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 Seven Hundred Nine

The crisis in the Dominion capital has seemingly resolved, an emergency declared and then undeclared, the protesters arrested or gone home. There is still much shouting happening in the public square, particularly among the politicians and the media, about whether the government’s actions were necessary, and the consequences for those involved will be a long time in unfurling, but it seems the moment has passed. Governments across the land are reducing their quarantine strictures – in these parts the majority will be removed at the end of the month – so I will be curious to see if the protests that take place in so many cities like ours will continue. I suspect they will, though their ostensible rationale is now absent, but people are angry and want someone to shout at.

We are lurching from one crisis to another without waiting for the others to resolve. Russia has now invaded Ukraine. I hardly know what to say. We stand upon the precipice of something far more dangerous and can only hope we don’t fall into the mire. The edifice of the old world order is slowly crumbling and there are many now jockeying to define what they think the new one will be. Meanwhile all of us must live in fear of what is to come, the things we thought we knew no longer holding true.

There are many among Those Who Came to these parts who are from Ukraine. I can only imagine what they are feeling these days as friends and family now face a terrible, unimaginable future. The Greater Dominions and our allies across the world are all making grand declarations of support for Ukraine, denouncing the actions of Russian leadership as war crimes. Words will not be enough though. We must ensure some kind of price is paid or every despot with designs will decide they can visit destruction upon their neighbours.

As always we have taken our peaceful bounty for granted and now we see how fragile it always was. It has been one thing after another these last two years, a slow and steady dread from which there is never any relief. I hardly know what to make of it anymore, just that I am tired. 

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 Seven Hundred Two

Over 700 days with the Dread Lord Grippe Reborn in these parts and it feels like we have begun to truly go mad. We are at the end of our collective ropes, everyone yelling at everyone else, everyone furious even if they’re not sure why, and just exhausted by it all. That it is February, a dreary month at the best of times, does not help matters. It is clear to everyone now that even if, as hoped, the Dread Lord’s influence dwindles as spring arrives, he will return again in the fall in yet another guise and we may be back in this madness yet again, governments forced to enact quarantine measures on a restive population.

The rot and failure of our many institutions has only become starker the longer we have been in this struggle. At first it was just our health systems that buckled under the pressure, a failure of past generations to invest in capacity to manage future crises. But as our politicians have ably demonstrated, they are utterly feckless, unable to look farther ahead than a month or two and completely incapable of seeing beyond the immediate consequences of their decisions and forever repeating their same mistakes.

The crisis brought upon us by the protests against the quarantine protocols has only further exposed this sorry state. The capital of the Dominions remains under a bizarre occupation while municipal, provincial and federal politicians insist others have responsibility to act. Everyone has declared a state of emergency, including the federal government, giving them wide ranging powers, and yet you wouldn’t know it by the way the police are responding, which leads to dark mutterings by some that they are secretly on the side of the protesters. It is unbelievable how ineffectual and paralyzed everyone seems.

The border blockades have at last been cleared, though not without some drama. In these parts, there were a dozen arrests and guns and ammunition seized. Evidently there were plans by a few to kill the police as a first step toward overthrowing the government. Utter madness, but certainly there will be those in the protesters in the capital who have similar plans. That will make the work of the police much more difficult, which is why it is absolutely bizarre they have given them this much time to dig themselves in.

This whole tawdry affair will end soon enough, but not without all of us losing more faith in our governments and institutions. There has been lots of talk that we will have to address these issues in our health system and our institutions “when all this is over.” It is clear now that this will not ever be “over” in the sense that we all thought it would. There is no going back to that world 703 days ago before the Dread Lord arrived.  

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 Ninety Five

The occupation of the Dominion capital continues into its second week. It is incredible and utterly baffling that this has been allowed to continue as long as it has, even as the numbers of protesters in the capital dwindle. Those who remain have dug themselves in and the police seem indifferent to enforcing the law. There were protests in all the major cities of the Dominion over the weekend, all of which were easily managed by local authorities, which only leads to more questions about how the gong show in the capital has been allowed to fester.

Here in these parts, the blockade at the border continues, again with dwindling numbers of the fervent, again with the police declining to act. There are further blockades at other border crossings, which have resulted in factory closures and loss of work, which the protesters claim to be their key motivator for protesting. Too many people have lost too much, they claim as they put the trade of an entire nation at risk. All mandates must end before they will stop.

Conservative political parties have decided they must cater to these protesters. In the capital they have made appearances at the rallies and encouraged the protesters to see their action through to its end. Here they have utterly caved into their demands, revoking the inoculation mandate and promising to remove all further quarantine restrictions by the end of the month. This as we have just reached the peak of hospitalizations resulting from the latest guise of the Grippe Reborn. Our premier is desperate, the base of his support is those rural parts of the province who have largely been against any of quarantine protocols and also where the majority of the protesters have been drawn from.

Despite this craven surrender the protesters remain at their blockade at the border. They will return here this weekend as well. Ending all the quarantine protocols will not be enough for them. Even ceasing to give out the inoculations, which they view as some conspiratorial plot, would not be enough. There is nothing that will satisfy them. The protest is its own end. They want to scream and complain and be heard. They want to stand in opposition, to be heroes fighting the good fight. Their anger is incoherent if ones looks at what they are demanding, but understandable once you realize they are against admitting that the Dread Lord has changed anything. They do not want to admit we all have so little control over our lives, that all our existences are contingent on others. The past where they could pretend that was so is gone and they want its return.

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 Eighty Eight

Every Saturday in a park by our home protesters gather to march the streets against inoculation mandates and other quarantine policies enacted by our governments to protect us from the Dread Lord Grippe Reborn. They shout about how their freedoms are being infringed upon and how tyranny is afoot. Last weekend the protest was as large as I have seen it, as those gathering were in support of another protest taking place at the nation’s capital. Ostensibly that protest was against a mandate for truckers to be inoculated in order to cross the border into the United States, but their rhetoric made it clear they were against all quarantine protocols and the government in general. Another group gathered at the border south of here and blocked off traffic, trapping a number of truckers and the residents of a small town.

There is no doubt that our freedom has suffered in the past two years, with quarantine protocols enacted to varying degrees in different places at different times. The fact there is still a need for such strictures though is due to the protesters and people like them who refuse to do the one thing that would spare them from the Dread Lord and that is get inoculated. In demanding their own freedom from their responsibility to the rest of us, they have also denied us our freedom. The truckers trapped at the border are just trying to do their jobs. Those of us who live in the neighbourhoods where the protests take place are unable to go freely about our days where we live and must suffer from noise and chaos and risk angry confrontations with people who are looking for someone to fight with.

Among those protesting, both here and in the capital, are outright racists and Nazis. My love is afraid to go out when they are around. Worse, the fact that so many here have revealed themselves to be holding such hate in their hearts makes her feel uneasy when she is out on the streets. She thought she knew what people in these parts were like and now she has her doubts. I cannot blame her. I always knew there were hateful, selfish people, as there are no doubt everywhere, but to see so many and to see them so emboldened, presuming that the rest of us agree with them, is disconcerting to say the least.

It is easy to dismiss those protesting as fools. Some, no doubt, are reasonable people who genuinely believe the inoculation mandates and quarantine protocols are a dangerous threat and that they may become permanent fixtures of our lives. I disagree with them, but I can see how events have led them here. Our leaders, especially in these parts have been continually insisting that we cannot live under the protocols and mandates, lifting them too soon and then have been forced to reinstate them. Faced with that, how can you believe a word they say – I certainly don’t. They are craven and will do whatever they feel is to their advantage.

The core of the protesters – those most confrontational – are not reasonable though. They believe in conspiracy theories and worse. They think they are the heroes standing against a Dark Lord of their own creation. Their demands are incoherent – not only the end of all mandates and rules, but the end of the current government. They are certain all the Dominions are on their side, yet we had an election last fall where these very issues were on the ballot and they lost resoundingly.

We are all so tired of this, wondering if it will ever end. I suspect most people just want to be able to go about their days now that they are inoculated, recognizing the need for some care to protect those of us who are more vulnerable. In these parts we can, despite what the protesters say, except when they are around. I wonder now what will happen when various mandates are inevitably rolled back and the ostensible reason for their protests is gone. Will they stop protesting? I suspect not, for they are not done with being heroes yet. It is much easier than just being a person in the world.