Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Thursday, January 16

Stephen and Anna went to the doctor today and came back with worrying news. No, Anna is fine and all is well with the baby so far, but there is illness in the village and it’s spreading. The newcomers we saw at the weekend, plus a handful more who have arrived seeking refuge in the last couple of days, have brought flu with them.

I thought we were safe here, because Martin and I had flu jabs in the autumn, soon after the power cut started. And I wouldn’t have thought that flu could spread so quickly. But the doctor says that the incubation period can be as little as 24 hours. We didn’t actually speak to the couple on the bench on Saturday but others did, so the infection is spreading fast.

The doctor has advised Anna to stay away from the village and his surgery unless there is an emergency. The rest of us can’t avoid the village completely, as we have become reliant on the Saturday market at the pub for supplies, but I suppose it would be better if it is just Martin and I who go there until this epidemic calms down. We can just about manage for eggs and meat on our own, but it is our best source of vegetables for the time being, until our own crops start growing.

It is dry and mild today and as I walked across to the hen run I noticed the first snowdrops are just opening. That gives me such a feeling of hope, despite the news from the village. Spring will be here before long and the hens keep on laying, with three eggs today.

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