|"Do you remember 2020, Grandma," Logann asked.
"How could I forget. It was the year the world changed." Mary sipped her coffee and closed her eyes, lost in the past. "A lot of people died that year."
"From the coronary?"
"Corona," Mary corrected. "Not so many from the actual virus, no. It was greed that killed the rest."
"What do you mean, Grandma?"
"Well, it started with the hoarding ..."
"What do you mean, there's no bread?" I looked at the empty shelves. "Are the bakers sick then?"
"No, the raiders picked us clean in the first ten minutes. We're trying to restock as fast as we can but ..."
Everywhere I went it was the same. Luckily I could cook. I made my own bread when I got home, and I passed a loaf to Auntie Sam. We didn't know how bad it was then.
"Didn't they have feeding stations back then?" Logann asked, tucking into her lunch.
"No, babes, not then."
"What happened next, Grandma?"
"Next came the lockdown."
"What, like prison?"
"Not quite, sweetie. No, we were advised to stay at home except for emergencies ..."
"How can I pay my rent and my bills if I'm not allowed to work?"
"But you do have a job, so you can't claim unemployment."
"Sick pay then?"
"But you're not sick. No, you're not eligible for anything."
"But the landlord said pay up or get out."
"Rules is rules."
Many people ended up on the streets that year. Some succumbed to the virus, others used drink or drugs to slowly end their lives, others took the quick way out. Bridges were popular.
A lot of businesses had to close for the lockdown but many never reopened. They were bought up cheap by the greedy hoarders. They didn't last long though. People have long memories.
"Is that when they stopped using money?"
"No, that took a couple more years. At first we got together in groups to help each other. Made sure everyone had somewhere to sleep and food in their bellies. Auntie Sam helped set up the first feeding station."
"So what killed all the rest, Grandma?"
"That was the scavengers. At first they broke into homes in search of food. They found lots of bodies that had starved. They soon started eating them..."
Armed cannibals roamed the streets, eating the dead and the dying. What they didn't realise was that they were eating the infected. One by one they succumbed to a new, more virillant form of the corona - covid 20, passed on only by infected food.
Soon the streets were safe again. The Royal Family took over the running of the country, giving over their palaces for the homeless. The Queen herself once made me a cup of tea. We all look after each other these days. We grow what we need and give the surplus to other countries and they do the same.
"Now, young lady, back to the nursery with the other children. I'll see you again next Sunday."