Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Thirty Seven

The one certain sign that spring is truly here and we shall hear no more from winter has come. I have been dreading it and now it is here. My eyes are itchy and my nose is running. Yesterday my throat was phlegmy as well, a harbinger of what is coming. Hay fever, that annual delight, has arrived.

Those fellow sufferers will know of what I speak. Spring in the weeks when the air is full of pollen is not a time for rushing outdoors without heed. Rather it is a time for walking guardedly and hurrying to wash your face clean once indoors. Sneezing, wheezing and resisting the insane urge to scratch out ones throbbing eyes are also present.

Perhaps with the new masking requirements and protocols of our quarantine, I will be spared some of my usual misery. One can only hope, for quarantine and seclusion are troublesome enough without adding this suffering to it as well.

In my present home it is the trees that bother me most – aspen, poplar, alder, juniper – so the next weeks will be a trial. In those central parts of the Lost Quarter where I passed my youth, there were fewer trees so I rarely had problems at the beginning of spring. But as spring shifted to summer and the grasses began to bloom I would be felled by sneezing fits. My eyes and throat would swell and grow so itchy that I wanted to claw at myself. I would rasp and wheeze and just be generally miserable.

The worst of it, in some ways, is the fatigue that follows once the attack has ceased. Your body has been doing battle with itself and is exhausted as a result. All you can do is lie about and feel wretched, cursing pollen and your own feeble disposition. If nothing else, it will at least give me something to complain about aside from our enforced confinement.

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