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 Seventy Two

The last few days have seen the first inoculations in the Greater Dominions. These have taken place with the press there to document each swab of alcohol and insertion of needle. In these parts I believe the first will happen later today. An undeniable milestone, even with so far left for us to journey.

The first dosed here will be a nurse apparently, while in other places they have chosen long term care workers. It is strange that we all immediately recognize that such people work in those institutions that house the elderly, without referencing them at all. That seems emblematic of those institutions which have failed us time and again during the grippe reborn’s assault upon our people. Their failure is ours; it takes place because so many of us prefer not to dwell on such eventualities. Living there should not be a prison or a punishment. It is an undeniable fact of life that so many of us will have to face eventually and we must do better.

It has become abundantly clear to me as the scourge of the dread lord has progressed that we, as a people, are cheap. I myself have always been exceedingly frugal, an inheritance given to all those descended from Those Who Came who survived on farms through the Great Depression. The failures of our governments and institutions in the face of the dread lord can in large part be traced back to an unwillingness to invest in preparedness for a crisis without a date, whose eventuality while known is uncertain.

We argue and debate spending any penny on infrastructure, daycare, education, health care, elderly care, the list goes on and on, finding endless ways to declare it too expensive. The cost doesn’t disappear because we don’t like it though, and we all end up paying for it, one way or another. We are penny wise and pound foolish always, seeing the immediate cost in higher taxes but never accounting for the benefits we all see from these investments.

The latest such argument, which sprang up again this week, is around the tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Critics are happy to point to the rising prices that will result to gasoline, heating our homes and even to goods, without noting that by not taxing it we all incur costs in damage to the environment that will be far greater in the future.

We are forever shortsighted and selfish, and I am no better than anyone else on this account. How do we convince ourselves it is important to consider the future, not just ours but future generations? It is all so easy to dwell in the now, but as the dread lord’s arrival in these parts and others clearly demonstrates, preparation and investment now will make a significant difference. For though, as today shows, the grippe reborn’s reign will end soon enough, we must not forget that he will return. In another guise, with different powers, and again we shall find ourselves in this terrible struggle. It is essential that we not forget the price we have all paid so that we might not again.

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