Whistleblower Amanda

No one is listening to me. I’m beginning to think I’m going mad.

The End of Men, p. 36

Ripped from the Headlines

omg, this book. This Ripped from the Headlines book. Written at least a year before the pandemic. A year! Writers do have the ability to predict the future.

There are two main points of view (both women, because the virus attacks only men. Men are toast!)

Amanda and her husband are both doctors. She screams at him not to go to work, but he does anyway.

“It’s a baby,” he shouts at me when I finally run out of steam after his return. He was only gone a few hours. “She’s going to die if I don’t help. I’m the only pediatric oncologist in the hospital at the moment.” He doesn’t say why he’s the only pediatric oncologist because he knows it answers my questions for me and makes his arguments absurd. He’s the only pediatric oncologist in the hospital at the moment because the other two fucking died.

“You have two children here in this house,” I scream with fury. “You might be a better doctor than me but I’m a better parent.

The End of Men, p. 32

Then:

Will is weeping now. I’ve never made him cry before . . . But this mistake is not reversible. I cannot touch my husband because if he is carrying the virus I might catch it and then our boys will be more likely to get sick. I cannot forgive him if the boys die because of this.

The End of Men, pp. 32 – 33

After the Virus

Amanda is a nurse, the first person who recognizes that the strange illness that is felling men right and left is a virus. No on believes her. Apparently, she dropped out of medical school for a year, which forever destroyed her reputation.

See if you don’t see yourself in the following scene, describing what Amanda does as soon as she arrives home from work:

When I left the hospital on Nov. 3 at the end of my shift, I changed out of my scrubs and walked, in my underwear, to the fire exit in the changing room and put fresh scrubs from the plastic on just before I left through the door emblazoned with FIRE EXIT ONLY. I did not give one solitary fuck about fire exits.

After getting out of the car once I got home, I ignored the front door, stripped in the garage and burned the clothes. I walked naked through the house and showered with the water as hot as I could bear and a new bottle of sterilizing wash I took from the hospital storeroom. I didn’t go near the boys and screamed at them when they started jokingly coming toward me in pigeon steps.

The End of Men, by Christina Sweeney-Baird, p. 31

The End of Men, p. 9

Gee whiz, I have done it again. I have picked a novel to read that has everything to do with the zeitgeist (and I added it to the reading list way before Texas SB8, is that women’s intuition or what?).

On p. 9, Catherine and her very nice husband, Anthony, who already have one child, a boy named Theodore, discuss having another. The man wants it more than the woman. Here is Catherine expressing her ambivalence:

I go through phases. Sometimes I feel determined and ready. I can do this. Send me the needles, shoot me up, strap me down. I will do anything for a baby. Other weeks, the idea of all of those people and objects and wires and things being inside me makes me want to curl myself in a protective hunch. No, my body says. This is not right. Anthony’s more prone to baby-induced broodiness than I am. A friend’s snuffly newborn or his godchild doing something adorable will inevitably lead to an earnest declaration that we should just do it, let’s do it, what have we got to lose? Like tonight.

What do we have to lose? Everything, Anthony. I want to cry each time. Occasionally I’ll convince myself I can do this whole IVF thing but I can’t do it flippantly. For a man so keen on planning, he can be remarkably gung ho about the impact of IVF and babies or, worse, IVF and no babies, on our lives. I need an acknowledgment of the potential worst case scenario. I need him to understand how hard it’s going to be for me.

This husband will prove to be very important later, because men are dying off at an astonishing rate. In fact, this poor woman might be having to share: it’s like The Handmaid’s Tale, only opposite.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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