18 December 20XX
My Dear Lucilius:
I know I have mentioned to you before that the winters here are long. They are longer still when you are trapped inside with literally no where else to go, even if you wanted to.
This is no surprise or mystery to the human condition of living where I live now, of course. It is well documented in the histories and biographies and stories of 100 to 150 years ago. You will read much of what I am experiencing right now: cold, dark, struggles to eat and stay warm, struggles to stay engaged through the endless nagging wind and bitter cold and lack of news and new information.
I have adapted, I feel, relatively well – any time the true reader is trapped anywhere, it is merely an excuse to whip out a volume to catch up on! - but to be fair, I have been living a version of this life for several years now, although perhaps not quite in this “battened down hatches” mode. In that sense, the loss of commerce and interaction has the feel of an unanticipated emergency morphing into a long emergency, hardening into existence by the very reality that many of the outlets to this life – shopping, interaction, new information, rather intermittent power – have moved to stark realities that of unknown duration.
100 years ago this sort of thing would have been the expected norm which be acknowledged as “That is the way is” and followed by “If you cannot stand it, head South”. We, in our modern life and modern conveniences, had come to believe that such thinking was optional.
In meaningful ways the world has not changed. We have.
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca