America After The Vaccine:

A Post-Election Nightmare

By Tony Lopresti

 

By mid-summer 2021, people had stopped wearing their “I Got Vaccinated” stickers. The stickers had a photo of the patient, an ID number and a QR-code revealing the date, time, type and location of the person’s vaccine and other medical information. 

 

Almost immediately after the Supreme Court’s unexpectedly early announcement of their decision to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies ceased paying for Covid tests and refused to pay for vaccines. Within days prices for insurance and for all medical procedures and equipment soared and supplies dwindled. Stock prices for health-related companies skyrocketed. Investors were raking in millions per hour. Only the well off could afford to be inoculated. They were increasingly harassed by those who could not. When reports of beatings and killings began circulating, the vaccinated either fled into hiding or conspicuously wore medical masks and face shields to give the impression that they were in fear of contracting the virus.

 

One pharmaceutical company announced that it would offer its vaccines worldwide to anyone for mere pennies. But investors immediately sold their holdings in the company. The stock price plummeted and the company tanked. All its executives were fired and all of the members of the board of directors were replaced. The new board hired a low-level executive as CEO. He summarily disbanded the board and reversed the company’s vaccine distribution plan. The company’s stock, of which the new CEO had been granted a significant portfolio, went up 10,000% in two days. The CEO cashed out and disappeared. With the company no longer able to maintain the significant cost for the upkeep of its supplies, its vaccines spoiled and had to be discarded.

 

Mobs stormed the vaccine warehouses and made off with whatever they could carry. Many who injected themselves with the spoiled vaccines quickly developed horrific symptoms like disintegrating facial skin, bleeding eyes, deafness and intestinal breakdowns.

 

Even before the new Biden administration took office, Covid deaths had reached into the tens of thousands per day. Government agencies and nonprofits stopped even trying to ascertain how many cases there were.

 

For one house of a divided Congress, the stated objective was to make Joe Biden a one-term president. One train of thought was that if he were put under enough stress by political struggles that were deeply divisive he would be physically unable to cope and would die and that a President Harris could be defeated easily in 2024. In any case, it also was widely believed that after the 2022 midterm elections Biden, if he were still alive, would announce that he would not run again in 2024, not for health reasons but to help usher in a new generation of leadership at all levels of government.

 

Meanwhile, no plans were made to confirm any nominees to cabinet posts. When Biden countered by naming “acting” officials, countless lawsuits sprung up challenging the constitutionality of his executive actions. Court-issued injunctions halted any attempts to fill vacant agency positions.

 

No laws providing relief funds were enacted so as not to give the new administration any legislative victories that people would actually approve. After most small businesses failed, many large corporations, devoid of consumers, either filed for bankruptcy or just shut their doors forever. Massive layoffs followed.

 

Soup kitchens and food pantries run by charities did not have nearly enough resources to provide for the growing number of people who were hungry and sick. Many supermarkets displayed row after row of empty shelves as self-styled militia groups hijacked delivery trucks on the highways and made off with entire inventories. Most of the surviving truck drivers fled or joined the militias hoping to get some provisions for their families.

 

Militia groups became more and more popular as they formed squads dedicated to protecting people from getting evicted from their homes. Sheriffs and other local law enforcement agencies were outnumbered and did not have the resources or personnel to carry out eviction notices. Indeed, many of them refused to do so. After state and local governments were forced to lay off workers due to worsening budgetary conditions, many firefighters and police officers sought retirement only to find that the funds propping up their pension systems had suffered dramatic losses in the free-falling economy. Many took whatever meager pensions were still available and joined militias.

 

Joe Biden’s efforts to shore up the economy, to deal with the expanding pandemic and the struggles to be vaccinated were drowned out by the banner headlines and screaming faces on TV denouncing the failure of government at every level. The panic and discord crippled the Biden administration as much as its inability to bring in competent agency heads and to fill the many vacancies left by those who had been purged from government during the previous four years. The blooming of one crisis after another overwhelmed the administration’s actions, plans and pronouncements. Left with control only over the military, the administration deployed forces throughout the country to protect federal property and the few remaining workers. Embassy personnel in foreign countries were put on emergency footing or were evacuated as they abandoned buildings, equipment and files.

 

NATO allies rebranded themselves as a European organization and called up troops to protect the European Union’s borders. Fearing that the Union would disintegrate after the value of the Brexit era pound sterling plummeted to about 5% of its original value, many left wing parties began to gain prominence throughout the E.U. Several right wing and right-leaning governments cancelled elections and enacted strict measures limiting activities outside the home. International travel evaporated. Private and government owned airlines were bought up by venture capital firms and were then consolidated into one worldwide airline. Thousands and thousands of jobs were eliminated and countless aircraft were mothballed so they could be cannibalized in the future for spare parts.

 

Cities around the world emptied as people sought to carve out self-sustaining properties in rural areas and other places that previously had been uninhabited. Water became the most valuable resource and local water wars sprang up across the globe. 

 

WIFI became scarce and major tech companies hemorrhaged value. The world’s stock exchanges opened only one day per week. Information became a commodity of smaller and smaller regions. No one knew what news anyone else was getting, if any. Small colonies sprang up, mostly of people who were related or who had already known each other. They remained constantly vigilant against the ever-increasing possibility of attack by neighboring colonies. The colonies developed their own rituals, rites and standards of conduct to control resource distribution and behavior. The different colonies developed unique ways of communicating what they were doing. In a surprisingly short amount of time people from distant colonies couldn’t understand each other anymore. 

 

In the U.S., no one even contemplated the 2022 midterm elections. People were too busy trying to survive. When asked in early 2024 who might make a good president, people responded, “President of what?”

 

Because survivors of the realignment, as it was called, rarely left their own colonies, the worldwide novel-coronavirus pandemic eventually disappeared. As the concept of “nation” began to recede into history, wars, except for localized territorial skirmishes, began to disappear from the face of the earth.

 

Books were retained in most of the world out of a kind of respect, and as a way of trying to remember a world to which no one wanted to return.

 

The populations of dolphins and whales quickly grew to great numbers in the oceans. Fish and shellfish bloomed everywhere. Birds filled skies that got cleaner with each passing season. Land-based wildlife was profoundly respected in hope of maintaining a reasonable food supply.

 

A hush descended on the earth. People lived simple, short lives gathering food and protecting themselves. No one remembered the names Trump or Biden. Indeed, no one even remembered their own names.