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 Three Hundred

Three hundred days with the dread lord grippe reborn. I hope there aren’t three hundred more to go but I fear there might be. Our inoculations are coming and I still believe he will be thwarted, but it is a trickle for the moment and our lives are as circumscribed as ever.

I feel exhausted by it. That is nothing new, but there is nothing new to most days. There is a sameness to every morning and afternoon that seeps into me and won’t let go like a damp chill. I don’t feel bleak and despairing or terrified and anxious as I did at times earlier this year, when the unknown of it all seemed to press against me from all corners. I am just tired and longing for all this to be at an end.

Every day they announce where the dread lord struck the day before, updating the numbers and reiterating the care we must take, emphasizing the importance of obeying the quarantine restrictions. The statistics have long since become just numbers disassociated from any kind of tangible measurement. It feels as though I have become disassociated from the very days themselves.

In the early days of the quarantine protocols and our battle with the dread lord these notes provided me with a measure of peace, a way of dealing with a world that felt upended entirely. If I felt terror or sorrow or rage I could express it here and by doing so make the emotions manageable. But as the days have dragged on, and the anxieties and fears have become rote, a part of the fabric of all our days, writing here has failed to ease those feelings. It has become just another thing I do day after day, a piece of the sameness I cannot escape.

I have thought of stopping, but it is an idle thought, given no real consideration. That would mean giving in, surrendering to all that the dread lord has wrought. It seems vaguely pathetic, almost silly, that the greatest struggle I (and so many others) are facing is these grey, endless days when others are sick and dying. How can I complain given I have barely been touched by such suffering. A little bit of boredom can be endured is the thinking.

And it can be, but this is not boredom, or not solely. Living is not just being alive, it is what we choose to do with the days we have, for they are not endless. That is what gives our existence colour and meaning, those things, big and small that we choose to do, and the people we choose to do them with. Every day I feel their vague absence,  like my brain trying to reconnect with a lost limb.

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