For those of you out there that have no idea what is going on or those dealing with little information, I’m going to fill you in with what we know. Ben managed to survive being at the epicentre when patient zero went from being medically dead to Undead. Forgive me if the language I use is technical or scientific, being a pathologist it’s how my brain is programmed to work and right now it’s on autopilot.
Four days ago my world, the world, went to hell and I don’t think it’s coming back. From what I’ve been able to gather from Ben, Brooks VanReit (now known as patient zero) came into the ER of St. Michael’s Hospital with practically non-existent vital signs. The staff assigned to treat him tried to resuscitate him but their efforts failed. Sometime between 7:30 and 7:45AM, he was pronounced dead and as quickly as he died, he came back to life. From what I understand, the doctors and nurses first thought they were witnessing a miracle. Almost immediately they found out how wrong they were. Ben was tucked away in the nearby nurse’s station completing a few charts before going home and he said he had a fairly good view of what transpired. His description of the carnage left in the wake of the reawakening was brutal. Blood everywhere, many of his colleagues succumbing to death and then entering a second life of sorts. He said the worst moment he witnessed was an attack on an elderly invalid woman left in the hallway on a gurney. She had nowhere to go when it all started and the fear present on her face and in her frail body made Ben wish he could go to her rescue. Since she wasn’t mobile Ben said that it seemed to take them a little longer to find her. But when they did they tore her apart, leaving only the bloody mass of a skeleton behind. Realizing that most people were beyond help, he knew he had to leave. What good was he dead? Or worse? His best bet was to escape the hospital and prepare to leave the city ASAP. He said getting out was difficult by that point but that he was lucky enough to find a way. Before leaving though he managed to call 911 and notify them of the situation. He’s not 100% sure that the operator took him completely seriously, who would have when the caller is stating emphatically that the dead are coming back to life? In the end, we know that the police responded and became fast believers.
I was a few blocks away working at the CFS (Centre for Forensic Sciences) and I was just beginning to hear the grumblings of some sort of strange occurrence at the hospital. Steve, my husband and 13 year veteran of the Toronto Police Service called to let me know that some sort of riot (as it had been reported at first) had erupted at St. Mike’s and to stay inside until further notice. Realizing that something serious was going down, I called Ben. I knew he worked at St. Mike’s and any information I could obtain from him to pass along to Steve, the better in my books. When I didn’t get a hold of him, I hoped for the best, thinking he was probably just busy treating anyone hurt in the riot. I didn’t want to think that anything terribly serious had happened to Ben; no one wants to lose a friend, especially under violent circumstances.
At around 12pm they started bringing the bodies to us. But they weren’t really even bodies. I mean they were clinically dead but certainly not acting like it. It was readily apparent from the faces and demeanour of the officers bringing in the highly restrained individuals that they just needed to get as many of them off the streets as possible. The official consensus was that it was an absolute mess out there and even though they had been authorized to use lethal force, it was a battle that they weren’t winning. No one in the lab wanted to touch them but my clinical curiosity got the better of me. What I was looking at seemed so utterly impossible; corpses of all races, ages, and gender were in front of me acting as if they were having a psychotic break. The blood on them was horrific, and I’m used to blood. Some were missing limbs or parts of limbs where they had been ripped or chewed off. One woman, and the only way I could tell that was from the tattered and bloody clothing she still had hanging from her body, was missing her face. I mean literally the skin and underlying tissue was gone, gnawed off. You could still see the teeth marks along her hairline. All that was left was the crimson stained surface of bone. It was at that point that I realized I had to leave. It was hard to believe then and still just has hard to believe, the Undead were fighting to assimilate the living in a battle that I wasn’t sure we could win. Not after seeing the after-effects firsthand.
One might ask when the first person realized that the “rioters” were really and truly the “undead”. I’m not sure myself but it must have been fairly quickly that morning or else why would they have brought them to me? I know all of it seems so strange, so unbelievable that the police were even able to restrain any of them. And the state of the bodies that I saw that day could make even the most sceptical believe in life after death. OK, maybe that’s not an entirely accurate statement since they aren’t technically alive, but it’s the closest explanation I’ve got.
In my heart I would love to believe that the situation in Toronto and the surrounding areas will be brought under control. But I’m not going to stick around in the thick of it waiting complacently to see if that’s the case. I’m a realist and right now I’m choosing to fight for survival.
I don’t know how long any of the technological infrastructures will remain intact or if anybody out there is even able to read this. All I know is that I will keep posting as long as I am able to. I think people in the world need to know what is going on. We’re afraid that even if the situation is brought under control that the amount of information (read: truth) that will accurately surface and be reported may be slim to none. For the sake of everyone left alive in the world, we need to collectively band together in order to keep our humanity alive.
After our night in the cabin in the woods we are starting to encounter more people travelling out of the urban sprawl and smaller towns in Southwestern Ontario. There are some that want to join up with us but we’ve already decided as a group that we would try to stay small. Stay mobile. Besides we figured it would be easier to survive knowing the particular strengths of each of the persons in our group. So far we’ve been moving mainly on foot because the roads have been partially gridlocked with cars making them the ideal feeding grounds for the Undead.
It’s sickening really; you can sometimes hear the honking of trapped vehicles. Their horns like the Siren’s call just leading more of the Undead to them…
The day has been pretty uneventful by comparison to recent events. We managed to make good time and put a little more distance between us and them. We did encounter the odd walking corpse but thankfully the Undead have been less prevalent today than yesterday. We felt a little safer sleeping outside tonight as there is a full moon out to help illuminate the woods around us. Obviously not the best of circumstances but we need the sleep when we can get it. It helps of course that we’ve strung an alarm system of sorts around the perimeter of the camp. Just some rope and a few bells can work wonders if you set them up properly. If anything it will at least give us some time to get our weapons ready if the perimeter is breached.
While we’re in the thick of this, I’m not sure how often I will have the chance to update you. Last night, I found the act of recording our journey extremely cathartic and a means of processing the day. It’s also given me a purpose. I know that I’ll be able to continue posting as long as I have access through my mobile internet or some unsecured Wi-Fi signal to leech off of. I’m just a little worried that at some point there will be no one to read these posts. Regardless, they will be immortalized on the World Wide Web for future generations to read. If there are any future generations… God, I have to stop thinking like this! My words may sound an alarm deep in your soul that you’ll hear and subsequently heed.
It is a little early to start being pessimistic but after everything I’ve seen in the past few days and the fact that I’m running for my life, I have to wonder if we, as a global whole, can bounce back. I don’t pretend to know what happened to Brooks VanReit before any of this. Did he pick up a bacterial contagion, a virus, or touch some piece of fallen space junk? No one knows. All I know is that he appears to be at the centre of all of this and that whatever he had, viral, bacterial or alien; at least it’s not airborne. Yet.
Think about it, our bodies are marvels at mutating things. Think of all we know about cancer; think of all we have yet to learn about it still. Why do the cells in one person decide to mutate but others do not? Why does one person have to experience the devastation of cancer but not others? It’s like the lottery, some win but most don’t. That may sound a little callous comparing getting cancer to winning the lottery but it’s the best analogy I can come up with at the moment.
Even though I’m digressing from the matter at hand, I guess what I am trying to say is that we really don’t have any idea what we are dealing with. It could have been one thing to start but now it could be something different; something mutated. The questions that I have are endless but the answers are insufficient and scarce. What it boils down to is the desire, the need to find someone or something to blame. A faceless, nameless entity is chasing us, using the Undead as its host. It’s eating us alive and we are helpless it would seem to stop it. It’s multiplying faster than we can kill it and to be honest, we don’t even have the means to eradicate it.
A terrifying aspect to all of this is that during our escape we have not witnessed any concentrated effort to contain the epidemic thus far. The Toronto Police made a gallant effort but in the end they failed and most of the officers joined the ranks of the growing Undead army. Even though we’ve been trying to travel off the radar, it’s apparent from our encounters with the Undead and the lack of military or police presence anywhere that nothing has been organized. I keep scouring the web looking for any signs but it seems like there has been a blackout on the whole thing. Viral videos on YouTube have disappeared, and there are no recent news reports. It’s almost like the net has been sanitized but I don’t understand to what end that serves. My sincere hope is that our government is not trying to cover this up. People out there need to know what’s going on, if only for the sole purpose to protect themselves.
Holy shit! The perimeter alarm just went off. Hopefully we live to see another day. Pray, NOW!