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 Six Hundred Forty Five

The world is afire with talk of the Dead Lord Grippe Reborn as he yet again spreads his tentacles across the globe. It seemed we had only just begun to feel relief in these parts after our dreadful September and October and now he has returned again, in a new and even more frightening guise, able to move at will amongst us all. Even those of us with our inoculations are not immune from his touch, though we should still be largely protected from the most foul of his powers.

Already there are growing numbers of afflicted in these parts and in the wider Dominions. This is in stark contrast to earlier transformations by the Dread Lord where we had the opportunity to watch the encroaching wave as it crashed upon our shores. Those weeks and months of foreknowledge seemingly did little to prepare us for what was to come, so perhaps the fact we are learning what is new about the Grippe Reborn at the same time as everyone else may not turn out to be such a hindrance to our ability to act.

Not all is gloom. There are tantalizing glimpses that while the Dread Lord is able to better disguise himself and move among us, we may sill be well-protected. This wave may crash and recede without doing the same kind of damage as previous ones. Or it may land upon so many of us, finding all those susceptible to the Dread Lord’s power that our hospitals are again overwhelmed. Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, the winter solstice has just passed, so we are passing into brighter days. It makes my heart lighter just thinking of that. The past week I spent frantically going from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to procure tests to be able to tell if we are afflicted before visiting family for the holidays. Then it was on to securing booster doses for my love and I to better thwart the Dread Lord. Today I am achy and tired, feeling the aftereffects of my own dose, while my love will have to wait until next week.

 It really does feel as though this must end soon. Eventually everyone will have been afflicted or dosed or both in these parts and others. At that point even if the Dread Lord adopts new guises, which he certainly will, it should not be as devastating. We should not have to be on such guard all the time. We may even be able to resume our lives again. That is my hope as we approach the new year, though as we all know from bitter experience, the Dread Lord will have his own say in these matters.

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 Six Hundred Thirty One

Winter has arrived at last in these parts bringing snow and cold with it. As I sit here I can see the snow steadily drifting down from my window. The sky is heavy with clouds hanging just above the city. This weekend I went out to buy a gift for friends going through some troubled times and for the first time this season had to put on a winter jacket and all the associated winter regalia. The air was bracing in my lungs, crisp and cutting.

It is something of a relief to see that familiar white. Not only is it more fitting for the season – the gleam of snow under the moonlight and streetlights goes well with these long nights – it is much needed. After a dry and hot summer, the fall was warm and just as dry. The rivers in this city are as low as I can remember them being. As much as I have enjoyed our temperate autumn, we will pay a price for it next spring if winter doesn’t bring substantial snow. These last six months, beginning with the unbelievable heat of June, the smoke, fires and drought of the summer, and the unseasonably warm fall and the flooding and storms to the west all seem like a grave pronouncement that climate change will be impacting us for the rest of our lives. We can no longer pretend that is a problem whose effects will be felt later.

What times we live in. For the first half of my life it seemed that the world was steadily getting better, the great struggles of the century reaching a peaceful conclusion. The Berlin wall fell, the cold war ended, apartheid as well. There were trouble spots and problems one could see looming, but they all felt manageable. Then the towers in New York fell and madness followed with it. One cannot help but look at the last twenty years and see a steady decline of our institutions and the fabric of our societies.

And now we are faced with existential crises – of climate and the Grippe Reborn. We have tried to meet these challenges and have succeeded in some cases and failed in others. What I am left with is the sense that none of this will be easy. It will be hard work and it will require much of all of us and our institutions. There is no guarantee we will be equal to the task.

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 Six Hundred Twenty Five

Yet again the Dread Lord Grippe Reborn has altered his guise to try to slip through our defences. In Africa they were the first to notice his latest reinvention. An alteration of form that scientists declared worrisome because it is unknown how effective our inoculations will be against it. Potentially it will give him even greater powers to spread and reach out to everyone across the globe, though it is early days yet. We cannot know for a few weeks how much trouble we are in. The fact that concerns are being raised so early cannot help but feel ominous.

Predictably, several nations, including these Dominions, banned travel from the nations where the new guise was discovered. Just as predictably cases were found in other places across the globe, including in these parts. The horse has already left the barn and South Africa and Botswana were just the first to realize it.

There has been seemingly endless talk about the Reinvented Dread Lord and the potential vast new powers he possesses. Yet we know nothing. It may be worse than the guise he adopted that has so devastated these parts these last months, or it may pass without incident. All we know for certain is that he will keep finding new forms for so long as we allow him. And he can do so as long as there remain so many across the globe who remain without inoculations.

That work, even here where we have more doses, is ongoing. We will have to redouble our efforts to ensure that doses are available to everyone and that everyone understands the importance of getting them. We are nearly two years into this struggle and it feels as though it has only begun. As exhausted as we are there is still so much farther to go.