27 February 20XX +1
My Dear Lucilius:
The temperature actually slid into the mid-50’s today. For this time of the year this is practically spring-like.
Not overly spring-like, mind – the temperature can just as likely crash to below freezing in the next two days. But the days getting closer to 50 are more than the days that are farther away from 50, which means that we are lumbering our way towards Spring.
Conversations with Xerxes – and through Xerxes, to the community – have largely dealt with the finding of the bodies earlier. This has been a wake up reminder, and not necessarily a welcome one, that the larger world is out there.
In other words, the potential for every post-apocalyptic movie and scenario is now a possibility.
Spring is coming, as it has every year, and with Spring I suspect everyone that has managed to survive the past Winter will be out and about. Local food sources, especially in urban area, must be effectively exhausted at this point, so it is likely that there will be groups of people moving, looking for food. How will they be moving? That is a little more unknown – fuel stocks disappeared along with everything else and cities were notoriously chary about having refining facilities in their city limits so I suspect most fuel has disappeared as well. Which means possibly a few groups in vehicles but just as likely more groups on foot.
A Roman infantryman, with a fully loaded pack, could achieve a twenty Roman mile march in a day, 24 Roman miles if it was a forced march. I suspect most of the individuals moving now will hardly be in the same physical state as a Roman infantryman. A winter of nutritionally straightened circumstances and economic collapse will result in desperation – but desperation is not endurance.
And then, of course, there is the government, which no-one has heard from since September of last year. Surely they have not just evaporated and vanished. They will have supplies and fuel and – governments being governments – will seek to re-establish some sort of control. Of starving people and limited supplies, of course, but it often appears in governmental eyes that the condition of the people they are ruling is not important, only the fact that their power is re-established.
Against that, of course, we have balanced the fact that undoubtedly the government has had their own version of a supply storage and will likely try and re-establish their authority over the places closest to them, of which we are fortunately not nearly so close.
A world of possibilities, Lucilius and not one of them a happy outcome.
How can one both anticipate and dread the coming of the new season of growth at the same time?
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca