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Hysteria Hits St. Louis

I saw a woman killed this morning.

After breakfast, Meredith sent me out for supplies. The parking lot was jammed, and on the way in I saw a fight break out between two guys over an empty spot. I just kept my eyes straight ahead and kept walking.

You could totally feel things were different. All that talk on the TV – even if it’s mainly debunking what’s been coming out of Denver, it’s still getting everyone crazy to hear about it. Fox News is blaming the liberal media for trying to create a crisis where there isn’t one. Ever since the Times ran that blurry photo of the woman’s body and the thing in the tree, it’s been like that. That’s when I stopped listening to the news.

So inside, the greeter, a seventy-year-old silver-haired retiree in a red vest sitting on a stool — with a shotgun across his knees! I’m not shitting you. “Welcome,” he said, and gestured with the gun. I didn’t know whether to laugh or piss my pants.

The first thing I noticed was how bare it looked, like people had come through pulling things off the shelves—not just food, but clothes, pots and pans, anything they could get their hands on. The registers were backed up like crazy. A lot of the people were wearing paper masks the way they did when H1N1 hit big, but you could totally tell they were scared and impatient. Note to self: I need to get masks tomorrow for Meredith and me.

Then I saw this woman. She was pushing a cart with a wobbly wheel toward me and really struggling with it—she had at least four turkeys in there, and the rest was stacked with canned goods and gallon jugs of water. I was pretty far away and could still see how badly she was sweating.

I almost offered to help. Then I saw she was sick. Snot was trickling down her face. When she looked up at me I saw her eyes were bleary, and kind of out of focus.

She stopped pushing the cart and looked right at me. I tried to back up, but there was someone behind me—a soldier (or at least some dude in camouflage fatigues) with a cart even fuller than the woman’s. He wasn’t even looking at me—he was staring at her and saying “She’s sick, holy shit, she’s got it.” The next thing I knew his gun was out and the woman was screaming something like “I don’t have it, don’t shoot, I don’t have it.”

When he shot her…I don’t know. I’m not sure how to describe it. You spend your whole life watching this stuff happen on TV and in the movies and then you see it and you realize reality is this completely different thing. It’s almost like it’s happening to you, just because you happened to be there watching it. I experienced this thing. I know I’ll never forget it.

I wish I knew what was going on. I can’t forget her screaming right before the guy shot her. I wonder if she just had a bad cold, or really was infected. I wonder if it even matters at this point.


One Response to “Hysteria Hits St. Louis”

  1. James says:
    May 21 at 4:30 pm

    Dude are you for real?? This seriously happened and you saw it with your own eyes??

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