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 Eighty Nine

They say one million people have perished from the grippe reborn since he regained his powers. The city we live in now has over a million people, so it is as if the inhabitants of this place were simply wiped off the map. Imagine empty, silent streets, with cars parked and still, gathering dust. Homes and buildings with darkened windows, corridors undisturbed by footsteps. The detritus of so many lives gradually falling into a kind of chaos.

One of my coworkers recently returned to our offices to pick something up and said it was disturbing. Papers had slipped from the boards where they had been pinned or fallen off desks. No one, except perhaps the cleaning staff had been inside in six months, and even they could not have been there with any regularity. Things had simply drifted into a kind of minor chaos with the passage of time and the workings of entropy. If we do not return for another six months or more, what will we find when we do?

Of course, a solitary city hasn’t been blasted out of existence by the dread lord. His power is much more insidious. One here, a few there, a dozen elsewhere. How many of us have not met someone who suffered from his malady, let alone someone who perished? It is easy to dismiss this all as so much drama, to insist that all our protocols and defences are unnecessary, an overreaction.

Many do and their voices are loud and angry. Most of us though go about our days warily, knowing the grippe reborn is here and will not be vanishing with the snap of our fingers. How do you mourn a thousand, let alone a million?

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