Author Topic: Cabin Fever Culture  (Read 375 times)

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Offline kimmy

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Cabin Fever Culture
« on: April 04, 2020, 11:33:11 pm »


Brett arrived at the door of Dr Fairfield's laboratory.  The retina scan confirmed his identity, and the outer air-seal broke with a gentle hiss. He stepped into the airlock.  The outer door closed behind him, and fans began to whir.  After a moment the inner door opened. In the dim light of the heat lamps and medical equipment, he could see Dr Fairfield hunched over her microscope. Her long, auburn ponytail was splayed out across the back of her white lab coat, and her slim shoulders looked frail and defeated. She looked up as the airlock closed behind him, and she made a tight-lipped attempt at a smile. Brett could tell that things weren't going well.

“Status?” he asked as he walked through the lab, past the plexiglass mouse habitats. Inside, the little white mice were coughing and sniffling. Some of them were shivering, others were barely moving at all. Brett noticed more little crosses in the mouse graveyard, at least twice as many as he had seen just a couple of days earlier.  He did the numbers in his head... this wasn't linear growth. It was exponential.  The curve wasn't planking, or even flattening.

“They're all dying,”  Dr Fairfield said sadly, her slight southern accent coming out, as it did when she was stressed. “I'm sorry, Director Stryker. They're all dying.” She stood up and turned to face him. She seemed too young to be a real scientist, too young to bear such a heavy burden. The strain was etched on her face.  “How can I save the world if I can't even save my mice?”

“Annabelle, you're not in this alone,” he said, trying to reassure her. “The whole team is with you.  What can you tell me?”

“My new vaccine was fighting the virus,” she explained, “But then the mice started getting sicker. The vaccine is dangerous. The covidity is too high.  I'm synthesizing a  new batch with lower coronaticity.”

“No,” Brett told her. “I need you to increase the coronaticity! I need maximum coronaticity!”

“No, Director Stryker! It's too dangerous!” she protested. “The coronaticity is already near the safety limit!”

“This is a health emergency! This is no time for safety!” he told her. “We need maximum coronaticity to fight this damned virus!”

“Nobody has ever attempted maximum coronaticity before! We have no idea what the effects could be.”  She motioned toward the mouse graveyard. “If those were people instead of mice... if my vaccine starts killing people... I would never sleep again. I could never look at myself in the mirror...”

“People are already dying, Annabelle! We have to stop this fast! What other options can you give me?”

“I could use the mutex to evolve a strain of coronogens that have high coronaticity with lower covidity. It will be less dangerous for the patients.”

“That would take weeks! We don't have weeks!” he shouted at her, but he stopped himself. No matter how desperate the situation, yelling at her wouldn't make it better. He took a deep breath. “This situation is already at COVID-19, but it's only a matter of time before it reaches COVID-20 or even COVID-22. Do you know what happens if this reaches 22?”

“Millions-- billions-- could die,” she whispered. “Civilization collapses. It could be an extinction level event.”

“Exactly. Which is why we need to stop this now. Before it reaches 22. Before it reaches 20. We need that vaccine now. Increase the coronaticity. We're going live with the vaccine. No more mice. No clinical trials.”

“So if my vaccine doesn't kill the patients, the COVID is going to do it first. Gawd damnit, Brett!” Annabelle cursed, her southern accent fully exposed as she lost her composure. “You don't make this easy for me!”

“COVID Force isn't easy, Annabelle,” Brett told her. “COVID Force is hard. You told me you wanted it hard when I recruited you. If I didn't think you could handle it hard, I would have left you in Georgia making designer viruses to kill peach weevils. I thought you could do this. I thought you could handle the pressure. Did I pick the wrong scientist?”

“My work with the weevils was important!” she spat, fighting back tears.

“I know it was, but saving the human race is more important,” he told her. “COVID Force isn't all dinners with the President and interviews on FOX News. We have to do this. We have to stop this thing cold. We're out of time. So we need that vaccine now. Tonight.”

“But it's never been tested on people,” she told him. “We can't release the vaccine without testing it on human subjects. It's too dangerous.”

“I have a human test subject for you.”

“Who?” she asked. “Who would be dumb enough to risk their life on--”

Instead of a reply, he began rolling up his sleeve, revealing his muscular forearm. For a moment it looked like she might tell him it was too dangerous. But she must have known that arguing would not change his mind, that nothing could talk Brett Stryker out of putting his life on the line for the good of the nation.

“Alright,” she said after a moment. “Before we do this, I need a favor.”

“Of course,” he said. “What can I do for you, Dr Fairfield?”

“I want you to call me Belle,” she told him, removing her glasses.  She pulled the tie from her ponytail, letting her auburn hair spill free. “And I want you to penetrate me, like respiratory droplets penetrate a cloth mask.”

Without a word, he grabbed the collar of her lab coat and pulled it open, sending buttons flying.

. . . . .

“How is your new project coming along?” Sheikh Ahmed al-Shabbaz asked, his jovial face filling the monitor. Though we couldn't meet in person anymore, we could at least share a drink via Skype.

“It's amazing!” I exclaimed, unable to hide my excitement. “I think I finally have my best seller.”

“Excellent, excellent!” he replied. “I must ask... what about scientific accuracy? Have you done your research?”

“Absolutely!” I told him. “Everything is double-checked! In fact, I'm working with the same people who did the scientific consulting for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation! So you know it'll be the most accurate information.”

“Good, good, I would not want you to be spreading misinformation!”   He paused to take a sip of his drink.  “Well, I shan't keep you from your writing. Best wishes on your best seller!”

“Thank you!” I told him, hoisting my own drink toward the laptop.  “Take care, be safe out there!”

“And you as well, Kimberly,” he replied, raising his drink in reply.

A moment later he disappeared from the monitor. My chats with the Sheikh always boosted my spirits. I returned to my writing.

“As he pulled the lab coat over her shoulders and down her slender arms, Brett looked into Annabelle's-- Belle's-- sea green eyes, at the pale skin of her cheeks as she became flushed with excitement...”

 -k
Masked for your safety.

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Offline MH

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 03:36:56 pm »
That relationship is inappropriate, therefore I shan't enjoy.

Before that, I liked the mouse crosses.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 11:03:56 am »
That relationship is inappropriate, therefore I shan't enjoy.

"God damn it, Hardner! This is a pandemic! This is no time to play by the rules!" Stryker's voice blasted from the sat-phone, blowing Michael's hair back. I wonder who pissed in his cornflakes, Michael thought to himself.

I took a sip of my coffee, idly wondering if there was a way to work Agile Office Environment into COVID-Force.

 -k
Masked for your safety.

Offline MH

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2020, 11:53:50 am »
This is your 'Stranger than Fiction'

Offline waldo

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 01:12:03 pm »
punyStryker is no match for the Branch Covidians!

Offline JBG

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2020, 07:02:31 pm »
punyStryker is no match for the Branch Covidians!
I'll remember that nickname.
Trump - Watch what he does, not how he says it.

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Offline MH

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 04:43:46 am »
TWO couples dropped by, separately, to hang for a bit at distance.  That felt great.  Easy kept trying to get near 'em though  ;D

Offline kimmy

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 03:08:18 pm »
FINALLY !  SOMEONE LET ME OUT OF MY CAGE !


GETTING OUT AND FEELING HAPPY IS THE LATEST RAGE !
 -k
Masked for your safety.
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Offline MH

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 03:16:34 pm »
We visited my brother and his mate at safe distance yesterday.  Easy doesn't really know them and kept bugging us to leave.  By crying.

But it felt good.  Also being in the backyard with no noises, no planes in the air, only the sounds of neighbour families ... feels like a cottage.

Offline the_squid

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 03:23:40 pm »
I get out all the time.  Not sure what the problem is. My spouse and I are always at the beach...  we dig clams...  we go fishing...  the difference is, I'm not doing those things with my buddies and same with her.

I don't socialize with friends nearly as much...   and by not much, I mean nearly never.  I go for walks with a disabled friend, who gets out and is less risk than I am even.  We stay at a social distance as much as possible, but that's not always perfect because she needs help with housework, groceries, etc.  Plus, she's probably at higher risk due to her conditions.  Which is why I have taken very few risks by being around other people and take the necessary precautions.  I've been to the grocery store, and that's it, with all the precautions necessary.

It's the least I can do for my fellow citizens. 

So stop f'kn whining...  the shut downs and precautions in BC have been very minimal compared to many places.  And yet the whining persists.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 03:44:59 pm by the_squid »
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Offline kimmy

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2020, 03:37:36 pm »
I'm not whining, I'm celebrating!

 -k
Masked for your safety.

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2020, 11:47:34 pm »
I haven't seen a female nipple in-person in about 3 weeks.   ???
"The economy has been relatively strong but Trudeau has chosen to run deficits year after year & has said will continue to do so well into the future.  This means we'll be in a worse & more vulnerable financial position when a recession hits when we HAVE to run deficits again." - Me, Oct. 3, 2019
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Offline MH

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2020, 07:01:01 am »
Explain?

Offline the_squid

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2020, 02:37:43 pm »
Explain?

His mom went on holidays.

Offline MH

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Re: Cabin Fever Culture
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2020, 03:22:31 pm »