I was eight when the epidemic took hold. I remember being scared because my nan wasn’t feeling well, and she had been compromised with her health and mum
was worrying about nan a lot because she was feeling ill but nan kept saying to mum, who was
expecting Jody, to stay at home and not visit her. Dad had already left. He left us not long after mum got pregnant. He said that he didn’t want another baby. He just walked out. I don’t think about him, about whether it was wrong or not – that’s just what he did, it’s what people do. That didn’t really upset me at the time because I saw mum was happier without him. She didn’t think she was, but I can see now that she was. For a few months, it was me and mum and we were just waiting for Jody to arrive. And we were happy. When the epidemic started it was quite surreal. All of a sudden, they were advising people not to travel unnecessarily or visit people with the flu. We had to wash our hands and wear masks and take precautions everywhere we went. We always washed our hands a lot anyway, it’s the best way to kill germs. Messages would come to us by our devices, updating us on the spread of flu, and areas where it was increasing. We stopped visiting nan due to mum’s pregnancy. They said vulnerable people should have the vaccine, and it was when nan had the vaccine that she got all the flu symptoms. She said as soon as she got home she started to feel ill, and that she wished she never had it. Mum got advice from the health centre about what she should do. And then one day I could see she was tired. She looked drained, she looked grey. She looked ill. It was the worst I had seen her since dad walked out. I asked her if she was ok, and she said that she was going to bed.
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