I can't help feeling a bit smug this morning. My first idea, that we annex the abandoned assisted living facility to better care for the folks hit by the plague, was shot down. If you're reading this, you know that. My second idea, however, has been accepted. In fact, it was so easy that we should be done with the lion's share of the work by the end of the day.
Simply put, we're using some of the shipping containers that haven't yet been added to the structures in the expansion. They already open on one end, and cutting doors in the other end and slapping hinges on them isn't all that hard. Well, not easy according to my brother but since I'm not the one who has to cut through the metal, I can't speak as to how difficult it may be. So. Yeah. Easy.
The plan is to line up two rows of three containers. That's 120 feet long per row. Certainly big enough for our current needs and beyond once we get them completely set up.
That's the hard bit. Yesterday the actual movement of the containers and adding the doors happened. Today we're heading out to several of the places I mentioned--nursing homes, hospitals, and the like--to haul in beds and whatever supplies we need to get them ready for human use. That's going to be dangerous.
The New Breed are out there in larger numbers than they've been averaging recently. Not a huge increase, but noticeable and worrying. Though we only have to travel a mile and a half at most, that's a risky seven and a half thousand feet given the number of hungry and possibly pissed-off undead bound to be moving around between here and there.
But given the additional seven sick people since my last post, it's not a thing we can avoid. Frankly, we're now beyond the point where we're just trying to make caring for our ill more efficient for the people doing it. We truly need the room in a very bad way. It's getting crowded even in the tents now, which reminds me...
We're not even the worst off of the communities we're aware of. The Exiles have started posting single guards instead of pairs at their outposts, and the ones they do leave out in the field by themselves aren't looking too healthy looking. We've received reports from most of the groups friendly to us that mirror what we're facing. The numbers fluctuate, of course, but the outlook isn't shiny pretty much anywhere you look. A few are still disease-free at the moment, but they're in remote locations that don't get much interaction with the undead or other people. They don't trade often.
There's one community that probably won't survive this. They started seeing cases of the plague less than two weeks ago, yet now more than half their population is bed-bound and incapable of doing more than moaning and taking in just enough nourishment to survive. They've had deaths, many of them, and more fall prey every day. Even if not another of them fell ill from here on out, there aren't enough folks to man the defenses and still care for the ill, much less continue to farm and pursue other needs.
And we can't do anything to help them. It's not an issue of wanting to, but the damage the plague is doing to everyone means our usual cooperative support efforts just aren't applicable. We're weak, and sending people out among the New Breed is too risky, for one. Two, we need our citizens here to care for our own people. It's the same all over: no one in positions to aide others can afford to. The people whose communities are so removed from civilization that they haven't been hit by the plague mostly don't have the resources to mount much of an effort to help. Even if they did, who would blame them for still choosing not to?
I can't think of too many people willing to risk infection on such a minor chance to do any good. Not when the stakes are this bad. I mean, you can fight most threats. You have control over that.
What's happening now, though...there's no way to resist it. It's a disease that can only be avoided, not combated. Most people's plan is to stay away from it if possible, and to suffer through it if not. Simple, but not easy.