Who could have imagined it?

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It’s half past five on Easter Sunday morning. The mug containing the last inch of your first tea is cooling rapidly. You look at the empty street and wonder how the hell it got to this.

Let’s cast our minds and imagine the following situation.

It’s 2019, the 21st of December, Winter Solstice, and you are at a party thrown by a close friend of the family, just down the road. You and your mate are in the cinema-converted basement of said friend, polishing off the remains of an excellent fine wine, and of course listening to a battered vinyl copy of Rush’s opus. 2112. Required listening right? Hell yeah, its the 21st of December.

“You know Chris, there is talk of a new virus in China. One sweeping across its cities. Killing everyone in its wake.”

You look up, thinking, what the fuck is he talking about. Then it clicks.

“Yeah, I’ve seen that movie. It’s called 28 days later. Or something.”

The idea that perhaps both of you have imbibed a bit too much trickles into your alcohol fuddled brain. Good job you’re not driving.

“No you dumb fuck. It’s true. Seems they ate some bats or some strange animal and it has infected thousands.”

You nod in pretend agreement, even though the wine starts to catch up to the movement and sloshes aroud in your brain. Geddy Lee’s high pitched warble pierces your ears as ‘Temples of Syrinx’ swings into full tempo. This is the fucking life, you think. His words are harshing your mellow.

“James, you twat, gimme a break.”

“Ah you dumb fuck, you’re pissed, is all.” he replies.

You start wondering what the number for the nut house is…

Back to now, April2020, and as James walks his dog, you raise your arm in greeting.

“Hiya Chris. Remember what we talked about on 21/12?”

You can only nod in sad agreement. The third death has arrived, and the question you always dread in your mind is… will it be my turn next? Or my parents?

You watch James’ collie pull at her leash, leaving you, once more alone with your thoughts. Heading inside, you realize that as a vulnerable person, this is your fourth consecutive week without venturing out through the front door.

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