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Olena's Journal: July 28th

Geez, this is insane. I have to find time to document things here. I don’t think anyone else is doing it. Historical record and all that. But there’s so much that needs doing, and so few people who can do it.

There are committees set up to go knock on doors and encourage people to centralize in the community centre. About half of those we talk to end up coming. A lot of doors go unanswered. They mark those ones and someone comes around later to find out if everyone inside is dead. It feels rather medieval – a pickup truck with two people in back, carrying sheet-wrapped bodies for burial in mass graves. The only thing missing is the smell of sulfur being sprinkled on them. I know Ms. Schiller is trying to ensure that not too many people realize how many have died, but I saw her numbers. About half of the people who appear on a list, appear on a list of the dead. Half. HALF. If that number is accurate, there are more than 2000 people dead in this town. That death toll hasn’t been seen since the Black Plague. I wish I could remember the specific numbers – I think even the Plague didn’t carry off that many of its victims.

There’s also a group of – the only word that comes to mind is “scroungers.” Their job is to go to all the houses that have nobody left in them and take any foodstuffs that are still usable. Ms. Schiller’s efficiency strikes again – she’s even attempting to keep track of where stuff comes from. All the guns and ammunition from local hardware stores have been stored at the police station across the street, but we didn’t get to all of them – most of the holdouts are also armed. Anyway, the scroungers are also going to the outlying farms. We’ve got one farmer’s wife who isn’t sick, who said she had no real love of taking care of sick people, but she can bake bread all day to keep people fed. Since flour, sugar, and water are all non-perishables that are available in every household, and she’s using a sourdough starter rather than dry yeast, she can keep us going in bread for weeks on end. She even went back to her house long enough to harvest some herbs – so each loaf tastes a bit different. Whoever thought that in this day and age, an old-fashioned skill like breadmaking would be more than a curiosity?

A group is developing, of people who want to take an interest in the makeshift government we’ve got going. There’s about six of us. The mayor is dead, the deputy mayor is still ill, and we haven’t been able to contact the other three town council members at all, so the most official person is Constable Rath, the police officer. There’s Ms. Schiller, and Dr. Glover, and the reporter is on it, too. He’s an idiot. Actually, that’s unfair. He knows his job and his role in the crisis, but he insists on patronizing people and he’s too jolly-good optimistic. Still, he’s working hard to get the word out to the people who need to hear it, so i guess I should lay off him. Probably. I’ll let you know when I do.

Let who know?

I can’t let myself think about that. This is a private journal now, at least for the time being. When the army lifts the quarantine, I’ll publish it for the world to see. Until then, it appears we’re on our own.

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