How to do a Pandemic Response on an Inhabited Planet and not Disturb Anyone.
Preface; This is a fictional story. I think fiction is often the best way to explain difficult ideas. The argument here is in the conflict some people find between their idea of civil liberties and the obligation of government to protect public health, especially in response to a pandemic.
The story is based on the series of “Basic Outcome” stories that I have been working on, which use the imaginary Planet Nearth to illustrate the likely consequences of different approaches to a Basic Income and to a post capitalist society.
These can be found here;
It was a fine afternoon in alternative time line number DFL70709102-C614 for planet Nearth, at the Gloctopus Metals Corporation Investium mining concession base camp in one of the Joint Authority Zones in the less radioactive areas of South Continent. The air temperature was a brisk twenty Nearthian degrees below zero.
The air crackled and the snow squeaked under their boots as Alena Bangledip and Cleopatra Zwiff of the InterNearthian joint pandemic response teams followed their two watchers/helpers from the corporate security force up the path to the prefabricated structure housing Healthiness Disagreeing Personnel Non Optional Housing Location number three.
The door opened. They entered the vestibule. A beeping monitor screen informed them that they had not carried any radioactive particles into the building. Their helpers led them to the interview room. Helper number 476 spoke briefly over his neovec™ to the facility’s concierges.
Said 476; “They’re bringing them out. It’s just those two you want to talk to; the leaders?”
Said Cleo; “We’ll try to get through to them first. They could convince the rest. Most of the rest. It’ll be easier if you guys wait outside. They’ll be less defensive…”
“We’ll be right outside if you need help.”
Alena and Cleo laid their equipment on the table and sat down on the outwardly side. They sloughed off their cold weather clothing and adjusted their full face transparent antiviral masks. They were silent a moment.
Alena spoke up; “If past experience is any guide, this will be a lot tougher than with the right wing type of vaccine refusers.”
Cleo; “With the right wing libertarian, anti authoritarian,… commotioners…it’s really just punk behaviour. Oppositional defiant…someone is trying to make ‘em do something.
Punishment, loss of privileges, is pretty effective.”
Alena sighed; “But with the left side of it, the left libertarians, the anarchists, the problems seem much more deep rooted.”
Cleo; “Um, Hm…We signed on for a tough job. Makin’ Planet Nearth safe from the Megalovirus and the megalomaniacs.”
Two leading residents of the building walked in and sat down on the inwardly side of the table. One began to pound on the table.
“GET THAT SPRONXIN’ JUNK OUT OF MY SIGHT! YOU WILL NEVER FORCE THIS VACCINATION ON ANY OF OUR COMRADES…”
The two vaccinators obligingly laid their kits on the floor below her sight line.
Said Alena; “Good afternoon, Berzinda Kazurdle.”
Berzinda made it loudly, obscenely, and lengthily clear that she found nothing good about the afternoon.
After a short while, Cleo spoke; “Look! If all you’re gonna do is screech at us, you might as well just go back through the door and we’ll do this the hard way.”
“WE ARE IMMUNE TO YOUR THREATS AND YOUR DISINFORMATION ABOUT THE MEGALOVIRUS. WE KNOW YOU CREATED IT YOURSELF. YOU…DIRIGIA FAKE SOCIALISTS…REALLY JUST THE OLD CENTRALIAN EMPIRE PLOTTING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD AGAIN…”
Cleo; “She’s Dirigian. I’m Frostian. We work in teams, people from all the post capitalist bloc nations. To stamp out the megalovirus all over the world. We’re puttin’ our own lives and health in danger to help protect yours so…”
“LIES! LIES! LIES! YOU ARE WORKING WITH THIS CAPITALIST BLOODSUCKER CORPORATION FROM NEW OGID. YOU ARE FORCING US TO TURN OVER BIOMETRIC, PERSONAL INFORMATION, BEFORE WE GET THIS VACCINE!”
Cleo; “Well, at least you’re not trying to claim the virus is a big hoax, like some of the gootlers next door, in the right wingers detention building.
But that’s the rules. We didn’t make ‘em. The Zone Joint Authority, or I mean the big corporations who’ve hijacked it, made ‘em. It’s the capitalist bloc’s rules. You turn over all personal information including DNA, stuff like that, or you don’t get the vaccine. And you don’t get this medical passport they have. You sit in the quarantine buildings.
Those are the rules the…folks running this zone made…” She gestured toward the door, where the shadow of one of the helpers could be made out, with his ear to it. “… and we agree that it shklurks, but that’s the reality you’re in. We’re in.”
Alena looked closely at the second resister in the room. The second resister looked closely back at Alena.
Berzinda silently fumed for a few moments. Then; “YOU WILL LET US LEAVE IMMEDIATELY TO GO WHERE WE CHOOSE, UNDER THE LAW OF REFUGEES.”
Alena; “The law of refugees was revoked nearly thirty years ago. You cannot simply go wherever you please and expect to be taken in.
Actually, clarified thirty years ago. You have the right to be moved out of danger, provided material assistance, but you are not in danger or materially deprived here. You are detained because you will not follow the rules.
You are also free to leave if you have someplace else to go to.”
“ WE WILL DEMAND OUR RIGHT TO GO WHERE WE WANT. NO ONE IS ILLEGAL! WE REFUSE ALL TYRANNY…AND WILL RESIST…”
Alena waved her comvec™, showing a file on Berzinda. “You don’t have many options on where to go. You’ve burned your bridges in most non capitalist states. You can go back to Northia, you came here from there, but the laws are the same as here. Full disclosure or no vaccine or tests, no med passport, and quarantine until you comply, plus the near certainty of eventually contracting Megalovirus D.”
“WE WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO VACCINATE ANYONE IN THIS BUILDING UNTIL YOU PROVIDE IT TO EVERYONE WITHOUT CONDITION! NO MEDICAL PASSPORTS.”
Berzinda lunged at Cleo’s kit with the apparent intent to seize it. Cleo’s quick and resolute reaction caused her to abandon the attempt.
Cleo and Alena rose, took in hand their coats and kits, and turned toward the door. The other resister in the room tugged at Alena’s coat.
Shrieked Berzinda; “YOU WILL LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE! GO! CRAWL BACK TO YOUR CONTROLLERS FROM THE FLAXIST SECRET POLICE. WE WILL NOT GIVE IN! THAT IS OUR MESSAGE!”
The silent resister got up and walked out the inward door, gesturing to Berzinda to follow. A surprised Berzinda hurried after her. The silent one deftly tripped up Berzinda, jumped back through the door, and closed it behind her. Someone in the control booth from which the room was monitored was clueful and immediately locked the door.
Berzinda pounded on the door and demanded to be let back in. Those in the room sat down again.
Alena looked to her comvec. She said; “Suzi Ozcati. Hi.
By the way, I am Alena Bangledip and this is Cleo Zwiff.”
“Pleased ta make yer acquaintance,” said Cleo.
Beyond the inwardly door, Berzinda objected loudly and obscenely as she was hustled away to somewhere else.
“Hello.” Said Suzi. She studied the two for a moment. “Unlike Berzinda, I try to avoid being confrontational. I try to get people to think about what they are doing.”
Cleo snorted; “”Oh, can everybody just please think about this?” The motto of the paranoid nutzer.
Like, The Meg has forced everybody to rethink loads of assumptions. Some people just can’t fit it into their philosophical systems, so it has to be some kind of trick, it can’t be just what it looks like.
Look; we’re aware of all information, misinformation, and disinformation about the megalovirus pandemic. We’re aware of all official policies in dealing with it and the rationales behind them. We’re aware of all the objections to these policies from all these ideological viewpoints.
I’ve now been on this gig for a year. Alena’s been at it about as long. We’ve only been assigned together since we got to South Continent last week. We’ve organized Megalo mitigation programs all over planet Nearth and we’re here in the South Continent zones because The Meg has finally got here.
We, I mean the non capitalist states in the biodefense collective, have had to organize these teams because most capitalist states, they’re just incapable of running mediation programs themselves, even when we give them the technology. Their health systems are messes.
The main problem is they can’t stand up to all the shratzyags until it’s really too late. I mean the…who…just…can’t fit the idea of a pandemic and what it entails, into their business plan or their ideology. So we spend a lot of our time just facing these kinds of… people… down.
So, Suzi Ozcati, it’s not because we don’t want to think about it. It’s because we don’t agree with your shplatz about civil liberties. It’s not because we’re naturally intolerant, it’s because we’ve had a year of abuse from the most intolerant people that can be and we don’t have much patience left for them.
Finally, we’ve been puttin’ our lives and health very much on the line trying to save as many people as possible. Some of our comrades…Our comrades! Have caught Mega. Some have got long term conditions they might not ever recover from fully.
One other thing. We’re real pleased with you two comin’ in here without the full face masks which’ve been supplied to you.
So, Suzi Ozcati. Tell us all about we’re intrudin’ on your liberties.”
Cleo laid a three pack of full face transparent antivirus masks on the table beside Suzi, then sat back in her chair.
Said Suzi; “Yes, you are wearing that new type of semitransparent mask. I am perfectly all right with you wearing them. However, I choose not to wear one.
This is in the same way that I choose not to be vaccinated or submit to any other part of your Megalovirus mitigation therapy. This is because I am a free and autonomous person with control of my own body.”
Cleo groaned.”You have any idea what a sanctimonious zvitz you come off like, talkin’ that way?”
Alena waved to Cleo. She leaned toward Suzi. “ Do you have any specific reason for not wearing the masks?”
“I do not have to explain why I choose not to wear these masks.”
Alena scrolled her comvec. “You are from New Ogid. You have never been in any sort of regular employment. You have been involved in organizing various cooperative enterprises and communal living arrangements. Few of these have been successful, but you seem very good at arranging funding and attracting new followers.
You brought a group of people to South Continent three years ago to start a new communal colony where people could live with minimal government interference. This was part of a project by some foundations in New Ogid and Northia to settle communal left groups in South Continent.”
Alena looked up at Suzi. “Frankly, it sounds like a good way for them to get rid of a lot of you.”
Suzi grimaced. She looked intently at the shadow behind the outward door.
“Most of these settlements were not successful. Most of the funding for yours was pulled. All these people had to find work on the mining and timber concessions in this zone, to survive.
The Megalovirus broke out. Demand for the products of this zone declined. The industrial capitalist people who have seized the governing authority here hate the idea of slowdowns and mass mitigation measures but they have seen what happened in states where governments adopted a “let the virus cull the weak and make the rest immune” policy. They finally got it that it was not just The Nickelvirus over again. This one was engineered to kill a lot of people and debilitate the rest for a long time. Very bad for profits.
So, the zone authority called in the mitigation project. It ordered everyone to cooperate with us or be interned. However, they modelled their medical passport after the Northian model; turn over all personal as well as biological information before, repeat before, receiving Meg vax or any other medical services, or be locked up.
That is not how we do it in Dirigia, Frostia, Moominia, even Squoozia. If you will not vaccinate, provide an immunomap, you are interned. But you still receive comprehensive medical care. Your Basic Income does not stop.
Do you get this? In Dirigia we do not have to walk around with these health passports, showing them everywhere we go, like in some of the capitalist states. We are either free or we are in quarantine. People are quarantined not for their own safety, but for everyone else’s safety. Very few people prefer to sit in quarantine and there is no sympathy for them.
We need the immunomap of each person’s unique immune system so we can devise antibody treatments for that person, and purge therapies as needed. We will explain all this to the whole building tomorrow.
So that, Suzi, is how you came to be in the situation you are in. This does not look like a very pleasant place to be confined in, from the little I have seen so far.”
Suzi; “I choose not to be vaccinated, or to provide an immunomap. I do not have to explain why.”
“Suzi, this sounds like a maladjusted thirteen year old who thinks someone is making her do something. You are too intelligent for that.
You are not keeping us here just to give us “I choose not”. What do you want from us?”
“If you allow us to return to our commune and provide us with adequate food and energy, we will remain there in isolation until the pandemic has passed.”
Cleo; “You’ve already pitched this to our friends at The Authority. They’re not buying. I think what they really want is to get all you communal people out of the zone. You’re becoming a big nuisance. By the way, about our friends…”
Cleo stood up and banged on the outwardly door. “Can you be a little less obvious about it? Please? Thanks.”
The shadow moved back from the door.
Alena; “They already have the room bugged. Why do they bother.…”
Cleo; “These buildings are run by the authority’s cops. They do have the room wired. Outside are the company’s security. Sometimes there’s some jurisdictional…”
Suzi; “The people here will not consent to our bodily integrity being compromised.”
Alena; “Do you all want to die or become mentally and physically damaged?”
“I do not accept that it is a choice of one or the other or that anyone else can make this choice for us.”
“Whether you accept it or not, these are your options. You cooperate with the Northian pandemic model or you sit in this box and wait for the Megalovirus to get around to you. And it will get to you. We’ve been seeing it for a year now.”
“We do not accept that these are our only choices. Were the situation to be considered in a different way, a better option would be found.”
“Of course. Do doubt about it. But I am not going to get into discussing how the world should be rearranged to suit you and your…following.
You do a great deal of philosophizing on social media about how all the problems of the world come down to people not understanding there is no such thing as their ‘self’. First of all, that is not what scientific research into the mind says.
But you are also showing yourself to be as self obsessed as it is possible to get. You are bordering on solipsism.”
Suzi did not toss this ball back.
“The only other option I can suggest is for you to be admitted to Dirigia under the economic refugees program. The program has accepted this in limited cases during the great pandemic. You could try.
But it is still the same story; you have to cooperate with vax, antibodies, and all other measures. As I said, we do not impose medical passport cards or implants. There is no need. If you do not cooperate, you just sit in the quarantine centres. They are less grim than these places, but most people get very tired of them after awhile.
These passes are the ideas of the Zone Authority here, or rather their overseers in New Ogid. They really do not make any sense, even from the idea of mass surveillance. There are much less complicated ways of keeping track of everybody.”
Cleo interjected. “The only reason they’re doin’ the cards instead of the implants is they don’t have the gear to do the implants down here yet. But both they and you civil rights passion flakies really over estimate their effectiveness.
The Vancherians had most people implanted. After awhile everybody just ignored the Overmen anyway. When the big revolt finally happened, all it did was give ‘em enough warning to run.
So the implants actually helped the rebellion. They built their own transponders. So they knew where each other were. They knew where the cops were at. Whenever one of them was grabbed they knew where to go to get them out. They could even track down the Overmen.”
Alena; “My colleague is somewhat misinformed about implants. The Joint Mitigation Group has had discussions with the Governing Authority here about them. As with attempts to forcibly treat people, we will not tolerate forcible implants. If they do that we will go home.
I believe they will respect this because they need us far more than we need them. Their own vaccines are proving almost useless against Megalo D. They are faced with collapse if the virus takes hold here.
However, and this will no doubt fill you with righteous rage and disgust for the human species; many people here would be happy to get the medical information implant.”
“We do not consent to being implanted, to any form of mitigation therapy, or to surrendering our medical data. We are prepared to self isolate until the pandemic has run its course.”
“You are not voluntarily in isolation. You are being held in this place, not where you choose, and you will be here until The Authority consents to you leaving. That could take a very long time, because Meg D can sit dormant for a long time. Eradicating it requires the involvement of the entire population.
Also, quarantine has been effective in areas where we have done mitigation because the area outside the quarantine centres are mostly clear. If the area around is in a surge, which is coming in the Zone because we did not catch it in time and there are still too many gerwangums running around loose, it will be a matter of time before the contagion finds its way in here.
In these confined spaces, with suboptimal air circulation, I would estimate based on past experience a death rate of about 50%. The survivors would all have serious post Megalovirus complications.”
“I ask you to think about what you are doing and to not collaborate with capitalist oppressors.”
“Yes, everyone else has to think again about what we do because you do not like it, but you have decided you do not have to explain why you are acting as you are. We are not collaborating in any suppression and I find that accusation very offensive.”
“ The zone authority is using the pandemic as a justification to force a surveillance regime on all residents.”
“ Yes, they are using it as an excuse to normalize a stricter security state here. They could do that anyway, and nothing could stop them.
And the virus will destroy most of the population in the zone if mitigation measures are not immediately enacted.”
“It is not clear what the effects of the Megalovirus will be. In many states the fatality and disability rates have been minimal.”
“In many states the health effects have been slight. That is because mitigation has been done right from the start. Where they were not, the effects have been utterly devastating, destroying whole societies. It will destroy the people from your communal settlements just as thoroughly. Do you all want to die?”
“Correct information about where this virus came from and how it works, how harmful it actually is, is not available. Information is controlled by capitalist media networks.”
Cleo pulled an Infostik™ from her belt pack and tossed it onto the table in front of Suzi.
Alena; “Yes, a feature of oligarchic systems is that they try to control information and create fake narratives about what is going on. A feature of democracies is that they create honest information systems which enable people to make good decisions.
On that stik is a history of the Megalovirus pandemic, kept up to date by the Common Knowledge Network, which is blanked out in this zone. “Communist propaganda.” It describes in a well organized and searchable way the campaign so far to mitigate and suppress the virus.
The PanNearthly health services of the Commonwealth of social democracies of Nearth has been planning for such an emergency for some time. Dirigian intelligence services knew much about the development of biowar agents by secret organizations connected with the Medricellar society.
The health and civil defence organizations of several social democracies worked together to develop strong countermeasures against any deadly virus. The key is technologies which can instantly analyze a new virus and design vaccines, antibodies, and purge agents specific to it. Then we built facilities which can produce these products quickly and in huge quantity.
We have been largely successful in suppressing the Megalovirus D and are on our way to eliminating it Nearthwide. This despite the frantic opposition often encountered, from people for whom the Megalo and its implications shatters either their business model or their ideological constructions.
I and Cleo are very proud of our service in the PanNearthian pandemic response team. Again, we are very offended at being accused of collaborating with totalitarians.
As for the origins of the virus, that is made clear in a preface in the stik. The Medricellars secretly developed biological weapons in order to further their agenda of regaining full control of the planet and reducing the population. They gave up on this when it was made clear to them that if they started such a war they would be destroyed by it.
Rogue elements within the intelligence agencies the Medricellar had nurtured could not accept this. It shattered their belief in their own superiority and in the empire they wanted fervently to protect and restore. They hid away much biowar material in a secret base in the Grimly mountains of Northia.
From there they unleashed megalovirus D on Nearth. It is not clear what the point of it all was. They were all either killed or they suicided. It seems they desired a universal annihilation rather than have to live with the end of their world and the falsification of their belief system.
Whatever their aim, they were hunted down. Their base was found and stormed; a great adventure story, really. All biowar materials have now been destroyed. Unless there is another group of fanatics hiding out somewhere, this will be the last pandemic.
The capitalist bloc and the Medricellar banks and foundations are doing all they can to suppress this information because it reflects so badly on them. It will likely end their power once and for all.”
Alena flicked the stik a few centimeters closer to Suzi, who did not look at it but for the first time was becoming visibly upset.
Cleo pulled a bottle from her pack and handed it over to Alena, followed by a straw. “You’re doin’ a lot of talkin’, partner. Startin’ to get hoarse.”
Alena broke the seal, put the straw through her mask, sipped, then spoke; “The way to get hoarse is to try to convince fanatics to rethink their own ideas. Also, the air is dry in here. That favors viral transmission.”
Suzi bristled. After a moment she said; “Can you not understand that once civil liberties are destroyed, they are gone forever? The harm of the virus must be weighed against the loss of these rights.”
Alena drank some more and said; “This is the old time liberal mentality talking. I wonder how you picked that up when you characterize your beliefs as ‘left’ and ‘socialist.’
These ideas date back a few centuries to the time of absolute monarchies. The liberals made out sanctimonious about freedom of speech, freedom from coercion. What they really wanted was these rights for themselves, so they could establish capitalism. They hated the democratizers.
They eventually got their way and established capitalism, a more suppressive system than the absolute monarchies. The ordinary people have never had these rights. They are not realistic even in the freest society.
There is no freedom without a government. This idea sends libertarians of left and right into conniptions. But without that frame in which civilization can be organized, there is no peace and no way of providing the goods needed to sustain a decent living standard for all. The Libertarian idea of freedom is that of the misfit and loner.
It is also interesting how you ‘Left’ civil liberties types end up using very similar arguments to the capitalist fanatics. The damage of an uncontrolled epidemic must be laid against the inconvenience to them of shutting things down for awhile, and redirecting some public funds. The insult to your idea of rights has to be laid against all this, as well.
Bad laws, bad governments; they can be gone in a day. When an economy is organized in a proper way, for use not profit maximization, it can shut down while keeping essentials going, and start up again in days.
But people are dead forever. People who have had brain, system, organ damage from the Megalo, are damaged for the rest of their lives.”
Alena sucked on her bottle some more.
Suzi; “All this is just your perception of it based on the narratives sold to you by the particular oppressive system you live under.”
Cleo; “Awright. So anything you say is just your perception based on the narratives you got from…wherever you got all this shplatz from. So shlomp you and goodbye.
Are you really that stupid?”
“What I am saying is that another way of dealing with this crisis could be found, would be found, that would not violate people’s personal rights in this way, were it merely thought out from a different perspective.”
Alena; “First off, we are doing nothing which violates anyone’s legitimate rights. If you want the benefits of civilization then there are obligations which go with it. Unless you are a member of an oligarchic class under an oligarchy, there will be rules which must be followed. Especially, rules about transmitting diseases to other people.
Second, for most of the last year we have been listening to self interested people who agree that something must be done about Mega, but they want the approach rethought so it does not inconvenience them or upset some ideological constructions they have. Without all this obstruction, the Meg would have been much easier to get under control.”
Suzi took a long, deep breath. “Can you not understand that the pandemic is being used by right wing Fraxist elements to expand a totalitarian system here. You are collaborating in this…”
Alena leaned forward and tapped the table. “Look! Second time now! I do not like hearing this…about how we are collaborators with these…pftzes.” She jerked her thumb toward the outward door. “In fact, we have been a restraint on their excesses.
Anywhere there is oligarchy, there is a continual effort to expand the suppressive machine, always far in excess of what they need, or would need if they could govern competently. That is a reality people often live under until an opportunity presents to create something better.
The Zone authority and its minions are here. We have to deal with them. You have to deal with them.
Megalovirus D is here. You are going to cooperate with those trying to protect you from it, or you going to be killed or damaged by it.”
Cleo held up the screen of her comvec as it played a video of a hospital ward. “Here’s what people look like when they’re dying from severe phase 2 Mega. Bodies dissolving into slime while they are alive.
Wanna hear what they sound like?
Mostly they’re begging for someone to save them. The nurses are telling them nothing can be done for them. The hospital is overwhelmed, they had to apply triage and they didn’t make the cut.
I was there, Suzi.”
Suzi shrank back, unable to either look at it or tear herself away from it.
Cleo tapped up something new on her comvec. “Here’s what we’re gonna present to the people here tomorrow. A thorough explanation of how Mega works and the wisdom of cooperating with us…Mega fighters.
There’s three phases to Mega. Phase one, infecting.
The disease is airborne and spreads where it builds up in the air. Once yer infected, there are no symptoms for awhile but you send out more virus, infecting other people. Once you have this, vaccine is no good anymore. You need antibody treatment to get rid of it. So obviously, before getting the vax you need to be tested.
The key to Mega is that it sends out pheremones, chemical signals, to the virus in other infected people nearby. When they sense that most people around them are infected, that triggers phase two; active phase.”
Cleo kept clicking through her slides. Suzi was now watching closely.
“Phase two is very hard to treat. Older people, people with other conditions, people with the wrong immunomap, they die. But the thing is, everybody in an area goes down at the same time. There is noone to treat the others.
Healthy people usually survive phase two if they get proper care. Then they get to phase three. They still have organ problems, brain fog, tiredness. Flareups of fever. They’re still contagious.
The only thing that seems to get them out of this is a full body purge, that clears the virus right out. It takes time and its unpleasant. And expensive. I mean expensive to whatever health system they are under. Making people pay for it is ridiculous.
Even after The Purge, most people who have been through Mega do not seem to come back one hundred percent.”
Cleo put her comvec away. “That is a short summary of what we’ll be presenting to the residents of this fine establishment tomorrow. Including you.”
Alena; “We will answer all questions about it. We will not be getting into philosophical debates. The options are to accept medical interventions or sit here and wait for the Megalovirus.
Also, the criminal law of Northia applies in this zone. It has some stiff penalties for counselling people to resist or obstruct health measures in a public health emergency. The police here are eager to enforce this. So far we have convinced them of reasons to hold off on this.
The Zone police will be present tomorrow and if there are attempts to shout us down or disrupt our presentation, they will act.”
Suzi; “Are you being the good cop to their bad cop?”
“ Yes, you could look at it that way. But if you will not give us a chance, the bad cops will be there.
Suzi, there is nowhere on planet Nearth where you can knowingly transmit a deadly disease, or counsel people to resist public health measures, without breaking the law. Even back home in Dirigia, where I think we have the most liberal law on the planet, you can refuse to vaccinate but you cannot try to persuade anyone else not to.
Second last piece of business here, about Berzinda. Is she going to be a problem tomorrow? Dumb question, I guess.”
“Yes, I think she will be a problem. Is it possible to move her anarchist group to another location?”
“Yes, very possible. The building north of this one, which was housing all the right wing libertarians? It is now empty. As soon as they discovered there would be serious consequences they all became…realistic.
Berzinda and her hoonyangs can move over there and improve the social climate here.
Now, final piece of business. Assuming we can convince The Authority to let those of you who are tested and vaxed move back to your commune complex, would that improve the disposition of people in here to cooperate with us?”
“I will not answer that.”
Alena and Cleo began putting their cold weather clothes back on, and hoisting their packs and kits.
Alena: “We will present to Berzinda and friends tomorrow morning, get that out of the way. Then we will do it here in the afternoon. One day after tomorrow, the rest of our team will be here to start testing and vaxxing.”
“I will do everything I can to convince the people here not to submit to any medical treatment of this kind.” Suzi’s voice now quavered slightly.
“And you will be quickly going to tell it all to the magistrate and then probably going to a jail cell.
Suzi, this calamity was started by some people who could not stand the idea of the world changing in a way that confounded their ideology and their sense of themselves. They preferred to self annihilate, and the annihilation of as much of this world as possible, rather than live with that.
Now the Megalovirus has changed this world in a way you cannot square with your own ideology. This is obviously upsetting you. Are you also seeking self annihilation? Are you seeking annihilation for your followers?
Oh yes, you have decided you do not have a self. Well, the annihilation of whatever you think your existence is based on?”
Suzi sat, silently staring into nothing.
“Good afternoon, Suzi Ozcati.”
The two went out. Suzi sat in the silent interview room. One of her guards looked in through the inwardly door and tapped the glass.
Suzi still sat, staring at the infostik and the three pack of masks by her elbow.