got here, because I hadn’t been able to keep enough fluids in here. They’re only starting IVs in the most desperate of cases – they’re starting to run out. But she looks better even just a few hours later, and she’s going to get better care here.

I’m glad Ms. Schiller sent that reporter to work out in the town. He was getting on my nerves. The curse of being short. I made sure he was there when I mentioned to Ms. Schiller that I had a degree in biology and was heading to medical school in the fall.

I have to go. I’m stealing time from sleep to write, and I’m only guaranteed six hours before I’ll be back on duty. It’ll be the most sleep I’ve had in days, but still not enough.


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