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 Fifty Three

My love and I saw Venus, bright in the dark morning sky, as we walked through nearly empty streets to her tower. There was less traffic today than there has been in some time. Last night the government enacted their latest quarantine restrictions and asked that those who could work from home do so. Yet my love’s company has declared their work essential and insisted everyone attend at their offices, so we still have our morning walks. A mixed blessing to be sure.

One hopes for the best from these latest strictures even though I have doubts they will do much to slow the tide of the grippe reborn. He has swamped these parts with his minions, so many now that our trackers cannot trace them all. We have lost control and the only way to regain our footing and get back to solid ground seems to be protocols similar to those we had in the spring. What we have will no doubt limit the dread lord’s powers, but his forces are now so great that his malign influence will remain substantial regardless.   

The regulations themselves raise questions about the government’s priorities. Schools will close and move online for a few weeks both before and after the winter break, while our pleasure palaces – casinos and restaurants and bars – are allowed to remain open. No further funds will be given to schools to better protect children and teachers. There was much said about the noble efforts of health care workers, but no additional funding or policies to address their rising workloads.

But this is a government that doesn’t believe governments should pay for things. They want stores and shops to be able to stay open because of the hardship they will face if they are forced to close. That hardship is real and yet they offer no support to them to mitigate those circumstances. With the dread lord so present and these strictures in place, people will not venture out much and so shops and restaurants will suffer regardless. A shorter period of more severe protocols, with support provided, seems a better solution to my mind.

The government, in their minds, should interfere as little as possible in peoples lives. Strangely, those who feel that most strongly seem the most likely to involve themselves in politics. They are always the loudest voices so it is unsurprising that our leaders have felt the need to listen to them.

They see us as individuals only, and life as a heroic and lone struggle. They have failed to remember our past, all those who came before us in the Lost Quarter. Whether one talks about Those Who Went Away or Those Who Came, the story is the same. Survival in the Quarter required that people come together, work together. The image of the lone gunman or cowboy making his way (always his) through the west is a fantasy. No one is an island, not even upon our sea of grass.

To defeat the dread lord requires that we come together collectively, to stand against him. It will require sacrifices for all of us and it will not be easy. We may have to live without our usual freedoms for some time yet. With rights and freedoms come responsibilities and we now have a duty to each other that we must see through.

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