The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. — John Maxwell —
October 7th (Tuesday)
The official government stand was that the commotion at the international airport was all under control. However, the area surrounding the quarantine compound has been barricaded with a strong army presence. The independent social media on the other hand was having a field day, unofficial reports of pilgrims being shot at or injured and the impending deadly infection spread like wildfire. The government controlled news agencies were asked to report on other issues, avoiding this thorn.
Flights from Saudi Arabia seemed to have stopped. The West are pulling out all their troops from the Middle East, even the embassies are not spared. A worldwide evacuation process was being carried out. Something serious must be going on out there in the Middle East. Rumours were circulating online about cannibalism. Crazy people do crazy things during crazy times.
The Prime Minister was featured again on the prime time news asking the people to stay calm and do not panic. Anyone with flu-like symptoms was required to seek treatment at the nearest hospital. There will be enough medications for all, he elaborated. Yeah right, our department was inundated with patients seeking treatment. By noon, almost all our face masks have been given away. Everyone was asking for antibiotics despite the reassurance that the infection is most likely viral. On top of that, quite a number came in with scratch marks, but I was too busy to delve further into their history.
There were plenty of cars on the road, seems like everyone in town is out, probably stocking up on facemasks and food stuffs. My family were out shopping too and they said the queues were long. Nobody seemed to know what was going on but were just following what the others are doing. Sirens could be heard in the distance. We would have to keep watch tonight, for the looters. I took out my crossbow; this would make do as a gun replacement in any worst-case scenario imaginable. At least guns are strictly controlled but not so for other weapons. I have only used the crossbow for recreational purposes, one of the excessive purchases I made on a whim after watching a few episodes of The Walking Dead. All I needed was to cause injury to the looter and that would be good enough as a deterrent. I handed the other two to my Dad and Mark, they could training by shooting at the post I placed as target practice. For close quarters combat, I’m going to rely on the titanium crowbars that Dad picked up during his shopping spree. They are lightweight and can be use to hit or stab.
Standing on my rooftop surveying the neighbourhood, I saw a few families packing their stuffs onto SUVs and driving away, it wasn’t the holidays yet, I wonder where were they headed to? The Doomsday Preppers actually believed that the safest place lies in the wilderness, away from the densely populated areas. I for one do not think so; I feel that familiarity to the surroundings would be an advantage. Not to mention having a roof overhead and a whole pile of food. The town lay quiet as far as my eye could see, it was a clear night. This is a nice place to grow up in, a peaceful and idyllic suburban township surrounded by a bay. The city of 300,000 inhabitants lies just beyond the bay. It was by no means the largest city but it does have the country’s naval academy. It is closer by ferry rather than by car. By car, we need to take the motorway, cross the bay via the bridge, which lies a good 10km away from the town. Non peak hours will take me half an hour to reach the city, during peak hours maybe up to an hour or so. The motorway beyond the city joins up with a mesh of motorways connecting to other cities including the capital, some 500km away.
Speaking about the capital, the unthinkable happened at the international airport. Those under quarantine managed to break through the cordon surrounding their building. Details are a bit sketchy at the moment but there was raw footage online taken by those at the airport lounge. Gunfire was heard too. Which crazy government shoots its own people? How on earth did those patients who are supposed to be ill managed to do so? These are armed guards we’re talking about.
Riots are breaking out across the world too, and I noticed a pattern, there are all within the near vicinity of an airport. This could probably be down to the fact that the people has had enough, they wanted to see their families. The US President gave a speech and was bombarded with so many questions from the journalists that they had to cut it short. Nobody wants to be upfront about the current situation. The CDC and the WHO are acting deaf and dumb towards the issue. There are also unconfirmed reports about death following exposure to the contagion, whether is it due to the NCoV or is it an entirely new virus, no one knows. By the way, they are starting to call it the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
My shift is almost over, time to wake Mark up, will probably have more to share tomorrow.