10 drops

When does a war end? Is it when victory is declared? Is it when the last innocent dies? When the last shot is fired?

When is a disaster over? When the earth stops shaking or when the stormwinds fall quiet?

Is it when the last tear is shed? Is it even then, or is it when the edge of memory is dulled enough to lose its edge? Does it end at different times for each, relative like everything else?

I like to think it is when you rediscover hope. It can be fragile and easily broken, but it still rises through the mud and blooms, welcoming a new day, doomed though it might be.

Today, I got a 0.5 ml shot in my arm and watched my spouse get it, a small amount of liquid signifying a large amount of hope, fragile as it might be.

I was already one of the privileged, able to stay locked at home and safe with everyone I love. But fear is the same everywhere if you have something to lose, although we, the privileged might deserve a weaker claim to it.

10 drops to save you from something that killed millions. The pinnacle of human ingenuity, racing against human stupidity and hubris to reach you first.

A tiny virus raged from one corner of the world to every corner in less than a year, although mankind was building the knowledge and tools to fight it for decades, centuries, millennia even. We knew for a hundred years how social distancing worked, how lockdowns worked

Instead, we prayed to the Gods and let bodies float down our holy rivers.

We carried death on our shoulders, every time we chose fantasy over fact.

Every time we cheered for leaders who fed us lies, every time we wore our masks below our chins.

The hope I gained is bittersweet because I know that others deserved it more. That better people died while waiting.

10 drops was all it took to stop a river of tears. If only we could have let it reach first.

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