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 Forty Four

Exhausted last night after a day of work and chores, yet I couldn’t sleep. My neck was sore, in such a way as to make any position in bed uncomfortable. The origins of that ailment are unknown to me. I am of an age now that I can wake up with aches and have no idea of how they came to be there. It is a strange thing, the body betraying the mind’s sense of it.

It was a night of betrayals, for as I tossed and turned, I had a sense of losing control. My heart raced and I had to breathe deeply to calm it. In the midst of all this the ache in my neck migrated to the back of my head and became a dull throb. It seemed to wander about my skull, going from one side to the other. I tried more breathing exercises, painkillers and a sleep mask.

I don’t recall falling asleep, but eventually I did. A still, dreamless sleep filled with darkness. I awoke early, feeling as though I had barely slept at all, the pulsing throb still present at the back of my head. It took more painkillers, breathing and stretching, and most of the morning, for it to finally leave me. Even when the pain left I could still feel where it had been, like an imprint on drying concrete, the shape of my thoughts contoured to its presence.

Headaches, as I noted some weeks ago, rarely trouble me. At least that was the case. Now I have had two in the space of a month as severe as any I’ve experienced, it seems they do.

There is so much to attend to that it is easy to forget to attend to ourselves, especially when our day to day lives have an enforced tedium to them with little relief. As the winter encroaches our lives here in the Lost Quarter seem to shrink, and with rising numbers and new restrictions (half measures that will surely prove ineffective). It is easy to feel a sort of approaching doom that is inescapable.

Yet there is good news as well, hope at the far edge of the horizon if only we can scrabble our way out of this muck. In the last two weeks there has notices that two of the inoculations being developed to thwart the dread lord are proving effective. There is still more testing to be done to confirm that is the case, and then there will be the manufacture and distribution of the medicines. All of that will take time before we have our defences in place. But there is an end in sight now truly – next summer if all goes well. We just have to find a way to make it until then.

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