Although we study these types of events, from an historical point of view, nothing of this magnitude has ever happened in Labelle. I would be just as shocked.
The initial deaths would be treated with suspicion. Many theories would probably be offered to explain the deaths. Some people might believe the deaths to be the result of terrorism. They might speculate that water and food supplies have been poisoned. Others might come up with conspiracy theories. These types of speculation often attend events which we don't fully comprehend; in the beginning, a plague would be incomprehensible. I would also be indecisive at this point. I would be fearful.
Gradually, however, the people in the community will come to the realization that a consistent and pervasive problem is occurring. The deaths would not stop. That would be the most dangerous time. Many people would consider fleeing. They would pack up their bags and leave Labelle. Many, however, would stay. Those that stay will have to deal with the dangerous environment. I would probably leave Labelle. Without more knowledge, it would seem the safest course. I wouldn't want to be the next to die.
I believe that government officials would panic. As advanced as we profess to be, government officials rarely react well in crises. ...
They would probably try to quarantine people affected by the plague. This would divide families and friends. They would divide Labelle.
Most likely, people would then resist these efforts. The local government and the local police would be affected personally as well. I don't believe they would be able to govern effectively. More specifically, I believe that the local government and the local police would collapse. They would be required to request state and federal assistance.
In addition, there would be divisions along religious lines. An event this horrific would definitely appeal to deeply held religious beliefs. Many people would believe that God is punishing us for some grave offense. Others would ridicule the religious explanations. This would exacerbate the emotions of people in the community. Rather than helping each other, and trying to remain calm, I believe that people would start blaming each other for the pandemic. The religious citizens, of whatever faith, would blame the sinners for incurring the wrath of God. The non-religious citizens would fight back. Common resources, such as food and shelter, would be divided rather than shared. This would lead to more problems. The fighting would be organized into groups.
Looting, theft, and murder, for example, would probably be employed as survival techniques. There would be disorder; perhaps, there would be chaos. People are dying and there is hardly a greater fear than death. People would feel justified, to some degree, in behaving more immorally than under normal circumstances. Old feuds might be settled with guns instead of in courtrooms. Businesses would be stripped bare by people in need or food or stockpiling for the future. Women would