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 Four Hundred and Seven

A strange few days. I received my first inoculation dose against the grippe reborn. For something I had spent months and weeks anticipating and desperately hoping for the moment to arrive it was anticlimactic. I did not feel relief or exultation or any of the emotions I expected. Instead I felt a kind of satisfaction at a job done, along with the knowledge that more work remains.

The whole experience was one of calm efficiency. I went to the vaccination centre, which was in the downtown, joining a line that snaked through a large portion of the convention building. The line moved quickly, barely pausing, everyone shuffling along eagerly. We were offered new masks to put on by cheery support staff and then ushered into the hall where the vaccination stations were set up. The nurse who gave me mine was talking as she did it, so I didn’t even realize the moment was upon me until the needle was already in my shoulder. I wandered off to wait my twenty minutes in a sort of daze.

Even as I left to a bright and sunny day I still didn’t quite know what I was feeling. My emotions felt distant, not even my own. I was almost lightheaded. When I stopped to get a coffee as a treat to celebrate I forgot to message my love to ask if she wanted anything and had to go back. The barista noticed the vaccination papers I had folded in my hands and congratulated me, offering a fifty percent discount. I said something, I don’t even know what, and went on my way.

When I returned home the day went on as before. It didn’t seem as though it had even happened. What had changed? I found out that night when the side effects arrived. That evening and the next day were an ordeal. I have never felt so exhausted. My joints and muscles ached. I could barely open my eyes let alone get out of bed. In an odd way that was comforting. The inoculation was doing its work, taking a piece of the dread lord’s poisonous magic, so that our bodies might become familiar with it. In other ages it was said wizards would give themselves small doses of poison so that their bodies would learn to manage a larger dose of the venom.

The effects of the inoculation lingered into the next day, only gradually fading. Even now I am still somewhat tired, my body exhausted from its ordeals. Now I begin counting the days until the inoculation takes full effect. And until my love and everyone else in these parts and the rest of the world can get theirs. How long?

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 Four Hundred

Every entry in this diary for the last few months has felt the same. It feels as though I am treading along the same well worn path, wearing away the grass until it won’t come back. The dread lord’s power is increasing and we await inoculations, while our government’s failures become more and more apparent. What else is there to say, four hundred days into life in the Quarter with the grippe reborn?

I have become tired and irritable with everything, especially my own thoughts. There is an itch of impatience with every minor task or disruption as I long for this struggle to be over. Four hundred days and it seems as though we’ve returned to the beginning in so many senses. The grippe reborn is here, beyond our control and nothing we have done seems to change that. It is tempting to surrender to it’s inevitability, to return to some semblance of normalcy and if we join the dread lord’s ranks so be it.

But that is an easily dismissed temptation when logic tells us our salvation is nearly here. No one wants to be the fallen soldier on the last day of the war. On that front there is some good news. I have my first inoculation scheduled for next week. I still fret about it though, worried that the supply will be used up by the time I get there and this piece of hope will vanish along with so much else in these past four hundred days. Until it is in my arm I can’t quite allow myself to believe it will happen.

Even then it is only half the battle, or only a quarter. I will still have a second inoculation to come and, more importantly, my love will still be waiting for both of hers. There will be some measure of relief that in a few weeks time I will be less likely to infect her, which has been my greatest fear about the grippe reborn since this all began, that both of us would end up falling into his clutches. By that time hopefully she will have her dose as well and we can start down a new road, trying to put all this behind us.

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 Ninety Eight

The last few weeks have been exhausting. My correspondences have been overwhelming. Planning and meetings, meetings and planning, all seemingly without end. There has hardly been a moment to think of anything else, and when I do glance away from my work I find the news all grim. It has been dispiriting, the days all drudgery and no hope to be found on the horizon.

What a change from the beginning of March when the grippe reborn seemed in retreat and the inoculations were at hand. It seemed only a matter of time until the dread lord was driven from these regions, his dark desires thwarted. But that was a false springs, as so many springs are in these parts, when a few glorious warm days are abruptly ended by the arrival of more snow.

The dread lord has turned the tide, marshalling all his forces and marching across the Quarter. Wherever he goes he brings more and more unfortunates to his side. His numbers are as great as they were in December when the strictest of the quarantine protocols were put in place. It seems only a matter of time before we must do something similar again, though our leaders are loathe to do so. The lesser ones that were restored several weeks ago have seemingly had little impact and the inoculations are not arriving fast enough.

It is hard not to be grim in the face of all this, to surrender to gloom, to gnash our teeth and wail in despair. How, after a year, and all that we have sacrificed, can this be happening again? Have our leaders learned nothing? It seems not. They will have much to answer for when all this is at an end. For much of the last year we prided ourselves, not without some gloating too, on the Dominion’s response to the dread lord. We looked to south and saw the ravages he left in those United States and felt relief. Well now things are improving there, with a few exceptions, and they are inoculating at a fantastic pace, beating back the dread lord’s forces, while we take our meagre supplies and try to plug the holes in the dike as they appear.

But the inoculations are still coming. Every day more and more. Many of my friends and family have received it and I know it is just a matter of time now for the rest of us. As terrible as our situation seems now, it is within our power to end it and we will. It is a matter of weeks, not months or years, even though every day often feels like an eternity. I will keep reminding myself that soon we will have the upper hand and as hard as the next few weeks will be, there is a light at the end of that misery.

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 Ninety Three

A town surrounded by mountains, their peaks white with gleaming snow in the sunshine. Everything in the town feels small by comparison. It is being swallowed by a gaping mouth with jagged white fangs that will forever be hungry and open. There is a strange claustrophobia about the place as a result, a feeling that there is no escaping this place.

Normally the streets are busy, crowded with visitors, but today it is empty. There are few cars on the road, no one walking about to the various shops. The dread lord still stalks these parts and people are staying away. Oddly that only accentuates the sensation of being trapped. People provide a distraction from that feeling, but there is no avoiding it now. The shopkeepers minding their stores, all open and empty, feel it acutely. They ramble on at anyone who ventures near, desperate to keep a conversation going, to not let the quiet back in.

It is locals only on the patios at the bars, the tables spread out across the courtyards, those who have lost their jobs with the latest quarantine protocols commiserating with those who have them. But for how long? Everyone knows everyone and yet they keep their distance, friendly but unavailable. Someone talks about leaving, about an opportunity in another town further west across the mountain range. No one else seems interested. There is no leaving this place.

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 Eighty Five

These past weeks walking about on the streets there has been a jarring sense of normality to many of the scenes. Restaurants and bars have been crowded and people have been gathering despite the quarantine protocols remaining in place. There has been a sense, nearly everywhere you look, that people are just done with the restrictions, with our shadowed, rule bound, existence, despite the fact that the grippe reborn remains as dangerous as ever.

With the rise in truancy from the rules there has been a rise in cases, with the result that we have returned to the place we were back in November. Our hospitals are not yet overwhelmed, but the numbers are rising. The only solace is that with the inoculations tricking out we have protected those most vulnerable to the dread lords depredations and so this wave of destruction has not resulted in as much death as the previous ones. But with so many falling to the dread lord’s touch there shall inevitably be more death.

In the fall, during the previous rising tide, there was a growing sense of dread and a knowledge that something would have to be done. When stricter protocols were put in place most people followed them. The moment seemed to demand them. Now is different though. Our salvation is at hand, but it is not here. The inoculations are coming, but at what seems a trickling pace. Elsewhere we hear stories of incredible numbers being dosed and we look at our meagre few and wonder why we have been left behind. It was fine to be patient and wait when numbers were dwindling, to imagine the summer to come, but when numbers are rising there is a renewed urgency.

People are desperate. They are tired of just hanging on, of all the rules and restrictions, necessary as they may be. Everyone is so tired of everything. We are all reduced to squalling children unable to articulate why we are angry. We are only looking for a target to direct that anger, be it the government, those who support the greater protocols, those who ignore them, those who have been inoculated and those who will refuse to be.

Today word came that the government is restoring some of the restrictions. There will be those who say it is not enough and those who say it is too much. They will shout at each other while the rest of us settle down to waiting some more. 385 days and counting with the grippe reborn. It seems impossible that it has been that long and yet it also seems as if it must have been so much longer.

Even as I write this, I receive word that my parents have their first doses. A glimmer of sunshine on a gloomy day. Two weeks and they will be able to go about their lives with some measure of security. I long for that day and I will choose to hope it will be soon.