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 Seven

A chinook has arrived in these parts after more than two weeks of the bitterest cold. For a time it seemed it would never come. Weather forecasts promised it for days, but the cold would not release its grip. Typically when a chinook arrives, the winds roar over the mountains and the temperature can swing by twenty degrees or more in a matter of hours. This time the cold was so lodged in that the wind had to fight to get here. At one point an inversion took place, the warm air coming from the west rising above the city, the cold holding fast below, smog developing as a result because the air could not dissipate. An ugly day at the end of an ugly few weeks.

There is something especially disheartening about a December or January cold snap. The days are at their shortest so you have both maximum cold and darkness. A frigid week in February is somehow more tolerable just because there is a bit more sunlight.

My love, who grew up in a land without winters, despises the cold in these parts. She does not like going out into it or the boots and jackets and accoutrements that are required to survive it. These last two winters have been especially hard as the Grippe Reborn has denied us the opportunity to be out and about indoors in malls, movie theatres, restaurants and the like. When it is as cold as it has been and there is nowhere to go it feels as though there is no relief.

I have always taken a certain pleasure in the winter. When it arrives it is a change, a comforting one in its familiarity. The cold is bracing and the snow beautiful. There is nothing quite like the darkness and the stars in the winter. Even I struggle through stretches of cold like we just went through – a snap seems the wrong word for something that lasts more than a week.

The winter always wears out its welcome though. By March I am done and ready for spring, even as it lingers on into April. Right now that is how I feel about the Dread Lord Grippe Reborn. He has worn out his welcome and can wander off into the pages of history. Nearly two years and right now it feels like we are always having the same conversations, dealing with the same anxieties and living the same constrained lives. It is fitting the Dread Lord arrived in March, for we are now forever in the March of his presence, forced to endure it and always casting about for any sign of spring.

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