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 Five Hundred Forty
In these parts we see patterns repeat in our battle with the Grippe Reborn. Just as his powers wax and wane in predictable waves whose peaks we battle to keep below the dikes we have constructed, so the responses of our leaders have become predictable. They have learned nothing it seems, least of all any kind of humility in the face of this scourge.
At every moment when the wave begins to fall, the Dread Lord retreating and our defences holding, they declare victory and an end to all of this. We can take down the ramparts, they say. The city gates can be flung open and all can return to the way it was. Yet the Dread Lord still lurks out in the far hills, marshalling his resources and it is inevitable that he will return in force and when he does we will be ill-prepared.
In June our leaders in the Western Dominions declared the Dread Lord defeated. With the inoculations they said we need no longer fear his powers and they announced an end to all quarantine protocols. There was hope that this time they were correct, that the inoculations would turn aside the Grippe Reborn whenever he returned, in whatever shape and form. And it has largely been true for those of us who took the doses. The Dread Lord is back in a new guise, able to move even more insidiously among us, but those of us with the doses are able to thwart his foul desires.
There are so many without doses though and the Dread Lord is finding all of them. Our hospitals are filling again as the numbers of afflicted rise. It has become clear that not enough are inoculated to stem the coming tide. And so we are faced again with the reinstitution of the quarantine measures to protect those who have chosen not to be protected, lest our hospitals be inundated entirely.
It is infuriating all around. Not only that there are so many who have chosen so blithely to forgo protection, but that our leaders have only now seemed to recognize that this a problem, when the coming wave has been apparent since at least the beginning of August. It was inevitable that we would end up here if we did nothing and nothing is what they have chosen to do up until now.
A few days ago they announced the reintroduction of the mask mandate, a wise precaution, burdensome to no one, but also unlikely to do much to stem the tide. What is needed is for more people to take their doses. The government has chosen to offer a $100 reward to anyone who chooses now to get them. This after they instituted a lottery earlier in the summer.
It may be that this convinces a few people to get inoculated, just as the lottery may have as well. But the doses have been widely available since June, so I question how many will be swayed by a small amount of money at this juncture. It seems clear what is needed, which is what the government has refused to consider since the doses became available. An inoculation protocol where only those who have been dosed can access non-essential services (restaurants, bars, concerts, sporting events, etc.). Those of us who have done the right thing for the health of our communities can access the benefits of those communities, while those who have not will not be able to.
It is a stringent rule, no doubt, one that should not be put in place lightly. But it seems we have no choice. The Dread Lord’s powers are not waning and if we want things to go back to some semblance of normal, as our leaders here profess to want so desperately, then this seems the only way. If the other ways are anything to judge by the rule is coming, it is just a matter of time. In each of the past waves our leaders did nothing until it was too late and then announced some half-measures that did little to turn aside the Dread Lord’s powers. That is where we are now. When those half measures proved ineffective they eventually, some weeks later, instituted the necessary policies as a last recourse. If the past is any guide I suspect by Thanksgiving we will have an inoculation protocol in place in the province.
In the meantime we have only the fury that yet again events have brought us to this place. What should have been preventable has not been prevented. The consequences of so many continual failures will linger for years.