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 Forty Nine

A gloomy day, cloud covered and damp with rain. Much needed moisture, for it has been so dry. The land is parched and slow to turning green.

For weeks now the question has been, what comes next. How do we go from this strange moment and return to some kind of ordinary existence? The truth is there is no normal to return to. We will just move to another strange instant, where the oddness of it will gradually recede and seem familiar as our current predicament has started to.

What will it look like? There is much talk but few concrete answers. Stores and shops will open and people will begin to return to work. The trickle of cars on the roads will become a flood. Yet every minor, inconsequential interaction will be freighted with the knowledge that the dread lord could intercede. He is relentless, his siege engines prepared, so we must not relax our guard too much. We have repelled his first assault as best we can, but there will be further attacks and we must be ready for a long and terrible battle.

With that will come an anxiety, worse in so many ways than that of our current isolation. At least now we can tell ourselves that we are largely safe from the grippe reborn if we stick to the quarantine regimen and follow the prescribed practices. Never entirely, but enough for it all to be a kind of comfort. But once we are back out in the world more regularly, that veneer of safety will be shattered and we will have to find new ways to comfort ourselves again.

Yet staying in our homes forever is no life at all. So we will go out, come what may. We will build a new normal, and when that fails build another and another. There is no natural law, only those we make, and those can be rewritten, reshaped and reformed. Each day brings new dawn upon a new world.

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