Shepherding Immunity

Prompt: hex | Word Count: 300 words exactly | Genre: flash fiction

May 31, 2020

As she watched the news, Casey felt as though the world were hexed. Well, she thought, if this is a hex, then it’s time for a counter-curse. She was confident that she and the other modern day witches would be able to use their science to stop this thing. Time was their enemy. They needed a vaccine quickly.

As a woman trained in epidemiology, Casey was on a mission to find a vaccine. She’d been working steadily since the news of the virus first surfaced in January. She’d seen the writing on the wall. This thing had the potential to take off, and not in a good way. So she’d rolled up the sleeves of her lab coat and gotten to work.

She and thousands of other doctors and scientists were racing to stop this virus. She knew they could do it to. Despite government roadblocks, and numerous false starts, and faulty testing, collection errors, and dead ends, they’d finally found a way to neuter this fiend.

Then they needed to test. She was hopeful that this drug would make the grade. By June, they were already in phase two trials and the results looked good. But humans were complex creatures and science still had a number of blinders that meant they didn’t always know what would happen in real people with real differences in physiology. It would never be okay to give an untested vaccine on the scale that would be needed to achieve herd immunity. So better to test and find a safe alternative.

As Summer waned, the vaccine proved worthy. Manufacturing, started before the trials finished, now ramped up and additional sites were added to rapidly produce the quantities needed to inoculate the global population. A year from the start, they began distribution of bottled immunity.

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