Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear World, Get well soon!





I’m a bit slow this week. This virus thing has thrown everything into turmoil.  Whole countries have been shut down, schools, Universities, public gatherings, museums, sporting events, concerts and flights have been cancelled depending on where you live. Locally, our big winter event, Dark Mofo has been cancelled for this year and so has the Victorian Grand Prix, even though the various racing teams have already arrived, because at least some members were testing positive. My sister has cancelled her upcoming visit – the thought of mixing and mingling in an international airport when she already has asthma is a risk she can’t take. There’s been nothing like this since World War 2.  Not that it's all been gloom and doom. The panic -buying of toilet paper has caused some amusement and the “The Guardian” has been running recipes for using up all that stuff you presumably now have cluttering up your pantry.  Whatever will we do with all that toilet paper?


Don't worry folks and please don't send us any toilet paper, this is joke, although eBay has asked people to stop posting real toilet paper ads online

This latest crisis also masks positive developments such as NewsCorp finally acknowledging that Climate Change is real, and that it is due to human activity; the massive tree planting efforts currently underway in places as diverse as Scotland – 22 million already planted well ahead of schedule with more on the way, and Pakistan has planted over one billion trees towards its ambitious target of ten billion trees. The Murray River, Australia’s largest, finally has some water in it again. Not that all our other problems have gone away – the loggers are still active in what remains of Victoria’s forests, aid to bushfire victims is still slow in coming, as are the COVID .19 testing booths, and the AAP, Australia’s privately owned news wire service is to be closed after 85 years.  However, underneath all this, and I hope I am right about this, I thought I detected a slight shift in mood. Could it be that the virus and other disasters have made us consider other values besides the economy and the making of money, and to focus a little on things like neighbourliness and good humour under pressure? It’s a bit early to tell and I’m not holding my breath, but as I said, I am hoping. 


 Meanwhile, if you are sick, we wish you a very speedy recovery and if you are in quarantine or self -isolation, we hope you have a lot of good books or at least a very good internet connection.

A big thank you to all the frontline personnel – doctors, nurses, cleaners, hospital staff etc. and also the people in the backroom doing tests or developing a vaccine.  Special thanks posthumously to Dr Li Wengliang who died of the virus at age 34 after alerting the world to its presence, virulence and lethality.

....and don't forget to wash your hands!



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