How’s it all going on the home front, folks? Another week or so and our garden will be looking better than it has since we moved in. Bushes we should never have planted have been yanked out, trees cut back, vegies seeded, pool cleaned, weeds poisoned.
As the ‘stay home’ rules tighten and the weeks go by it seems people are starting to recognize that in some respects the cure might be worse than the virus. Future generations will be paying for this pandemic for decades. Australia’s national debt will be in the trillions. The world’s society will be a different place when this is over. What it will look like I don’t know. But I’m hoping some of those Facebook and Twitter memes will turn out to be correct – health care for all (especially Americans), recognition that doctors, nurses, teachers, cleaners, truck drivers and the like are much more important than overpaid sports stars, movie stars, and CEOs. That we don’t need all that plastic stuff, or a new mobile phone every year.
But I fear there will be many casualties as we work our way through this crisis. Domestic violence and child abuse will increase with the ‘stay home’ order. Many people have lost their jobs so anxiety and depression will increase along with household debt. Some of the many businesses forced to close will never reopen. My heart particularly bleeds for the poor people in fire-ravaged, flood-ravaged towns in the Australian bush. The main hope they had was that people would help by coming back and spending money in their towns, help them rebuild. Many people would have loved to go back. But now they can’t.
I really do hope that the aftermath will be a wake-up call where society becomes a little more localised. Where we eat fruit and veg produced here instead of importing oranges from Californian and ploughing in orange trees along the Murray River. That we become less dependent on China for household goods, maybe go back to building cars for Australian conditions. Perhaps process our own fresh fish instead of sending it to Asia. And here’s an idea. Lets build things to last, the way they used to. I live in hope.
Apart from covid-19, the only other matter of note in the news this week was that the Australian High Court unanimously ruled to quash Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for sexually molesting two boys in St Patrick’s cathedral when he was Archbishop of Melbourne.
There is no doubt that the Catholic church is guilty of covering up cases of child abuse. Based on the reports I’ve seen in the press, I can easily believe that Cardinal Pell, as a bishop and archbishop, helped to cover up the actions of evil clerics who preyed on kids. From that perspective, he deserves everything he gets.
But that was not the charge he faced.
I’ve been on a jury twice, once for an alleged sexual assault several decades ago, and in both cases the judge impressed on the jury that the prosecution must convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. It seemed to me there were lots of doubts about Pell’s guilt. But I’m just a lay person, relying on reports from the media. In an article in The Australian, Professor of law, Greg Craven, stated “This never was a case where charges could be proved beyond reasonable doubt. There always were too many witnesses who were in the right place but saw nothing. Too many mathematical failures of timing. Too many improbabilities of opportunity and action.” (The Australian, “The case against George Pell was misguided, unreasonable and vile”, 8/4/2020) I’m glad to see that justice has been done. At least for these charges.
And now, come with me to the beach. We went yesterday (Good Friday) for some exercise. I left my camera at home because I didn’t want to be caught doing illegal activities – but I did take my phone. It was a strange day weather wise. Little rain storms are moving down the coast, but the sun was out quite a lot, too.
There were maybe twenty people on the beach. Usually Easter is a peak holiday period. But not now.
Enzo’s is in a prime location overlooking the beach. Usually it’s full of people eating, drinking, and enjoying the view. Not today.
Looking across at Point Vernon, it’s obviously raining out to sea. The clouds are spectacular. But there’s enough sun to glint on the ripples.
The crabs are still busy creating their wonderful art.
And here near the little reef exposed at low tide the soldier crabs are doing their stuff. All that churned up sand at the front of the picture is caused by them feeding. Notice the people on the distant sand bar. We saw a couple of groups of young people making no attempt at social distancing. Young and totally oblivious. I suppose we all went through the “it won’t happen to me” phase. The trouble, of course, is that they might show no symptoms, then go and visit grandma. They certainly can’t say they didn’t know about the virus and the need for distance.
And since I had the camera, I took a little video so you can see the soldier crabs in action.
Stay calm, keep safe and we’ll see you next time.