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lederhosen ([personal profile] lederhosen) wrote2016-03-13 05:52 pm
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Pandemic: Verde's Journal

Contains major spoilers for Pandemic: Legacy, March-May

Journal of Dr. Verde Green (USAMRIID, quarantine specialist), March-May 2016.

March 1: as expected, have been seconded to CDC. Cousin Rosalba in Atlanta tells me that between dealing with outbreaks of Alzuraq, largepox, scarlet fever, and of course COdA ("Black Monk"), they're flat out at the moment. We've been asked to facilitate military/civilian cooperation accordingly.

One of their team has been placed in quarantine after some sort of incident in the lab. Apparently Skye opened one of the freezers and a vial labelled as Alzuraq culture fell out and smashed. For some reason it wasn't catalogued so we don't know its provenance, and Skye had very diligently cleaned it up before reporting the incident, so we were unable to check the virulence of the strain, but both she and Rosalba have agreed that it would be best if Skye stayed in quarantine until we're certain she's not infected.

(Rosalba tells me the vial was labelled in Skye's handwriting. I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean but I get the impression there's some sort of history between them? Oh well.)

So, anyway, I'm filling out the team. The situation with COdA is pretty difficult at the moment, so we're working with local authorities across Europe and Asia to get it under control, as well as keeping a handle on these other outbreaks.

March 12: Delhi, working on containment measures. Always hard in a large urban population but we're doing well. Got lots of hurricane-wire fencing on orders and we've produced some very informative posters in a range of languages, along with some humorous ones to sustain morale and prevent panic. I can now say "Could be worse - could be zombies!" in Hindi and Punjabi and it's surprising how much that lightens the mood.

Rosalba and our colleague Bianca have been in Europe, stomping on an outbreak of Alzuraq. They did an excellent job of contract tracing and got this one wrapped up very quickly, no new patients reported in the last three days. I hoped this might be the last of it, but the others are cynical - they reckon it'll just pop up again next month with a new strain that's immune to our current treatments. Looking at the records, that does seem to happen a lot. R says she's found the best éclairs at Pierre's in Paris, so I'll have to stop by some time.

Morbidity for scarlet fever has been on the rise in south-east Asia, but in between working on quarantine programs here in India, I did some sequencing work based on samples provided by Jamala, and figured out that if we use last year's H3N8 flu vaccine combined with 2011's NxQB then we should be able to give enough immunity to drop r to about 0.7.

March 17: COdA still causing a lot of trouble. We've set up strict quarantine in Moscow, Algiers, and Riyadh, and there have been some riots in Kolkata. We've been working hard to protect Delhi - as well as looking after the locals, our research facility there is looking pretty nice and we want to keep that up and running. Yours truly managed to avert trouble in person yesterday; I was just at the airport meeting a colleague and spotted an incoming passenger showing the early signs of COdA, managed to get the passengers and crew from that flight isolated before they could spread it.

March 23: all indicators for this month meeting targets, and we've learned enough about Alzuraq that we should have an easier time of it next time it pops up. I've ordered in several shipments of hurricane fencing and dragon's teeth so we're prepared if we need to lock down travel in a hurry.

USAMRIID has agreed to fund a permanent base in Europe. There were several candidate locations, but Rosalba and I successfully argued for Paris. Any suggestion that this decision was influenced by the potential for éclairs is vile unsubstantiated gossip and should be ignored. *urp*

Unfortunately, these expenditures mean things are looking a bit tight for next month.

April 3rd: keeping busy! As expected, Alzuraq has cropped up again across Europe, and there's a rash (literally) of largepox cases in Khartoum, but I'm focussing on containment for COdA in Baghdad and Mumbai.

Some curious but presumably exaggerated reports coming in of another COdA mutation in Chennai. Will have to establish the facts.


April 11th: Feeling a bit better now. Another scarlet fever outbreak reported in SE Asia, but by a stroke of good luck Bianca left her lunch in the lab, and through an improbable chain of events we discovered that the resulting mold has powerful antiviral properties. Still no cure for COdA, and the... changes... mean it's dangerous even getting close to the infected, but at least with the other threats under control we've been able to contain COdA and mostly keep order. Should even be able to take some leave next week and check out the new digs in Paris.

May 2nd: things getting kinda hairy. Big outbreak of COdA in Cairo, spread to Istanbul and Tehran with the panicking and the looting and the rioting. Oy. Have dug in to defend Paris. THEY WILL NOT GET OUR ECLAIRS.

May 7th: Jamala has gone on stress leave. Colonel Alek Black has come in to provide security aka "shooting COdA patients from helicopters" which seems a little harsh even if some of them are a bit bad-mannered when they get in their little "moods".

May 12th: got together with the team for a strategy session. It turned into a sing-along:

Moscow, Moscow, lots of zombies^WFaded everywhere
Eating brains and pulling hair
La la la la la

Suspect Rosalba may need stress leave herself some time soon.

May 18th: drove to Istanbul. Cannot recommend. Did not get eaten but not far off. Was going to close off all major roads leading in/out but then realised that would leave me without an exit, so cut off all but one. Col. Black is off in Khartoum doing something dubious with a small tank.

May 24th: dammit, thousands of cases of largepox flared up in S. America while we were all otherwise occupied, spread to LA. Rioting there. Ugh.

Also, um, let's just say property values in Milan have suddenly deteriorated.
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)

[personal profile] 17catherines 2016-03-13 08:59 am (UTC)(link)
Coz! It was so great to see you in Delhi! I'm sorry we didn't get to hang out together more, but I guess that's going to be the way it is, now that COdA has gone all zombie-plague on us. Scary. I hope you are staying safe, at any rate - you keep close to that Colonel. His medical ethics may be... well, non-existent, to be honest, but at least he won't hesitate to keep you safe.

God, I hate that disease. There's nothing worse than something you can't cure, or even treat, and add the 100% infection rate on top of all that, and even I can see where the Colonel is coming from. But there has to be another way. Those poor people.

Anyway, as far as I can see, the best thing I can do is focus on keeping the diseases I can deal with under control, and hope for a breakthrough in the lab. I feel bad leaving while you are still there, but I honestly think that's where my skills are most needed. No point staying in a danger zone when I can't actually contribute anything anyway.

Speaking of breakthroughs, thank goodness we are getting better at dealing with Alzuraq and Scarlet fever. We're almost at the point where we have the central structure and it's just a matter of tweaking the proteins that bind to the receptors with each new mutation. Fingers crossed that we don't go backwards there - and that Bianca can get a handle on Largepox soon. I don't like the look of South America right now, and Khartoum is pretty scary, though not as bad as what you're dealing with.

Anyway, I'll catch you at our next monthly meeting. They've told me that since I'm a veteran, I can now fly in and out of army bases. What do you say - my turn to bring the petits choux?

Lots of love,


PS - Regarding the base in Paris, je ne regrette rien, especially where éclairs are concerned. And if you have the chance next time you are there, check out the caramels at Jacques Génin - they are to die for. Shit, I can't believe I just wrote that. STAY SAFE IN PARIS, WEAR YOUR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AT ALL TIMES AND DO NOT DIE FOR CARAMELS. But you know what I mean.

PPS - Aargh, don't even get me started on Skye. Let's just say that there are *many* reasons I'm glad to have you replacing her on the team.
Edited 2016-03-13 09:03 (UTC)
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)

[personal profile] 17catherines 2016-03-13 11:36 am (UTC)(link)

Oops, sorry about that. I'm a bit sleep-deprived, that sort of slipped out. I can't see myself getting to Istanbul in the near future, to be honest - not unless we actually start getting somewhere with a cure for COdA. But baklava... hmmm...

What's the Colonel like to work with, by the way? I mean, one hears the usual scuttlebutt from friends who are still in the service, but it's always difficult to know which parts are true and which parts are exaggerated. (I have to say, the tone of your comment about it being safest to be right next to him does concern me a little, in the light of other things I've heard.)

As for Skye, yeah, "accident" is about right. I swear, that must be the first time she has ever cleaned up after herself in the lab or anywhere else. But honestly, if that's her attitude, quarantine is the best place for her.

You are ON with the petits choux. Maybe it will sweeten tempers at the next meeting?



PS - I was thinking the same thing re transparency. But yeah, competency is a thing, and there would also be the contagion issue. Still...