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?

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