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 Eight

It has been cold for nearly a week now, each day more frigid than the last. There is no end in sight, not with it being February. A cold snap can turn into a cold month without warning. Our ongoing battles against the grippe reborn has everyone’s patience frayed, and that will only grow more so as the weather forces us indoors and the only indoors allowed us is our homes or our workplaces. For so many of us that is the same place.

In other years there is something pleasurable about miserable weather – cold and snow and rain – forcing us to stay indoors. It is a respite from the usual obligations of seeing people and doing things. Now we have spent a year excusing ourselves from seeing people and frankly could do with some obligations to break the monotony. Though I suppose it would only take one party filled with tedious conversation to put an end to that desire.

There are those who talk about how we shouldn’t let the cold stop us from getting outdoors and enjoying ourselves. They talk of layering with the fervency of an evangelist looking to convert the heathen. If you dress appropriately you will be warm. And having spent long hours out working on the coldest of days in the Lost Quarter I can confirm this is true. If you dress in full winter gear you will be warm, at least for a few hours.

That doesn’t make the experience pleasant, however. The air still burns in your lungs and the snot freezes in your nose. Any moisture from your breath stings your cheeks. You have to remain moving constantly or the cold will begin to seep in, and because you are so bundled up movement is more challenging. The simplest of tasks become difficult. You dare not take your gloves off, yet how do you clasp a hammer or a wrench without doing so?

No, I do not miss those days. It would take an hour after you came inside for your hands and feet to feel normal again. Your cheeks would burn as the heat came into them. There was some satisfaction at a job well done, and a hope that you wouldn’t have to do it all again the next morning.

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