First, our dog died. It was hard, my wife and I had got him when he was a puppy. We had him cremated and placed on the mantel over the fire place. We told our three-year-old son Rayray that he had gone away to live on a farm. We thought the trauma was over. We were wrong.
Rayray spiked a fever. We tried everything to break it before taking him to the hospital. I had never seen the hospital so overwhelmed with patients, they didn’t have enough beds. We were lucky and got Rayray into a room. That’s where having expensive insurance paid off. It didn’t help, he died a few hours later. Nothing anyone could do. Nothing. How do you blame the hospital staff? There were so many, old and young with the same symptoms and they just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I’ve never cried so hard or hurt so much in my life.
The CDC came, they did all sorts of tests trying to figure out what was going on. They seized my baby boy, we couldn’t even bury him. My wife got sick a few days later. I took her to the CDC hoping they had been able to find something to help her. She died screaming in their tent. Or maybe she passed out and died in her sleep. That’s what I hope happened. I will never know. They refused to let me see her. After two hours of waiting someone remembered to tell me that she had passed away. The sudden loss of my family was a pain unlike anything I had ever felt.
I left my car at the hospital and wandered into a nearby bar. I woke up the next day in the police drunk-tank. The police cut me loose as soon as I could stand on my own. There was no room to hold me, not enough beds. They were being overrun with 911 calls; the riots had started. The National Guard was called up, those that would respond, those that could respond. But they weren’t any better prepared.
My car was gone. I walked home and boarded up the windows. All I had left were reminders of a life my wife and I had built for ourselves, I didn’t want anyone destroying it.
The news was bad, people dying in the streets and being left to rot. The city wasn’t prepared. How do you prepare for a catastrophe of such magnitude? We had never faced anything like it before, we didn’t have the resources.
I was one of the lucky ones, I was prepared. They labeled me crazy, a doomsday prepper. Well, it came in handy, because a few days later power and water turned off. That’s when the world outside turned dark for me. I lost touch, but at night I could still hear the screams and see the flames. No more emergency services. I heard from a fellow prepper over the CB radio (my wife told me it was a waste of money. I can’t look at it without my eyes tearing up.) that the hospitals had shut down too.
When looters came to my home where my family had lived, I showed them on their way. The ones that wouldn’t give up I buried outback. I couldn’t just leave their rotting corpses outside.
They figured out what caused the illness during the blackout. It was our water supply, a contaminant we were unaware even existed. It never occurred to me that it could be our water. It looked fine. Tasted fine. When my wife got sick she was so thirsty. I gave her water hoping it would help, it didn’t quench her thirst. If I had given her soda instead… would she still be alive?
All this time, the very thing that was getting everyone sick was the water that we all trusted. I always thought that we would be destroyed from terrorism or a Nuclear attack, but never from our own water. There are some people who think it was an attack, I’m not so sure.
I’m left with two questions; How did this happen? And why didn’t I get sick? I had been drinking the same water.