CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-SEVEN
Seven weeks later
Monday early morning — 5:15 a.m.
As they always did after Harvest Weekend, the weeks began to blur together. They had their first snow. Jacob and Blane were teaching the teenagers, including Noelle, how to shovel snow. The children were actually enjoying being school — masks and all. All parents were back at work. Valerie and Mike and their children had returned to Los Angeles for the People’s Choice Awards.
This morning, the employee owners of Lipson Construction were called into a video call before the sites officially opened. The men and women who turned on the equipment were following along by telephone.
“Okay,” Jacob said.
Jacob’s face was in profile.
“The camera is. . .” Aden said, pointing to the webcam on his computer.
Aden, Jacob, Tres, and Sam were in the offices of Lipson Construction.
“Thanks,” Jacob said, turning to the camera. “Good morning everyone!”
Turning to Aden, he asked, “Are they all here?”
“Okay,” Jacob said. “I just got off the telephone with the governor. Because we are essential workers, he is willing to let us vaccinate our entire crew including the non-owners.”
No one said anything. Jacob squinted into the camera.
“Is the audio on?” Jacob asked.
“What do we know about these vaccines?” a woman asked. “I’ve heard some really creepy stuff about them.”
“We know that they are safe based on the trials,” Aden said. “Thousands of people have taken them and the vaccine appears to have worked really well.”
“How do you know?” a man asked.
“I read the scientific paper,” Aden said with a nod. “You can too. We’ll send it around to you.”
“What you might not know. . .” Tres’s head appeared sideways. “. . . is that thousands of the vaccine have been given out in other countries already. The vaccination project is worldwide.”
“Isn’t the technology new?” a younger man asked.
“New to us,” Jacob said. “They’ve been working on it for decades — three, I think. Our friend Tanesha talked to the scientist who invented the technology. The science is sound.”
“And it works!” Sam’s voice could be heard in the room.
“Dad, why don’t you take my place?” Jacob asked.
Jacob moved away from the camera so that Sam could be seen.
“Delphie and I have been in a vaccine trial,” Sam said. “We are both well. I had some side effects after getting my vaccine, but Delphie didn’t have any. They thought maybe I had side effects because I’d already been so sick with Covid.”
Sam gave a sincere nod to the camera.
“I know that people are saying that this is sickness is not a big deal,” Sam said. “But I’ll tell you — I nearly died. I’m in great health. Outside of being older, I don’t fit into any category of pre-existing conditions. If Jake hadn’t seen me fall, I would be dead. If I hadn’t been able to get treatment, I’d be dead. And even with all of the help — acupuncture, all of your prayers and support, medications, hospital stays, everything — I still have effects from the virus. You don’t want to get this thing. Trust me.”
Sam stepped away from the camera.
“It looks like the vaccine is going to be two doses — one initial dose and then another four weeks later,” Jacob said. “Most of us have the Hep B vaccine so we know what this is all about.”
Most heads nodded up and down.
“Tres?” Jacob nodded to Tres Sierra.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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