Lucinda escapes from a trouble marriage with her daughter to work at a small, rural hospital. She must deal with a deadly virus, her ex and man with a gun who wants to end it all.
A deadly virus overtakes the quiet town of Sierra, causing chaos. Hundreds of people crowd the ER. A desperate father with gun, determined to find a cure for his baby could end it all.
Time is running out! Who will survive?
A wave of panic washed over Sierra Hospital’s Emergency Room (ER). The air was thick with tension. Anxiety and fear settled in. The entrance sliding glass doors continued to open and close as patients filed in on this humid evening. Over 200 patients had been admitted already, and many more filled the lobby of this small rural hospital. Babies were crying, old men were grumbling, pregnant mothers were moaning as the crowd grew more and more impatient. In its history, the hospital never handled this enormous volume before. Even the physicians and staff could not understand the sudden rush of patients.
All had the same symptoms--headache, cough, fever, and an ugly rash. Many young people had been affected over these past few months, but it had escalated to a new level today. There was no end in sight to this monstrous virus that had swept this small town. A few had died from it and many were sick. Whole families had it. The high school was hit the hardest.
Ambulances rushed in to the ER from all parts of the county. As one left another one came. One admitter was designated to register patients in the back when the ambulances arrived. Another sat at the front registration desk, eyes glued to the computer as the patients lined up to describe their symptoms. Trapped, A third sat at her desk, taking patient after patient. The lines never seemed to end.
I entered the front entrance after taking care of patients and friends in the parking lot.
I watched the chaos slowly unfold as I immersed myself into the ER. Sirens blared, women screamed and warnings sounded over the PA system. The months here at the hospital had worn me to a frazzle. My life was consumed by my work, the numbers of sick people and the never ending virus. How had my life gotten to this point? Our sleepy little rural town was dying and everyone could feel it.
Suddenly, a shot rang out! A desperate wild-eyed man, holding a baby fired his gun. The crowd of people scrambled, hiding behind chairs in the hospital waiting area, some screaming, others running outside. Those waiting were crammed against the walls, unable to move. The mood accelerated to a new level from panic to terror.
“I need someone to see my baby now! She’s sick and I think she’s going to die. If you don’t help me now, I’ll kill you!” cried the man in desperation as his baby lay still in his arms.
The shot silenced the room for a second moment as people forgot their illnesses and focused on their precious lives! No one dared move in fear that it would trigger the man to aim his gun at them. Blood, sweat, tears pored out of patients too frightened to leave the premises. A little boy urinated on the floor. An old lady threw up in the waste basket nearby. An old man cowered in the corner. A mother muffled her baby’s crying. A teenager pleaded for his life.
The man with the baby remained in control, oblivious to everyone, except his own pain. He looked around the room for assistance, but no one knew what to do. No one had been trained to deal with this kind of crisis. Security waited for the police to arrive, too inexperienced to act, having never encountered a shooter before. This was Sierra, California, a rural vacation spot, not a large metropolitan city, used to fights, violence and gangs. All they could do was coax the man to lower his gun and wait.
I had just come from the parking lot into the ER lobby. I watched my co-workers as they sat woodenly in their chairs; one silently praying; another pressing the panic button that signaled the police. I could feel their fear and see the terror in their eyes. My heart seemed to push out of my chest and my head pounded to the sound of my heart beating. I felt very vulnerable, unprotected by a desk or counter. My hands trembled and my throat was dry; but I dared not move until the man put his gun down.
The man turned sharply and pulled the trigger again. He aimed in the crowd of people. “No, no please stop!” someone cried. I prayed that it wasn’t my last day, and that I would wake up from this nightmare.