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 Eighty Nine
Every headache, every cough and sniffle, every twinge in the throat is now suspect. Is it just allergies? Thirst? A lack of sleep and nerves? Or is it something more? Has the dread lord come to stalk us?
These are the questions that come at the hint of any symptom. I felt a scratching something in my chest earlier in the week and worried at it for a time, but it passed as soon as I got busy with something else. It returned for several days whenever the thought came to me, disappearing just as quickly when my mind moved on to other matters.
I felt tired for much of the week too, just washed out. Was it only that I was exhausted from poor sleep and the worries of my correspondences and the general conditions of existence, or am I feeling the first cold touch of the grippe reborn?
I think back over these last months – near four now – and can think of any number of days when I felt similarly. A bit of a sore throat. Maybe a fever. An inexplicable exhaustion. They all passed and were forgotten. And I also think back to months before the dread lord’s arrival on these shores. How many days did I awaken and not feel quite right, but gave it no further thought whatsoever because it wasn’t worthy of note. There are days that one just feels like crap and it isn’t a sign of anything except that.
But now any minor deviation from regular health feels like a portent doom. My mind refuses to ignore it and worries at it, returning again and again to wondering if this is something more than it seems. That is where I feel the mental burden of the dread lord’s invasion most fully: the constant awareness, the vigilance and the anxiety that never quite fades away. It is always there, waiting to bloom, even if I am unaware of it, especially if I try not to acknowledge its presence. It eats away at you slowly, day by day by day.