Sometimes a word or two can spark an outrage or can offer comfort. Other times words might even be prophetic.
Unfortunately, it seems the later is the case. I write about Australia’s Covid-free bubble and cautioned that weshouldn’t become too complacent and forget hygiene measures.
At New Year’s Eve, I noticed people were fast getting a too cocky with life, resuming normal practices like hugging and kissing, even though there were still a few isolated Covid cases in a few states, including ours. All cases were in hotel quarantine and out of public access, until now. Then:
New Covid Outbreak in Queensland, Australia
A cleaner in hotel quarantine has come down with the highly infectious UK strain of the virus. The cleaner was catching public transport for a week prior to detection.
The region is now in lockdown from 6pm tonight and masks are mandatory. [You might remember I was prevented from wearing masks, last year in my workplace].
The announcement came at 8.30 am today, but at 8.20 am people were already out and about panic buying.
Toilet paper supplies, I suspect.
The lockdown is only until Monday morning, but they suspect it could last a week.
Has the public forgotten shops were once closed all weekend? Are we not able to survive more than one day without shopping? Are toilet paper supplies that thin? (Excuse the pun).
One Covid case; (no new cases today) and wholesale chaos reigns at the stores. Think of the UK – or other states and countries that have been in lockdown for months.
The hotel staff in the quarantine hotels, are now going to be tested daily. I wonder why this wasn’t previously instituted?
Thanks to TheKing’sNecktie, I discovered there is a Trump Mood Meter in existence, to determine, that is, the leader’s, former President’s mood. This is presumably, tongue-in- cheek.
However, I am confused as to its authenticity. It claims to guard against stock market volatility, by predicting the mood of Donald Trump. If folk voted for the Don, I am guessing they may believe the Mood Meter when buying or selling stocks? In the Trump – Covid era, anything is possible.
N.B. The meter predicts his mood based on Trump’s tweets for the last 24 hours.
Interesting that if it is not swinging towards cheerful, the meter will read as raging! Two polar extremes, like the man himself. This meter might become more interesting as we get closer to Trump leaving the Whitehouse, by force, or by his own volition.
It may just be the angle of this photo, from Pexels, but, weirdly, I see a silhouette of the barrel of a gun in the external shape of this building. But that’s just me, I suppose.
475 deaths from Corona, in Italy yesterday. 140 new cases overnight here, in Australia. No new cases in China – that they are aware of. Some good news from China, at last.
Iceland had its first death, possibly attributed to Covid 19! Iceland!
A sparsely populated area in the north of a country of only 250,000 people. An outpost in the very north of the Atlantic!
And who was it that perished in that tiny village in the north of Iceland?
An Australian tourist!
Unbelievable, but true.
RIYADH: The Saudi Health Ministry announced 67 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total in the Kingdom to 238. The ministry said that highest number among the newly recorded cases was 45 arrivals to Saudi Arabia during the past two days. These cases arrived from UK.
It begs the questions of how much international travel, for business or pleasure has contributed to spreading this virus, albeit inadvertantly?
The Australian Airline carrier, Qantas, has reduced flights by 90%. International travel has been curtailed indefinitely, for most people. The Government has now banned foriegners from visiting our country. If you are a foreign citizen living here, you may leave, but you cannot return.
Is the sun setting on the future of passenger cruising and travel? Along with companies whose sole business is tourism, holiday accommodation, hospitality, and recreation?
Supermarkets sales are booming, whilst every other business languishes, rots or dies – Death by Corona.
Toilet paper, rice, pasta, other staples and curiously broccoli, fly off the shelves as soon as they are re-stocked. Why just Broccoli?
Nurses, Doctors, Hospital staff such as Cleaners, Ward Admininstration staff and Service folk, Ambulance drivers, Paramedics, Police, Fire, Laboratory testing staff, Security Personnel, Emergency services, all continue to work. Thanks goodness they do.
A friend works in a Hospital laboratory conducting more than 1000 Covid 19 tests a day! His work is usually only URGENT specimens for the hospital. One hospital. How many more are being conducted at the major high volume blood laboratories in each city. That statistic staggers me.
Gyms, sporting clubs and Yoga studios have closed.
Cinemas have closed.
Social Clubs have closed.
Universities have moved to online delivery of lessons.
Fiestas and Public festivals and events are canned.
We cannot gather together in a group of more than 100.
Yet the Government refuses to close the schools – children are safer in the germ- riddled playground and public toilet than in their family home,according to our fearless leader!
TV ratings must be up higher than ever before, or perhaps residential internet data usage is?
I remain at work, by direction. Everything but essential appointments are cancelled. Essential means an appointment that is vital, for safety reasons. So there will be very limited community visits for me – I will be spending my days at work, filing!
Quite frankly, I would rather stay at home, on unpaid leave and write, or paint. One consolation is the traffic is better. And I have my podcasts to listen to. There is no Covid 19 news on them.
Driving to Podcasts
As I drive the long drive to and from work, I listen to stories of history, of what it was like to endure life in years gone by, scientific advances, the wars, heroic tales of people who overcome adversity or those who achieved success. I listen to philosophers and researchers – those who study the past to find answers to the future, who create our future. It interests me and is much preferable than listening to Corona updates.
My daughter is worried. A 20 year old girl should not have to worry about whether she will live or die by the hand of a virus. She worries about having money to buy food and essentials; she works at a hotel, empty of guests, so her shifts have been drastically cut. There is a pitiful amount of money coming in.
She worries about paying rent. The landlord will no doubt still collect every last cent that is due. There is no relief for those who pay for their accommodation, or who have a mortgage. We help her, of course. We are her parents and willingly help. What if we weren’t here?
I reassure her worried teenage young adult mind, by telling her that humans are a resilient species. We have survived famine, years of food rations in the Great Depression and The World Wars. People ate rabbits, for the most part! I don’t tell her that part.
Yet in all this, life feels like it’s on hold.
I am flooded with daily emails about the extra precautions industry and businesses are taking, offering hand santizer, cleaning door handles, countertops, using gloves to handle food, only taking credit cards for payment, in order to avoid ‘dirty’ cash. I wonder: did your business, never ever clean your products or benches, door handles or ATM’s buttons before?
The mood at work and throughout society now, is solemn. And it can only become worse. People are worried, talking constantly about the latest media updates. It is hard to remain joyful and optimistic when everything is so uncertain.
In case you are not aware, the head of our country has taken himself on holiday. He is out of contact – although supposedly still being sent daily briefings.
There would normally be nothing at all wrong with that, except that there is a national crisis – we have had months of bushfires burning through swathes of country to unprecedented levels.
And the head of our country is nowhere to be seen and remains silent.
Or is he?
Some say he deserves some quiet time with his family at Xmas. I agree, but if you are elected leader of a country, are you not on standby, 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
Would you not want to support your people in a time of crisis?
Nurses, Doctors, Hotel Housekeepers, hell even Taxi drivers have to work over Christmas, so why not the leader of our country? Someone that has given himself a big fat pay rise of late, when the rest of Australia waits six or more years for a pay rise. Six years.
Some say the P.M. has gone to New York to open a Hillsong church there – his faith is admirable, but how is this more relevant than our country?
Is he serving our country to the best of his ability or massaging his own ego?
Over 800 folks have lost their homes to fire in the last months. Rural fire Service folks, often volunteers themselves, have not had a day off in months. They are soent, exhausted and get NO pay, but the P.M. is entitled to a holiday, on full pay to open a church in New York?
It makes my blood boil!
I was discussing this with another blogger, Snow on her blog who wondered why we can’t boot him out of his job for this. We can’t kick him out as he hasn’t done anything wrong – legally. Morally – yes, there is an error in his judgement, however, he enjoys the full support of his cabinet ministers, so any repercussion is unlikely.
This is the same Prime minister who brought a lump of coal into parliament to show his support for maintaining coal fired power generation sources!
His government believes coalfired power is still the way forward because it is so very cheap to produce here and supports lots of jobs.
But the shift in public opinion is building. The youth in Australia want action on Climate change and they know burning fossil fuels is not good for our planet.
In the meantime, the only thing burning at the moment is Australia and Australian homes. And the #AussieNero sits idly by.
Smoke alarms are being triggered in our nation’s capital, Canberra, such is the poor air quality from bushfires.
Sydney suffers with a constant smoke haze and I can even smell it up here in the North, 800 km away.
Last year, the Amazon and Columbia suffered through many fires. The land in many areas is becoming drier and the rainfall is dimishing. This year, even the Monsoon rains in Indonesia have not yet arrived.
With lower rainfall, the soil becomes ignited far more easily from a stray cigarette butt, or a deliberate back burning off operation, or other accidental or deliberate causes.
The high winds that accompany climate changes fans any bushfires to catastrophic levels.
And the rainfall needed to saturate the ground does not come.
Here is a recent map of the fires across Australia from abc.net.au
And still the P.M. is silent. I hope the New Yorkers realize the price our country is paying.
Perhaps they might even say a prayer.
Well may we say, #wherethebloodyhellareyou Mr Morrison.
I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. I hope you will too.
The first proverb is a little obscure, so I am hoping readers may share their thoughts about what the real meaning of this proverb could be? The second, the quotation, was chosen after hearing of reports of increased conflict in the Syrian region.
“Frog likes water, but not hot water” – Swahili Proverb
“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher” – The Dalai Lama
After growing up as a Welsh immigrant in Adelaide, Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Her term as prime minister lasted three years and two days.
No politician has ever had to endure the villification that this woman went through during her time as Prime Minister of this nation. The highest office one can attain, yet she commanded little respect from fellow Australians. Why? Wouldn’t females rally around her simply on gender grounds? Would she have been as harshly criticized if she was a man?
Firstly, many dissidents in her own party, including the former leader, actively worked behind the scenes against her. Her predeceding leader was popular with the people, but couldn’t govern within his own cabinet, due to his dictatorial, autocratic style. He launched a vendetta to de-stabilize her from the momemnt he was deposed. Sore Loser!
Secondly, the media like to sell papers, and dissing the PM became a popular topic. Anything she did, however laudable or momentous, was canned and twisted by the opposition (although, I have to admit, that is their job) and the pro-opposition media. Yet undaunted, she continued on with doing her job and making some important changes.
Thirdly, she was attacked and ridiculed, based on her personal life and red hair. For heavens sake, are Australians so shallow as to base their judgement on someone based on their hair colour? Apparently so. School kids flung sandwiches at her when she visited a school in Brisbane’s south, and this act was repeated by some no-brain copy cats school kids, a short time later. To me, the School principal should also take the blame for not prepping those kids, prior to the visit. And what happened to the kid who threw the sandwich? He got a 2 week suspension. I mean, really? I am sure he really suffered. Two weeks off school….geez! What a punishment! No matter what your politics, the Prime Minister of a country should garner respect, not be treated in such a disgusting manner. Are we animals here or human beings with a right to vote?
Shock jock on radio stations mocked Julia’s personal relationship, because she is unwed. I prefer to think she is true to her values. If there is no reason to marry, why should she, just so that it looks politically correct? Would you want someone leading the country who just does something only to impress the public? Does she even need to be a moral role model? Where is the social justice and inclusiveness/egalitarianism Australian is known for? As a society, are we mature enough to accept a de facto relationship in our leader? Apparently not.
Fourthly, a hung parliament and coalition with Independant politicians is always fraught with difficulty and usually means a shortened term of office and trouble gaining any legislative headway. The opposition felt they were robbed! Julia Gillard was the only one able to form a government, and was strong and stoic till the end when the pressure of the relentless attacks forced some of her loyal colleagues to jump ship causing a leadership spill. Emotionally calm and stable, one cannot compare her to Thatcher, (the iron lady who ruled with her fist), but rather, she is able to debate and negotiate, rationally and based on logic, instead of emotion. Was this the thing that caused her lack of appeal? Does the average Australia like a charismatic, emotional leader? Perhaps.
Ironically, she was ousted last night by the man she ousted, Kevin Rudd. Kevin is charismatic, and garners much support from the average Australian. Whether he garners enough to win the next election, which promises to be a landslide win to the conservative opposition, one can only speculate. However, before last night’s leadership challenge, Julia stated that politics is not about personalities, and I think this is the only time Julia got it wrong, very wrong.
I have been speaking to people I meet in cafes, car service offices, work, supermarkets, and everywhere I hear people discussing political personalities, but getting them to admit that they are blinded by the charismatic principle in politics, is impossible. By and large, they vote on personalities, because most people are disinterested in the finer mechanics of politics and party policies. The opposition has less than a handful of policies, yet they are well in front in the polls. Point proven. Catchy slogans have won elections before and probably will again. If I hear ,”Stop the boats”, on more time, I think I will vomit. How simplistic can you be to think you can solve a complex issue like refugees in 3 words?
Julia G. will now leave politics, but her place in history is secure. One thing that will happen, in the coming weeks, is, an election, the result of which will be something every Australian will ponder about.