Poisoned hopes

“This is some kind of misconception about activists, especially about climate activists that we are just negative and pessimists and we are just complaining, and we are trying to spread fear but that’s the exact opposite. We are doing this because we are hopeful, we are hopeful that we will be able to make the changes necessary.” Greta Thunberg quoted in The Guardian.


“Can you imagine?” he said, his eyes shifting from the camera to the screen where a blurry image of his face stared back at him, gaunt and weary. “They washed their hair with poison every morning. They brushed their teeth with poison three times a day. All their food was laced with multiple forms of it. Even their clothes had the stuff woven into them. Not fast acting poisons. No. Slow, long-term stuff. In small quantities. They’d never know it was killing them. But when sufficient had accumulated, the mysterious symptoms began. By that time their immunity had been shot through, sapped by years of silently fighting off poisons and trying to stem malignant growths sparked by the stuff.” 

He ran a trembling finger over the record button making sure it was pressed. After all his efforts it would be a crying shame if his message went astray. Not that anyone was left to hear. But it was his duty to tell the truth. “Some scientists knew of the dangers, they wrote about them, they talked about them, but nobody listened, not even their colleagues. Society had other, short-term priorities.” A violent bout of coughing forced him to press pause. Struggling to recover, he glanced around. The former store cupboard had become his world. It was one of the few places that still had electricity. More importantly, it was the only place left where there was food. Canned food, it was true. The very poisoned stuff he’d been decrying. But he had no choice. All the fresh produce had rotten long ago. 

Releasing the pause button, he turned back to the camera. “The ultimate symbol of this tragedy were the injections. Officially they were to counter a deadly disease spreading like wildfire through the population. All hopes were banked on a new-fangled chemical tinkered together in a private laboratory and rushed to market. Media and governments alike sang its praises. Doctors and chemists queued up to dispense the stuff. And the few who dared express doubts were maligned if not imprisoned.” He toyed with a discarded syringe that lay next to the computer, one of several, their contents long dried up.“So much effort to protect against one virus when a tsunami of them was on its way. With hindsight it is hard to believe they could have been so shortsighted. Anyone could see it was not the viruses that killed them. The viruses sought a breech, and there were many, then they waltzed right in. No. The rot had set in long before. But who would have the courage to admit they’d brought this on themselves.”

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