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.  

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