Tales from the ARVInn 1

by: Robert Nalley | Complete Story | Last updated May 30, 2024


Chapter 6
The Colony


Chapter Description: Among the means used to combat the spread of the AR Virus were 'colonies', isolated residential locations for those who might contract it. They had their moment.


Tales from the ARVInn: Colonies

The Age Regression Virus came to Russia slowly, even though it began in 2048 with an outbreak in the city of Smirnovka, northwest of Moscow.  This outbreak was eventually traced to the one student in Professor Kadalys’ class who came from Russia.  He had hurried home due to a death in the family, with the funeral services turning into a super-spread event for that region.  As he had travelled by rail and then by a private vehicle, few other exposures resulted at that time.  Within 3 months, there were some three dozen full-blown cases in the city, with quite a few others in the region. 

The outbreak was a shock to the area and led to a travel embargo that spread quickly to Moscow.  After nearly a month, with fewer new cases being reported, the ban was slowly relaxed.  This was the only episode in Russia until the following year, when exposures resulting from travel outside the country by both civilians and military personnel occurred.

Russian secrecy and tight controls kept the virus at bay and very much limited its spread in the country.  Russia reported just 86,021 age regression cases during the first ten years.  When the viral nature of the disease became apparent, a number of stringent public health measures were enacted.  These led to the virtual imprisonment of most victims for the first ten years or so, even though no further spread was found after they had bounced.  When the genetic explanation for the spread of ARV became known, Russia was one of the first to begin large-scale testing for the known mutations.  In the mid-2060’s, several “Colonies” were also established, with the idea of safe-guarding those susceptible to the virus.

                             

Most were in Siberia or very isolated regions far from major population centers.  Out of the seven colonies eventually begun, only one has had any measure of success.  The others all were eventually abandoned due to outbreaks.   The largest of these was on the southern island of Novaya Zemlya, in the Barents Sea.  As this area had only recently been de-militarized, there were buildings available there.  The islands had a population of only 847 inhabitants in 2061, but by 2070, it had swelled to the largest number ever seen there, 8,328.

Isolated as the location was, there was some travel back to mainland Russia.  This was heavily monitored and quarantine measures were quite severe.   

The approach taken by Russia was very coercive, so a large number of the colonies’ inhabitants were not there by choice.  Some measures were applied to make life as comfortable as possible, but the far northern and isolated locations were not welcomed by many. 

In the late winter of 2071, an impatient new director at Novaya Zemlya made a rash decision to relax quarantine procedures for some new residents, due to the need for their particular skillsets in the settlement.  This proved to be the undoing of the entire colony.  One of the new residents was placed to work in the commissary after only ten days.  He was carrying ARV and soon had passed it along to others, as there was considerable traffic through the facility daily.

Within a matter of less than a week, the facility had dozens of cases being reported every day.  Only a radical shift of people from the facility saved any of the residents from contracting ARV.  Eventually almost 6,000 cases resulted.  Sheer luck kept the others safe, as some transfers were made of sick and well together.  Over the next few months, the colony became one large hospital, until the bounced ARV-adults could be released and sent back home.

There is one remaining colony in Russia.  It is strictly isolated and has almost no contact with the outside world.  It receives relatively few new admissions, but has managed to maintain a population of around 4,000.  Its location is in a remote valley in the eastern edge of the Ural Mountains.  It has acquired a reputation as a center for cybernetic research and development.  Several residents there have won international recognition for their achievements over the past couple of decades.  It’s one outbreak occurred just after the Novaya Zemlya experience and was quickly controlled, with only a few dozen persons affected.

All the other colonies were abandoned after this, due to a variety of factors.  Small numbers, economic inefficiency, and the falling number of available persons all played a part.  As more people were affected, the genetic pool available to the virus has become much smaller, since the mutations were not shared and only new occurrences were available.  More widespread testing has also helped people become aware of their vulnerability and take steps to remain virus-free.

Other colonies were established around the world, but eventually fell victim to circumstances similar to the Russian ones.  Altogether, some forty official governmental attempts were made, with probably even more ‘unofficial’ ones.  Today, there are only five known ongoing colonies.  After the Russian one, the second is in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, at an oasis thirty miles from any other settlement.  Another is located in the Sonoran Desert in northern Mexico, although its population comes from all over North America.  The fourth is located in the mountains along the edge of the Atacama Desert in Chile, east of Antofagasta, and the fifth is in Mali, supported by the UN and several African countries.  All are considered academic successes, with each emphasizing multiple fields in scientific research and the arts.

Altogether, it is thought that the current population of these colonies is in the neighborhood of 28,000 persons.

Prepared 8 August 2110


1 naturae.ru/foto/novaya-zemlya.jpg

2 Image by Decokon from Pixabay

3 PD

4 Image by Brigitte from Pixabay

5 Image by lolorun from Pixabay

 


 

End Chapter 6

Tales from the ARVInn 1

by: Robert Nalley | Complete Story | Last updated May 30, 2024

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