“As state officials and some Texas cities tangle over local COVID-19 restrictions, El Paso officials say their area isn’t ready for the next phase of reopening. They want Gov. Greg Abbott to give them an exemption.” — Texas Tribune, 518/20

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We, the inconsequential and abject plebs under the dominion of our revered feudal lord, request the ongoing cloister of our people from the pernicious scourge. While his most honorable magnate has decreed the end of our sanctuary-in-place we, the meek and wretched serfs of this manor, appeal to our liege that our numbers of afflicted have doubled since our churches, taverns, inns, and merchant shops reopened a fortnight ago. It is thus with the utmost mortification that we lowly peons implore the noble and beneficent lord, who rules over this hamlet by order of our mighty and all-powerful God-King, to allow us to continue our hermitage.

While our asylum prevents us from being able to adequately supply tribute to our exalted vassals who so generously protect us from heathen invaders and witches, the demon plague of the East is rapidly laying our people to waste. We thus beckon our hallowed seigneur to look upon us servile peasants with pity. We know that our lives have nowhere near the immense value and importance as our liege, but our bloodletters and trepanning surgeons are at capacity, and our charms and incantations are powerless against the cursed sickness.

Despite the congregating of the pitchfork mobs who represent some of the most loyal devotees of our dear king, most of us wish to maintain refuge in our dwellings. We too would like nothing more than to reinstate the trade of our artisans. But the malediction has been worsened by returning to settings that require proximity or allow many people to be in one place together such as our barbershops and open-air markets.

Please do not take our plea as any question of your excellency’s most supreme authority or knowledge. The remoteness of our village delayed the onset of the plague, placing us on a different timeline than the refined and sophisticated people of your castle in our province’s center. While your consecrated and urbane sort are now through the worst of this pestilence as you are blessed by our God as a favored people, we are facing His holy wrath for being born of our debased class in a remote and forgotten district. We thus beg for you to look upon us simpletons with mercy.

Our request is in no way meant to offend your greatness. We certainly would not allow our guilds to come together to refuse their wares to the kingdom as has happened in other regions. Such unruly and wayward acts deserve swift and decisive punishment from our venerated rulers.

If our liege’s righteous will is for our fief’s people to perish in the name of providing for the king’s boundless domain, we offer our lives in modest piety. But if it pleases our lord to consider the harvested crops and crafts we will be unable to contribute to the kingdom in the long term if all of us die, perhaps it may be better for everyone involved to delay our manor’s reopening. It is possible that paltry provisions from the kingdom’s great coffers may actually save our system of trade by preserving the lives of our people.

Oh great feudal lord! We hold the utmost gratitude that you have heard our feeble and woeful plea. Our fealty to your honor, all of the members of the nobility, and our supreme monarch and his divine lineage will endure even once our mortal forms have been cast away by the infernal Death sweeping through this kingdom.