Professor Malcolm Biederman had been monitoring the news all week. First the reporters talked about the avian flu: how San Lazaro had been unusually badly affected; how various vaccines were failing to contain the spread. Then it was all about how the airports were shutting down and the military was taking control of the city.
Long day. Thirteen clients at the salon. Some good tips but Mrs. Romero doesn’t like her highlights. Mrs. Romero is never happy with anything. Denise still can’t decide on her wedding dress – Brian told her he’s sick of hearing about it. I am too, to be honest. Hot dog for lunch, lots of mustard. I need to eat more salad. Bus gets stuck in traffic on the way home. Boring. But at least my phone update from Shui-Guo comes through – version six or something. Doesn’t look all that different to version five. Back home, I’m too tired to skate, even though it’s a nice evening out.
A lot can change in a month. San Lazaro was a modern, attractive city, popular for its West Coast location and diverse population. But the winter of 2050 was unusually mild; a perfect breeding ground for the latest bout of avian flu. Parts of Asia and Europe had already been struck and now the virus had reached the United States. When the first cases emerged, the media termed the event Day 0. The virus mutated rapidly. Even the elite team of scientists sent to deal with the outbreak were helpless, unable to make any progress in finding a cure.