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 Sixty Eight

At long last, over two years after his arrival in these parts, the Dread Lord Grippe Reborn found me. I had been awaiting the moment, knowing it would happen, especially once the inoculations proved incapable of banishing him entirely. In his latest guise, finding the chinks in the armour of our inoculations and spreading like wildfire as a result, it seemed an inevitability. After two years of knowing only a few people who had been touched by him it suddenly seemed as though I knew dozens.

After two years in the Quarter, my love and I decided to travel to the Old World. It was glorious to be in a different place seeing how others go about their lives, wondering what our lives would be like there. Expanded horizons and the smell of a different place. Somewhere in our wanderings I encountered the Dread Lord. I could not tell you where, though there were times when he seemed to be stalking us. Every metro and train and bus had a coughing person upon it. We took care and masked but one can only take so much care when out among people.

Shortly after my return home I began to feel ill, my nose stuffy and my body a little tired. I told myself it was just from being on a plane for so long – they are such uncomfortable places to be – but when I tested myself I could no longer deny the truth. There was some fear in seeing those results, in wondering what the next days would bring, though I was confident the inoculations would keep me in good stead. There was also a kind of relief. After two years of doing so much to avoid this confrontation, of wondering if it was upon me with every scratch in my throat, now it finally was.

My love was not touched by the Dread Lord, which was a considerable relief. Two of us ill at the same time would have been a struggle. We set about separating our lives within our home – I to one room and her to the rest – hoping that I could spare her whatever suffering awaited me. And that night, for the first time in more than two years we slept apart, a wall separating us. Both of us were too tired to make much note of the occasion. We slept, waiting for the what the morning would bring.

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