The first comment on yesterday's post, which was a rant on my part and fairly long, began with a question. I was asked if I felt better. No. I don't. I don't feel at all good about this situation or the hard call we as a community have made to protect ourselves from near-certain calamity.
Then again, that choice ultimately seems to have been the right one, because people are dying in Louisville despite the best efforts of the healthy folks there to prevent it. And they're coming back as zombies, right there in the crowded rooms where the rest of the defenseless sick people are located. Not after a few hours, either. We've seen it before in isolated cases, but the people in Louisville dying from whatever disease is ravaging their population are coming back in minutes, sometimes much faster.
Maybe it has to do with how weak they become as they fail, their immune systems no longer able to fend off control by the plague thoroughly rooted in every system of their bodies. I don't know any facts, there. I'd have to study it to have any idea at all.
What I do know is the sudden onslaught of dying people rising up to consume their neighbors has put Louisville in a panic. Just as we feared, they've begun following through on their threat to come here. It's a last gasp effort on their part, because it's going to take the last of their resources to load everything up and head this way. They expended much of what they'd saved up moving to the place they all live now--a sports arena, I can now say without fear of bringing enemies down on them--and what little is left in fuel and food will come east with them. Toward us.
Those New Haven citizens that went there to help are trying to convince them not to do it, as I understand. Faced with the impending certainty of their arrival, the council met this morning. For the record, I fought hard for a compromise that might save us from having to do something we'd regret for years to come. I wanted to set up a rough quarantine zone a few hundred yards west of New Haven that we could put wide patrols around. We could drop off water there, or rig up a crude gravity system to supply the area with water without having to come close. Food would be a bit more tricky but ideas were floated.
We wouldn't provide any manpower inside. The amount of effort required to do this would/will take away from our expansion efforts pretty drastically. We're already behind schedule due to all the recent storms, but faced with no other option than to fight, we decided that doing something to help no matter how minimal on our part would be infinitely better than having to do violence to friends.
Make no mistake: our position hasn't changed. Our goal here is to prevent risk to New Haven, plain and simple. The Louisville people have forced us into a corner here, and we've pulled half the assault teams from zombie cleanup duty to help our scouts out in watching for the convoys we know will be coming. We are doing the bare minimum to ensure there is little to no contact between the two groups. If that means losing some days of work and using up some supplies to keep them from coming closer to us, then that's what we'll have to do. The only other option is to fight them, as I said, and we want to avoid that if at all possible.
The council agreed to a modified version of my idea, hinging on agreement from the Louisville crew themselves. So far there hasn't been a response from them. Our volunteers there say that every time they try to talk to the remaining leadership about it, they get sent to do other work after being told it's under discussion.
For us, the priority is not allowing a known infectious agent to enter New Haven. If a person or a family, or even a huge group like the migrants that will be here all too soon, happen to come here to live and bring some unknown disease with them, we can't stop that. If people aren't aware of what's happening then there isn't any way to stop it. That's the difference here. The Louisville group knows exactly what's happening to them, and they've forced us into making concessions to help them. But they aren't coming through our gates, it's as simple as that. If things work out, they won't come within fifty feet of another New Haven citizen until the sickness in them has run its course.
We'll risk a quiet, lurking illness when bringing people here to live. We can't turn away everyone because of what might happen. Rather a lot of you have made that point: will we turn away a person who shows up looking for a safe place away from the wandering dead? Of course not. We wouldn't even turn away a sick person. We'd isolate them and treat them. Again, we'll take in a lot of people even knowing that some of them may carry bugs in with them.
But if you can't understand the difference between those scenarios and a group of people actively wasting away and dying from an incredibly virulent illness with an insanely high transmission rate, then there's something wrong with you. I will risk being burned to help a person, but I won't risk the lives of others to do it. Sorry for the roughness, but I just don't get how people can't see the difference. To me, the Louisville crew coming here isn't much different than a terrorist ransoming a city with the threat of a biological weapon.
I know they're desperate and afraid. I would be too. Hell, I am. As much as I hate the tactic they're using, I get that it's the only thing they can do. It's a last-ditch effort to get help, because the Louisville crew are desperately trying to protect and save their people as all survivors do. If it weren't my home they were coming for, I'd applaud the balls it takes to risk so much.
But they are a threat, regardless of any other facts. One we can hopefully manage peacefully when our scouts intercept them on the way here. I don't pray much, but this morning I really am praying for that.