The new plague has appeared in other places. I'm not naming names--most of the communities in question don't want a weakness broadcast for everyone to read--but containment is no longer an option, if it ever was one. Evans thinks the most likely vector for the spread of the illness is the undead themselves, and zombies move around constantly.
You would think the barrier stopping the undead from crossing the river here in Franklin county would have spared the Exiles from the worst of it, especially combined with the fact that they don't interact with many outsiders and usually kill zombies from long range, but you'd be wrong. I thought the same thing until I read the reports on my desk from the watchers at the river.
Several Exile guards could be seen actively coughing and ill, exhibiting the obvious signs of infection by the plague. There was some question about whether that might have been a show put on by the Exiles to throw us off, but apparently almost all work at the fallback point has halted. No one is working their fields, no progress is being made on that boat they're building for whatever reason. Maybe some zombies worked their way north or south over a distant bridge and wandered down to infect the Exiles. Who knows how it happened?
The thing is, it happened. Some people might think this would be a great time to break the truce and strike them down, but I'm a fan of Star Wars. If we did that, chances are that the universe would give us the finger for being warmongering, opportunistic assholes and make the exiles pull a Kenobi and rise up more powerful than we could ever imagine.
Stupid, maybe, but in wholly practical terms it's just a bad idea. While we haven't had any more cases of the plague ourselves since yesterday, the ones we do have are starting to strain the resources of the clinic. The personnel over there have a lot of practice at efficiently caring for a lot of people at once, but no amount of work ethic or ability makes up for the reality of plain old hard work. There's only so much time in the day. Human beings doing work really is a resource, and we're running near capacity on that one.
I know the people in charge aren't thrilled with me right now, but this is a problem I think we can address somewhat. A big part of the issue is that the clinic and its support buildings weren't meant to be medical facilities. There's too much work to do in the limited space available, making it highly problematic to be as efficient as our people can be. Also, with space rapidly filling up, we're at a point where we have to change the game in order to manage what will probably be even more cases of the plague in a short period of time.
So I'm heading over to talk to Will. There are several empty nursing homes in town as well as some other similar facilities that might not hold as many people but are nicely appointed and really close. In fact, there's one literally a hundred feet outside of New Haven's wall. The only reason we haven't used it for anything yet is the extra work it would take to put a wall up around it. Oh, and repairing the damage done to the building when The Fall turned otherwise reasonable human beings into destructive pricks.
Now that we have so many sick people to care for, fixing the place up isn't a bad idea. Might not have been worth the time before, but with so much floor space and individual bathrooms and whatnot (though those will take some work to modify, obviously) our medical staff will be able to do a lot more with what they have. I think it'll work beautifully.
I don't know if other communities are facing the same problem, but it's clear that the plague is a problem all of us are going to be facing. If more can be done to mitigate the damage, we'll do it. We all live different places and have our own homes and friends to worry about, but in the end we're in this together.