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 Two Hundred and One

We returned from our seclusion in the west to strange days. The grand old empire to the south seems to be descending into the grip of some terrible madness. Their leader, already a madman, has been touched by the grippe reborn. This after months of denial of the dread lord’s powers and a refusal to enact even the most basic of precautions for himself and his citizens.

To read about the place is to find it both unrecognizable and deeply familiar at the same time. Already the leader was fulminating and preparing the way to discredit the coming elections, which he seems likely to lose, and cling to power using the institutions he commands and has broken. The likelihood of him succeeding was perhaps low before, and may be shrinking more and more now that he is ill.

But the fact he was willing to attempt it, and likely still will regardless of what takes place between now and the election, and that his allies are willing to go along with him to ensure they can maintain their power, shows how far the empire has fallen. Its institutions, which it has long trumpeted as exemplary, have been shown to be pathetic and broken. One is tempted, sitting here in the Greater Dominions to say such things couldn’t happen here, that our institutions are stronger, but they are run by people and can be broken too. It can all so easily fall apart.

We have read about such descents into chaos and autocracy – history is sadly replete with examples – but to see it happening before our very eyes is something else altogether. The citizens of that empire seem barely to realize what is happening and I cannot even blame them. There is an air of unreality to all of it. The attempt is so brazen, so craven, so ham-handed, that the temptation is to treat it as unserious. So many are disbelieving as a result. The horrors and outrages of the last four years have been so endless as to become almost background noise.

Of course there are those who will, while not exactly welcoming the autocracy and the collapse of the institutions, see an opportunity for themselves. They are preparing even now to seize it as those who debate amongst themselves whether all of this is really what it seems to find ways to look away from the evidence before them.

The future is never written though, and in this year, at this time, only a fool would claim to know what will happen. People will decide. We shall have to put our faith in them, for there is no one else.

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