DUSTY TRAILS

3/23/2020

Frothing pink foam at the mouth and gasping for air like a fish on the shore, an early 60-year-old man, given the name Joe Doe, was rushed into the emergency room at a major urban hospital. Found in a city park next to a pavilion, the homeless man was huddled near the entrance, extracting any bleed heat that the locked building could offer. Brought in by the paramedics who now roamed the cities in full blown hazmat suits, Mr. Doe was in a world of trouble. With hundreds of existing patients filling the intensive care wards and spilling into the hallways, this year’s early springtime was only promoting death. The pandemic was now a runaway train that trashed anything in its path. The medical staff employed there worked around the clock and slept for an hour or so in chemically drenched janitorial closets to keep going. With all the doctors only available to assess victims 40 or younger, Joe Doe was assigned to a male nurse name Jesus Pook. Without a day off since February 29th, Jesus has seen a world of change in one month. First with a shortage of ventilators, and then with a surge of defective respirators made by auto manufacturers, Mr. Pook started walking over the dead. He disconnected these devices that were over inflating the 500 plus million tiny air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli and causing them to rupture. The excessive fluids in the lungs did not want to compress, so the hydraulics of the situation distributed that load over the tiny, fragile alveoli and split the sacs wide open. Jesus was desperate. With the arrival of an unknown man who would die shortly, he would try anything. He atomized the contents of those desiccant packages that are shipped with electronic products that absorb moisture and then pushed it directly into the man’s lungs. Tipping his face down body at a 60° angle for gravity assist, the lung’s liquid started rolling out through his mouth. Within an hour, the poor, nameless man’s breathing was slowly returning to normal. 

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