I’m not sure why I’m still alive, but here I am. According to the news reports, while they were still broadcasting, no one who contracted the virus ever recovered. They said a small percentage of people could be immune, but if you caught it, you died; what happens after that is a different story, if you believe it. The last news report I saw before I passed out was very early on Wednesday, which would have been Day 3. I wasn’t sure that what I saw was really happening, I had a pretty bad fever by that time, but Ann Curry was saying that some people who died of the virus didn’t stay dead. It sounded absurd, and I may have been hallucinating. I assume that what is happening is that people are falling into deep comas, suffering some brain damage, probably caused by the high fever, and then they’re waking up. This seems like the most logical explanation, and I’m probably lucky to have survived with my mind intact.
I doubt anyone will ever see this, but writing usually helps me sort things out, and the way things look right now, it may help me maintain my sanity. My name is Barnett Jane. Most folks like to call me BJ. I sometimes answer to Barney, or Barns. I’ve even answered to asshole on occasion, but that was usually directed at me by ex-girlfriends. I struggled an inordinate amount of time deciding how to date my entries, and finally decided go with a whole new calendar (this is usually done by people marking major historic events, and I think the decimation of most of the human race counts). I’ve started counting from Monday, March 5, when the first real report of the flu pandemic appeared. It probably really started a week or two before that, but this should work.
Most people, like myself, weren’t too concerned when news of the flu outbreak in Europe hit the airwaves. Even reports of the high death rate weren’t taken all that seriously at first. I mean, come on, it was just the flu, it sucks when you get it, but it’s hardly a reason to panic. But then it spread; fast. It had probably already been spreading for a while, but suddenly it was here and people were going crazy, fighting over flu shots in drugstores, rioting in grocery stores, overwhelming hospital emergency rooms. President Obama went on TV and asked people to remain calm. But he shut down trading on the stock market, grounded planes, and then finally, though too late, declared martial law. I was already beginning to feel sick by that point and figured I was screwed.
But I woke up this morning. I actually felt really good, aside from the fact that I was starving and covered in, well, a lot of things. After I cleaned up, my shower was cold but I still have water, I raided my refrigerator for whatever was salvageable. I still feel hungry now, but I guess three days without eating will do that to you. It was around noon, and I went out onto my balcony. I live near the top of my building and have a really spectacular view of the Seattle skyline. It was so quiet. I could hear the wind, and birds singing, but nothing else. Usually there are traffic sounds and jets flying overhead and sirens and music and all the typical background noise that humans make, but there was nothing. I looked down and nothing was moving, no cars, no people, nothing. I screamed out at the top of my lungs and all I got in return was the echo of my own voice.
The power is out. The building has an emergency generator, but it either ran out of fuel already or no one got it going. I haven’t left my apartment to check yet, I’m… Fine, I’m afraid to leave. I know I’ll have to venture out soon, just not yet. There are solar panels on the roof of the building, but they aren’t intended to power everything. I think if I can shut everything else in the building down, I might be able to power my apartment, but that’s going to be a lot of apartments to go through. I’ll have to do it anyway at some point; I don’t have that much food here. My MacBook still has juice, that’s what I’m writing this on, but the Internet is gone.
It’s dark out now and I have a couple candles burning, leftovers from my last girlfriend. It’s so strange not being able to see all the buildings lit up, just the dark outline of Seattle against a slightly lighter, star-filled sky. There are a few spots of light, here and there. Probably battery powered emergency lights, maybe a generator or two still running, maybe other survivors; I’ll have to figure out how to secure the doors to the building in the morning. It’s probably been 100 or more years since you could see so many stars over Seattle.
I’ll keep the journal going for as long as I can, and may have to switch to paper and pencil at some point; hope I can remember how to use them. I doubt anyone will ever find and read this, but keeping a record seems like the right thing to do. If someone is reading this… Best not to think about that right now, I’m still pretty freaked out by what’s happening. Man, I hope I can handle this.