No time for a meme this month. Now, I am in a quarantine again, only it is not so organised as last time. We avoid close contact, but have to leave our rooms all the time, there are so few of us and so many extra duties – tending the vegetables, gathering the animals, keeping the watch and guarding the little food we still have.
We at least hold the campus. The soldiers fired warning shots and many of us ran, but more stayed and fought them. We thought they would not aim to kill us, but they no longer care about killing. They do not shoot a lot, but we now know this is only because they have few bullets. Many students and staff died beating them down from the walls with broom handles and petrol bombs. This distracted us from the few who came in without uniform, and took much of the food from our stores, and also destroyed the runs for the rabbits and guinea pigs. We caught some of these, but too late. We capture many weapons, and in the middle of the fighting, with people in panic and grief, the few soldiers we caught were shot. We did not want to do this, we wanted to be better than them.
Even during the fighting, the Party leaders keep asking the Quarantine Movement committee members: where is Zhen? Where is our leader? After the fighting, when the army retreat from the walls and we begin to list the loss and damage, we find the answer. He is in the committee meeting room in the Democracy Building, hanging from the light fitting by his neck, leaving a note saying only: “I am sorry, I must resign.”
We have fought up close with the army, so our worst fear now is that many will be infected. We go in teams of three to minimise contact amongst ourselves, and bring the dead to the burial place, by the Jing Yuan memorial. We have no time to dig more graves. We pile up the bodies, including Zhen, and throw on the remaining petrol, but the fire does not take well and there is nothing we can do except leave them, and abandon the meadow and the Yuan buildings.
We gather the little food that remains from a few hidden personal stores of those who died or ran away. There is not really enough to feed us for another quarantine, but we have no choice. We do not even decide if those in the inoculation experiment need to join the quarantine or not. They each decide for themselves. This is wrong and frightening, how we cannot make a decision anymore that everybody will follow. How can a quarantine work if everybody makes a different rule? But we must try.