In chapter 11 school is starting, Miranda decides to home school herself. In chapter 12 Miranda eats a bag of chocolate chips that her mom was saving, her mother punishes her by not feeding her for that day and the next. In chapter 13 Miranda goes to the hospital to get Peter but the guards won't let her in, she almost passes out from starvation, Matt comes and the guard lets them get Peter. In chapter 14 Miranda finds out Megan is dead. Chapter 15 Mrs. Nesbitt tells them what to do if she dies
One theme from from the novel is that bad things only get worse. People in the book keep saying "When things get back to normal", "This can't last forever", and "When this is over". But, throughout the book conditions never get better, they only get worse. It seems like in every chapter something bad happens. People even question if things will go back to normal, "...when things get back to normal, if they ever do.".
The central conflict affects the characters' psychological well being. The characters seem to be less morally good. We have seen Miranda be more greedy and stealing more, like the chocolate chips for example. Almost all people are untrustworthy like Reverend Marshall, whose congregation is starving while he is eating well. Even Miranda's dad who got gas and food from the blackmarket and maybe even other ways we don't know about and didn't tell Miranda or her mom.
I just wanted to talk about an interesting thing I found while making this. Reverend Marshall's name has an interesting meaning, Marshall means "one who looks over horses" and he takes care of his congregation.