Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
In June 2023, a potentially deadly airborne pathogen known as the Catasat virus began spreading in a small town called Dewberry Hollow, a small town in America with a population of 100. The symptoms ranged from a light cough at best, to a fever and moderate cough at worst. While the virus puzzled researchers, scientists warned it could put the town’s older residents at risk.
But even younger adults were not immune. Residents like 29-year-old Liza developed symptoms. Instead of going out, she stayed at home and quarantined to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others. However, people like 36-year-old Carol chose to go out and continue to earn money to support herself—despite being aware of the virus’ spread.
While the illness continued to come back in waves, the population of Dewberry Hollow was able to flatten the curve of Catasat cases. Eventually, the virus became endemic thanks to the responsiveness of the town’s citizens.