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 Thirteen

May and the days gradually grow warmer. It has been a dry spring, aside from a few days of snow flurries, and the air is thick with pollen and dust. My throat is raw and my nose stuffed. I would fear that the dread lord has visited me except this happens every year. Still I linger inside, my own personal quarantine, as others race to enjoy the weather we have all been waiting for all winter, while I long for some rain to clear out the dust and pollen.

The news only grows worse in our battle against the grippe reborn. After spending much of the last year far from any main engagements we now find the Quarter on the front lines of the battle. More and more fall each day at a terrifying rate. To this point our hospitals have managed to care for all the afflicted and the loss of life has been minimal, no doubt thanks to the inoculation campaign that is slowly picking up pace. But for how long can we hold the line when the numbers continue to grow?

There were those, and our government leaders seemed to be among them, who felt the dread lord would go into a kind of hibernation as spring came. He did last year after all. That and the inoculation campaign would hold him at bay. Further restrictions were thus unnecessary. But just as we have learned so much about the nature of his powers, so he has learned how to evade our controls. And so we are faced with a tsunami our leaders could not conceive of and which they have no answers for. Worse they have spent the past months downplaying the effectiveness of quarantine restrictions and then imposing new ones despite that in a kind of tortured dance. People in the Quarter no longer know what to do and have stopped paying attention, deciding to just proceed as though the grippe reborn has been vanquished.

I have been saying for weeks now that better days are ahead and I still believe that. Having just received my inoculation, how can I doubt it? But it gets harder and harder each day to find hope in this. We see other places where the dread lord has been beaten back, whether by inoculation or quarantine protocols, and wonder bitterly why that can’t be us. It could have been, we think, but we have been led astray by those who lead us, who seem to have shrunk in the face of this moment. Finding the strength to endure another month, maybe more, of this seems almost impossible. I do not feel despair or anguish, just a cold fury that, a year into our battle with the dread lord, those who rule us could have failed so badly. Last night they announced strict new protocols to stem the tide, the only choice now that things have gotten beyond their control. And so we will spend this May as we did last May leading shadowed half-lives, wondering again when all this might end.

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