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 One Hundred Fifty Five

Memory is a strange thing. Everything we are living through now feels monumental. Our battle with the grippe reborn consumes the whole planet. It has fundamentally altered our way of being and many of us shall never return to our old patterns. Or so it seems now.

The last time the dread lord regained his powers and took form, a century ago, the world was just as consumed. It was even more ill-prepared than we were, having been engulfed in a terrible war, and millions died as a result. The same quarantine protocols were put in place, the same practices required. In the Lost Quarter whole towns were nearly wiped out, and yet there are no markers or memorials to those events. It is not remembered in the same way that wars and other momentous happenings are. It is a footnote.

Certainly those of us who live through it will always carry the memory with us. And if the battle with the dread lord stretches on for years with greater and greater consequences to our lives and institutions, then the scars will show for decades to come. Change is like a glacier, shifting imperceptibly, but moving all the same. You only notice it looking back over many years. The dread lord is of the greatest consequence now, but in the coming decades, for those of us fortunate enough to see it, will it seem momentous or just a part of greater changes we are undergoing without even realizing it?

The Roman Empire, like all empires, didn’t fall in a collapsing heap. It dissipated over the years, crumbling away, piece by piece, so gradually that many of those living within it would not have been aware. They would have lived the same lives their fathers and grandfathers did for the most part. Only their sons and grandsons looking back would have been able to see what had been lost and to know that it could not be regained. For they were the ones who had to live in the consequences.

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