The shutdowns had impacted society like never before.
“Stay home” orders spread across the globe and economies ground to a halt. Most people obeyed and did their part although it was rumored–and at times confirmed–that members of so-called elite classes continued throwing parties and holding other social gatherings quietly, behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the obedient classes who were out of work waited in food lines and hoped for government checks.
Everywhere politicians, business moguls, and scientists argued about the most effective course of action, but one group actually rose up to make a difference.
It started slowly. First one state, then another. As abortion clinics were forced to close their doors to help reduce human contact and in so doing reduce risk of transmission of this most deadly of viruses that could not only pose a threat to our very way of life but to humanity in general, a strong, independent woman rose up to challenge the status quo and speak truth to power.
The woman’s name was Bouleshine Fledermaus Gotterdammerung, or “Boulie” as she was known to friends and family and, in no time at all, to the world as well.
Boulie, an obscure performance artist, sat on the board of directors for the state chapter of a feminist organization whose motto was “Women, Now More Than Ever.”
It had been Boulie who rallied to the aid of abortion clinics. The speeches she began recording at home and broadcasting over the internet on social media reached hundreds, then thousands, then millions, and the image of her stomping back and forth, barefoot in her kitchen–where, she joked, she belonged because the acoustics were better and her floor was heated–soon became iconic and beloved by feminists and social justice warriors worldwide.
“This is not caution!” she exclaimed, her big blue eyes on fire, her pale alabaster skin flushed, her long blond dreadlocks whipping back and forth as she shouted and gestured. “This is not prudence! This is certainly not healthy!” she continued, gesturing quotation marks with her fingers for emphasis.
“This is madness!” she shouted. “This is oppression! This is injustice! And this will not stand! This aggression will not stand!”
In a matter of weeks she was pulling in over eight thousand dollars a month via advertising revenue on her social media accounts, and her GoFundMe account was over five hundred thousand dollars and still growing.
She used the money to retain lawyers and private security, and secretly organized what was later called “the bravest thing any woman had ever done”: mass civil disobedience in concert with abortion clinic operators to contact women who had been turned away in the name of pandemic safety and re-open for business.
And re-open they did.
She personally stood in the doorway at one clinic that was closest to the local television station and invited a camera crew to meet her there, and they got the entire spectacle on film. Boulie in the doorway, letting women and staff in and announcing no one, not even the police, had a right to enter “her” doorway.
Of course the police were called. By the time they arrived, Boulie had locked herself in the clinic with around twenty women seeking “medication abortions” by pill, and perhaps ten staff members.
Similar scenes played out at the other seventeen clinics with which Boulie had coordinated the “re-openings of womens’ lives” as she called it.
It turned out to be the single match that burned the forest down. Soon, women everywhere were falling in line behind her. Boulie’s t-shirt sales skyrocketed, and where just days prior women were yelling at joggers and throwing rotten eggs at people out driving around in their cars in presumed violation of stay-at-home orders, the same women and quite a few men were now organizing, demonstrating, and in some cases marching in small towns and big cities around the country. Law enforcement, already stretched thin, eventually became unable to provide effective disbursement and settled for hanging back and just making sure nobody got hurt.
The movement grew and elected officials, powerless to stop it without declaring martial law and calling out the national guard, eventually began rescinding the stay-at-home orders. Placating a suspended workforce numbering in the millions with no end in sight had been one thing. Very few politicians had the fortitude to begin locking up thousands of women protesting the closure of abortion clinics worldwide in blatant disregard for standing stay-at-home orders.
The pandemic blinked. Abortion won the day.
As abortion clinics opened their doors across the western hemisphere, health officials of every major government held press conferences announcing that some treatments being used successfully in various parts of the world were effective in minimizing the effects of the virus, allowing most people to rest and recover without significant risk to their lives or the lives of their fellow man. It was really just a nasty flu after all, they said.
And just like that, the pandemic was over.
By the time the virus became commonly known as “that nasty, weird flu”, media outlets around the world were covering Boulie’s press conferences at abortion clinics around the United States and, eventually, around the world.
It was at one such conference she held at a town fair in Duluth, Minnesota where she confirmed growing speculation amongst the media and the rumors spreading online by publicly announcing her candidacy for President of the United States.