Stories 19: “Your” Reality and not “The Reality”

A feature appears on television detailing the discovery of a new strain of virus. A family watching the program together hears the same news. The father generates the worrisome thought that this discovery will affect the stock prices of drug companies in which he has invested. The older daughter becomes fascinated and decides to investigate the information for her upcoming term paper. The mother fears that her best friend, a missionary, could have been exposed to the virus. The older brother is excited and runs to the computer to see whether people are talking about the virus on the Web. The younger brother is grossed out and takes notice of the details of the symptoms to scare his friends at school. The three-year-old daughter on her father’s lap is absorbed in watching the dog chase a bug and is totally unaware of the television program. The grandmother dismisses the whole idea as “nonsense” and gripes that TV reporters will say anything to shock people. The grandfather drifts into a reverie about how simple things were when he was a boy and no one had ever heard of viruses.