Sweat trickles down my back making the ends of my short hair stick to my neck and my feet slip within my shoes. Why does it feel like the air-conditioning has been reduced? With every little nod of people’s head, with every stop for a brief consult, the pounding in my head gets louder and louder. On an empty floor I exit to the service stairs and make my way down. As I enter the sweltering heat of the basement I rip off my mask and quickly drop it, along with the now empty syringe, down the hazardous waste disposal chute. From there I make my way to the pediatric unit where the gloves are disposed and the coat is exchanged. The clock is ticking, but I force myself to continue unhurried along the planned route, making a few more deviations and exchanges, until I finally emerge out of the hospital.
There are literally thousands of people waiting outside. The press are jostling to capture that one exclusive picture or statement even as the hospital’s public relations representative harangues them over loudspeakers imploring them to be patient. Special prayers are being conducted for his speedy recovery. Little do they know – The King is dead; all hail the new king.