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 Twenty Three

A cold day again, which can hardly be a surprise given the month, February being generally the coldest in these parts. March tends to be the snowiest as winter coughs and sputters into spring. This week has been cold and snowy both, light dustings of flakes falling throughout the days, which have gotten progressively colder.

This morning my love and I ventured out into the darkness to buy some breakfast. It was calm and quiet, hardly anyone about on the streets. The wind, when it came, was biting, cutting through our many layers. There was frost in my beard by the time we returned home, the whiskers stiff. Returning inside to the warmth of our home was invigorating as always. That is the joy of winter, those first moments of warmth coming back through your body.

There is a lot of winter still to come – apparently we are entering a polar vortex next week, which sounds ominous – just as we still have a long way to go in our battle with the grippe reborn. The numbers here have come down from their terrible highs in December and the hospitals are no longer filled with those suffering from the dread lord’s powers. Next week we shall have a loosening of the quarantine protocols, which I admit does make me somewhat uneasy even as it is welcome. The fear is that we shall end up right back where we were in December and have to enact more strictures just as the weather, hopefully, begins to warm.

Lately all the talk has been of inoculations and the failure of the Greater Dominions to secure an adequate supply. Yet if one looks at the news of almost any other nation, poor or rich, small or large, the complaints are much the same. We are not moving fast enough to inoculate everyone says. This is true and entirely predictable. There have been supply hiccups because these are new inoculations, with very few places that can actually produce them. Getting the doses we all need will take time, but time of course will only allow the dread lord to take more lives.

This was always the terrible calculus we were faced with and the response is obvious. While inoculations remain in limited supply, quarantine restrictions must be kept in place to ensure the grippe reborn cannot spread at will. It is noteworthy that the loudest complaints about the inoculation supply come from our provincial governments, including the one in these parts, that have failed to control the spread of the dread lord. It is easier to blame others for their failures than to address their own. 

It is stunning to think of how many have died and how little so many seem to care. The focus is just on how we can return to normal. When the grippe reborn came early in the last century, killing untold millions, it was seemingly forgotten quickly, almost written out of history. Books and art and music and movies hardly dealt with the subject and it passed from the common memory, driven out by the depression that followed a decade later, and the second great war that followed that. Will we forget so quickly again? That we will forget and have to relearn the lessons of our battles with the dread lord is not a question.

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