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May contain spoilers for Pandemic: Legacy

Skye's journal

January 3rd 2016

Started work at CDC today. Met some co-workers. Bianca [[personal profile] jesusandrew] runs the sequencing lab, Rosalba [[personal profile] 17catherines] is one of the field doctors, and Jamala [[personal profile] reynardo] knows how to use PubMed and the surveillance reports.

Rosalba asked me if I was interested in field work. Wasn't sure how to answer - I mean, what sort of sucker wants to go meet Ebola up close, seriously? Well, apparently, Rosalba. But Emily from admin tells me it's pretty safe, most of the time it's just sipping cocktails on the beach in Phuket and taking a few temperatures here and there. So I said sure, yeah, why not? Rosalba's going to help me with the paperwork.

January 5th

Yay I got approved for field duties! I wonder where they'll send me?

January 8th

Oh shit oh shit oh shit. Rosalba just called me to say, hey, massive outbreak of scarlet fever in Asia, pack your bags Skye we're going tomorrow! Won't that be exciting? I asked when we got vaccinations and she said no, no vaccine for this strain yet, that's why we're going!

January 9th

Asked Jamala for info on the outbreak. She said it's all over south-east Asia but sounds like the situation's better in Seoul. I told the team I speak a little Korean (not actually true but none of them knew any different) so it made sense for me to go there. Think they bought it. R is headed straight for Shanghai, looks bad there. Bianca is off to Tokyo.

January 12th

Seoul is under control. Had to take "samples". Gross.

Outbreak in Shanghai has settled. R claiming credit, got interviewed on TV. Half an hour later Bianca and Jamala both emailed me "hey did you see R got on TV?!" yeah, yeah, some of us have work to do.

January 13th

Epidemic of bacillus alzuraqis (is that even a disease? idk) in Madrid, Milan, and Paris. Jamala has gone to look at it. I'm sure the fact that it's Milan Fashion Week has absolutely nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, no new cases in Seoul last three days, but I think I should stay here a while longer. Just to be sure. I'm reading through the work credit card regs to figure out what I can expense.

January 15th

Keep hearing about something called Black Monk in Moscow. Apparently it's pretty brutal. Not sure if disease, metal band, or vodka. Hope it's vodka.

January 16th

No such luck. Some sort of multi-drug-resistant variant bubonic plague? Brr. Staying away from that one. Got a transfer to Tokyo to liaise with Bianca and give her samples. I was meant to send them through the biohazard courier but I forgot to book it, so I just stashed them in my carry-on. It's all good.

January 17th

...whee, turns out Black Monk is XDR. screw. that. Noticed a few case reports of largepox in South America. Played it up, told people I was concerned and somebody on the team ought to be monitoring it. Figure I can do that from Atlanta, right?

January 19th

Flight to Atlanta. AS I LANDED announcement of an epidemic of Alzuraq in San Francisco. Too close for comfort. Found a conference in NY that looks kinda relevant if I squint a bit, have invited myself to that. But apparently we've exhausted our travel budget already so I have to fly economy.

January 20th

More reports of Alzuraq across Europe. Had a conference call with the others. Agreed that we need more funding because the only movie screening in economy this month is Hangover 4 and nobody needs that. We fudged the numbers a bit and got the director to take it to Congress for emergency funding. Not bad! Rosalba is supposed to be in Europe directing treatment there, but from all I can see she's spending the time adding people on LinkedIn. Can't believe she really knows all those guys.

There's one who might be useful, he's in a Senate budget oversight committee. His real name is Howard but we call him "Grant" for reasons that need not be explained.

January 22nd

Close call, much too close. Noticed one of the conference delegates from Brussels was looking a bit blue. Symptom of Alzuraq. Got on a plane back to CDC then called it in, didn't want to get stuck in quarantine. God what was he thinking coming to a conference when he was infected, so selfish!

Put in for a monitoring trip to Manila, collecting scarlet fever samples. At least there's no Alzuraq there, and the frequent flyer miles all help. I hear Jamala scammed a trip to Sao Paolo.

January 24th

Huh, Bianca found a vaccine for Alzuraq. Getting my shots tomorrow once we know it's safe. Rosalba ran a mass vaxx program in Milan and OF COURSE she got on CNN again. Got a conference in Mumbai in two days, we're bringing samples of scarlet fever.

January 25th

My mum called to say she saw Rosalba on CNN. She wants to know if I'm ever going to be on TV like that. Oh FFS.

January 26th

Asked Rosalba and Bianca for their scarlet fever samples "just to check an idea". Snuck back to the lab with 'em. IDK how this vaccine development thingy works but I've got Bianca's notes on Alzuraq, I figure if I just recycle her methods and change the name, it might work.

January 28th

OMG OMG OMG IT WORKED PrimarySole author credit here I come! Gonna be on TV for sure. have acknowledged Bianca, Rosalba, and Jamala's contributions - well not by name but "with thanks to my esteemed colleagues", I think that's pretty fair. Once I've got the journal article submitted, I'll see about vaccine manufacture and distribution. I think SkyVax is a good name.

January 29th

Whoops, accidentally CCed R in on the article submission. She's not very happy.

January 30th

wtf she's claiming SkyVax causes autism. really? Jealousy is so unattractive.

January 31st

Trying to get R back to the lab to work on vaccine for largepox, because maybe if she can get something to publish she'll get OFF MY CASE about SkyVax. But we've run out of travel funding for the month. Even came up with a way we could scam it by forward-dating the expenditure claim but J and B said they'd tell if we did it, so no dice. Several thousand dead in South America THANKS JAMALA THANKS BIANCA. Things getting a bit out of hand there but at least Congress has approved some top-up funding. Might be able to get that new swivel chair.

Still waiting for CNN to call about an interview.

February 2nd

Figured out that if I spend every morning reading and collating international contagious disease surveillance reports, (a) something something stay abreast of current developments something network liaise international counterparts and (b) I can always claim to be busy when they're looking for some schmuck to go headbutt Death in the fist.

February 3rd

whoo there's now a totally drug-resistant strain of Black Monk, that's really not good. Remind me to stay well away from eastern Europe. Have enrolled in some training on quarantine methods to keep me busy.

February 5th

WTF THIS IS NOT OKAY. That %*^$ing $*%*% Rosalba submitted her own paper on scarlet fever which is just a copy of mine with the name changed and she got accepted first! I'm still waiting to hear back from Reviewer 2.

February 7th

CNN called. Asking for Rosalba. Told them she's refusing interviews. Have started keeping tabs on her travel claims, every time she gets a trip, I get a trip. Doing some research on Alzuraq in my spare time, new strain doesn't seem to be affected by Bianca's vaccine.

February 9th

Scarlet fever eradicated, thanks to MY vaccine. Not that I get any credit. As if that wasn't enough, Rosalba nominated me to go to east Europe because I've just finished the quarantine training. Argh!

February 13th

I'm wearing a mask 24/7 and gloves. Not getting out of the car if I can help it. Telling the locals what to do and staying well out of the way. Nearly started a war thanks to my out-of-date phrase book but we sorted it out, nobody got shot.

Scarlet fever epidemic reported in Tokyo. False alarm, turned out to be Red Nose Day.

February 15th

Hey, Rosalba came up with a vaccine for the new Alzuraq strain. Really good research. I know because she snooped on MY BLOODY NOTES for most of it, and just gave me a "with thanks" in the footnotes. She'll get hers.

Oh, and there was a massive flareup of largepox in central Africa. Bit of rioting and stuff, but Bianca's come up with a vaccine for that so we should be able to get it under control again.

I'm going to go hit refresh on PubMed and see if my impact factor's going up yet.

TBC...
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