Forty-one-year-old Eva Thompson was busy in her small suburban London home preparing breakfast for her sixteen-year-old daughter, Emma. Eva was pretty. She was slim and had an athletic figure. A small snub nose and a beautiful face. Her husband David had already taken the train downtown, as he did every morning. It always took him a little over an hour. He was an investment banker and was considered incredibly busy. During the week, therefore, they hardly saw each other at all. He always came home late in the evening. She looked forward to the weekends and vacations all the more. Eva stood at the stove. She had tied her long black hair back with a white scrunchie. She looked at the clock. It was 8:30. She cracked another egg into the pan. She tapped it on the edge of the pan and let the contents drip into the pans. Her daughter Emma came into the kitchen. She had already packed her school bag and set it down on a vacant chair beside her.
"Emma, please turn on the TV" her mother asked her.
Emma moaned softly, but did so slightly annoyed. She stood back up and walked over to the flat screen TV that was tethered to the kitchen wall. She turned on the TV and took the switch and sat back down at the table. She turned on the American news channel, NUW News, and turned it up louder.
There was just a panel of experts in the studio, once again discussing the coronavirus. Not long ago, more mutations of mutations had been discovered, against which even vaccination with two different vaccines were ineffective. These were so-called escape variants that had escaped the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Stock markets all over the world had fallen into the bottomless pit shortly thereafter. It was the biggest crash in the history of financial markets. Her husband was worried, too, cursing every night as things didn't seem to be getting any better.
"These worrisome mutations are becoming more and more. It seems to be happening faster and faster, where new mutants are popping up again against which the drugs are ineffective. The drug companies can't keep up. Even if they manage to push the time to a few weeks to adapt the active ingredients and start mass production, if the number of mutations continues to increase, we will lose the race against the virus," said one of the experts.
Another expert agreed:
"Dr. Glenn, you're right about that. Even if we are fast-tracked to have a new vaccine that is also effective against the mutants, and in large enough quantities, we will still need more and more vaccines. Triple vaccinations with three different vaccines, quadruple vaccinations to cover all the mutations.
I also think we have already lost the race against the virus," said the expert pessimistically.
"And it now seems certain that the virus came from the Chinese laboratory in Wuhan. The Americans believe that it probably happened in September 2019. Also because it is now considered certain that several scientists from the virological institute in Wuhan had already been infected with the coronavirus before December. And that laboratory had worked for years to make the coronavirus transmissible to humans and also to make it airborne. If you put one and one together, the virus can only come from there. Even if the Chinese government tries to take the world for fools. The virus we are dealing with, I am also of the rock-solid opinion, probably came from the laboratory in Wuhan."
"The tone of the U.S. government toward the Chinese government is also becoming more aggressive. All signs point to war. The Americans have already sent a fleet of warships to the Pacific today. Three aircraft carriers. They say they are just on a maneuvering trip, but to me it looks like preparation for war. At the same time, tensions with Russia continue to rise. Once again, the U.S. and the EU have imposed tougher sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. More diplomats have been expelled and further sanctions are being considered if Russia does not release critics. It seems that they want to irritate the Russians, namely in case there would be a nuclear war against China, they probably want to attack Russia as well. Because after a nuclear war between the US and China, Russia would be strong enough to dominate the world. We still remember the incident in June 2021 when a British warship had entered Russian territorial waters near the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia had annexed. The British insisted it was Ukrainian territorial waters and lied about the account. The British government denied the Russian view that Russian warplanes had dropped four bombs on the warship's course. The warning shots fired by a Russian coast guard ship were also downplayed by the British government. They referred to it as a Russian exercise. Russia then openly threatened war if it came to it again. The British government, on the other hand, had already announced further cruises in that area.
Again today, Russia has deployed more troops on the border with Ukraine. The US president threatened to intervene if those invaded Ukraine. Currently, there are also about 25000 US troops in the large exercise Trident Delta in the Baltic States. The Russian president this morning threatened war in case the U.S. imposes further sanctions on Russia"
Emma sat at the table eating scrambled eggs. She poked her plate listlessly with her fork, listening to the news. Like everyone else, she was worried.
It was not the virus, to which one had already become accustomed. It was the warmongering that was weighing on everyone's stomach and dampening their spirits. Everyone suspected it for days. It is only a question of time and it will come to war. Her mother came with the pan and put fried potatoes on her plate. Using the wooden cooking spoon, she pushed a large portion of lightly browned fried potatoes onto the plate.
"Thank you",she said thanking her mother.
"Do you think there will be a war?" she asked her mother worriedly, looking at her.
"I hope not. There are always tensions like this," she tried to reassure her daughter. But inside she didn't believe what she was saying. Emma also realized her mother had not said what she thought, but just something again to calm her down. She sighed.
On the TV, they saw a speech by the US President just being broadcast live. The US President was holding a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. The press room was small and had only forty seats. That group of journalists and correspondents present there were all members of the White House Press Corps. Each of the forty seats had rushed to a news medium.
With a serious expression, the President began to speak.
"I am suspending trade with China today until further notice. The Chinese government still maintains, despite evidence we have, that the virus originated naturally. We don't see it that way. We have evidence that it originated at the Wuhan lab," the U.S. president said, not moving a muscle.
Emma looked at her mother in horror.
"They want to suspend trade with China," Emma said, aghast. She was stunned. She couldn't believe what she had heard. Who would supply the big chain stores in the U.S. then. Almost everything they sold, except food and beverages, came from China. She knew that from her father.
"Yes, I heard," her mother said, feeling strange. It was a sense of the near end of the world that was settling in her.
"You'd better stay here today. Don't go to school," she said worriedly to her daughter.
"It's fine. Do you want me to wake Tim?" she asked her mother, somehow rejoicing. After all, it was her mother from whom the suggestion to skip school came. Tim was her little brother. He was only seven years old.
"No. Let him sleep," she said.
And then it was about Russia. The U.S. president said about it, "All financial transactions from Russia to the U.S. will be cut off," there was a loud murmur from the reporters present in the White House.
The president could not continue speaking, but was interrupted by reporters.
"Mr. President. Mr. President," one of the reporters shouted, gesticulating wildly. He had jumped up from his seat, as had most of the other reporters, trying to make their voices heard.
The president, who was currently propping himself up on the lectern with both arms, looked at him and nodded. "Yes please," he said to that reporter.
"Are you about ready to risk a war with Russia for this? The Russian president, after all, threatened war this morning in case of further sanctions against Russia."
The president took a deep breath. He took a sip from the glass of water that stood on the lectern and then said: