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 Sixty

A new year and yet again I wonder why we celebrate new beginnings in the darkest depths of winter. Blame the Romans, blame the moon. This year, as with the last, there is no feeling of newness. It is as though we are stuck in the same place we were in that long ago March when the Grippe Reborn revealed himself in these parts. As with last January the news seems only grim with the numbers of afflicted rising exponentially and the hospitals beginning to fill up as well.

Will this never end? We are reassured constantly that at some point it will, that the Dread Lord will have afflicted everyone he is able to and that then we will all have some measure of defence against him. The inoculations were supposed to help with that, and no doubt they have, but now that the Dread Lord can somewhat evade their protections we are left with a situation where he will forever be able to return and find those most vulnerable to his depredations.

Governments everywhere have seemingly decided there is little hope of containing his power in this new guise. The only hope is that enough of us are dosed and the doses provide enough protection that we are not overwhelmed. I cannot say they are even wrong. The only alternative is to shut everything down as we did during the first months of the Dread Lord’s arrival and it seems no one has the appetite for that.

My love has now received her third dose. The city has an inoculation bus set up – more of a van really – that visits various parts of the city and we went to it one bitterly cold day. It was in a parking lot by the downtown library, surrounded by idling cars of people waiting their turn. We chose to wait in the library itself once she had added herself to the queue. It was quiet during those strange days between Christmas and New Years, the cold and the Dread Lord conspiring to keep people home and most places closed.

I felt none of the excitement and relief that I had when my love and I received our initial doses. There was a sense of camaraderie then, of everyone coming together to take a stand against the Dread Lord and begin the resumption of our lives. At last we could something that wasn’t hiding ourselves away. This time it felt like yet another task to be seen to in a busy time. There was none of the hope that we were doing our part to see an end to this, though of course we were. But as hard experience has now shown us, the Dread Lord will visit more suffering and hardship upon us before this ends.

We are battle weary. Tired of the Dread Lord, tired of even hearing his name. I understand now why no one spoke of the Grippe Reborn in his earlier forms in the aftermath of the great battles fought with him in the last century. By the time he was vanquished there was nothing else to say and people wanted to turn to new things.

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