Notes from self-isolation

posted in: Life and things | 2

The media is full of coronavirus this and coronavirus that. Which is understandable. I never thought in my life that I would be confined to barracks and the football season would be cancelled. Pete and I consider ourselves fortunate that the spectre of contracting Covid-19 hasn’t impacted us much at all. We don’t go out much apart from shopping, and we tend to buy in bulk and stock up on essentials when they’re on special, so we had plenty of loo rolls when this started. Our country town has reported less than ten people with the virus and a large percentage of those were (anecdotally) either on the plague ship the Ruby Princess, or had direct contact with sufferers. So, provided we use our masks and wash our hands, and keep our distance, we should be fine.

I guess what I’m doing in my little blog is recording events as a historical record, for when somebody asks me “what was it like to live through the Great 2020 Pandemic, Great Aunt Greta?” Yeah that’s gonna happen 🙂

Unlike the Italians, nobody here has broken into song. For one thing, most of our houses are single-storey so there aren’t too many balconies, and for another, they’d be more likely to sing football club songs than opera. Either way, I think we’d be more like the Germans and yell at the singers to kindly shut the fuck up. Here are a few different versions by country of balcony-singing. Well worth a quick browse.

It’s nice to see some of ‘hoarders’ being exposed as the opportunistic grafters they really are. One fellow in Adelaide bought 150 32-packs of toilet rolls and 150 1-litre bottles of hand sanitiser from the Drakes supermarket chain. EBay refused to allow him to sell his haul, so he tried to get a refund from the supermarket. This little video gives an idea from a grocer’s perspective of the panic buying. And a lovely response to the request for a refund.

I’m sure lots of people are bored silly sitting in their apartments with room mates they don’t like, or three kids and a husband, or… maybe going slowly insane, stir-crazy or whatever. But there’s humour everywhere. These are just a few I picked up from my Facebook newsfeed.

People are sharing useful and not so useful information online. Useful includes how to make home-made masks – which are better than no mask at all. Slow-cooker recipes are popular. This article is about the best I’ve read about how to keep safe if you have to leave your home. And this article explains why we’re shutting down the world this time but didn’t for SARS, swine flu, or ebola.

Not so useful includes fake news stories about quack treatments to beat the virus. These have become so prevalent that the World Health Organisation has come up with a list of myth-busters. It’s probably the only worthwhile thing WHO has done in this whole crisis.

And the conspiracy theories are fun. I’m sure the Chinese scientists would have come up with something a LOT more lethal if this was a biological weapon, and it wouldn’t be more likely to kill off the old farts. By the way, I do not believe the claims of dropping new infections and death rates coming from China. I think they’re lying through their teeth.

Other more motivational thoughts that people share include that Isaac Newton developed calculus while in a lock-down during an episode of plague. Similarly, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear while locked indoors. So if you DON’T do something momentous with your new-found free time you’re goofing off. On that basis, my latest book should be almost writing itself. (It’s not.)

The counter-argument is that those prone to anxiety, or just plain worried about where they’ll find the money to pay the rent because they’re out of a job are not likely to feel motivated to produce a masterwork or acquire a new skill. People cope with their own circumstances in their own way. If, at the end of this, all a person has achieved is to stay alive, then that’s probably good enough.

And now, let’s go on holiday again – but not on a cruise ship, thanks all the same.

We’ve done quite a few road trips, Pete and I, having a look around our wide (usually) brown land. We did a lot of driving and I took a lot of pictures from the car. A lot of them were pretty terrible, but some weren’t. I figured that I might as well point ‘n shoot because I’d never see that exact same scene ever again. It’s not as if I was wasting film. So here are some views to give you ideas.

I took this as we were driving toward Post Augusta with the Flinders Ranges ahead. It was very late in the day, adding that golden glow to the scrub and rugged hills.

Here’s another one of the fascinating Flinders Ranges, rollded and folded and rollded and folded. (Do your own Swedish Chef voice.) They’re ancient hills that used to be mountains as tall as the Himalayas. We were on our way home, heading east before we turned left (north) to cross those ranges via a twisty, windy pass and out into farming country in South Australia. Then on to Broken Hill in New South Wales, over the border to Queensland and home via the back roads.

A lot of Oz is flat as the proverbial shit carter’s hat but all over you’ll see rugged hills, the remains of mountain ranges worn down over the eons. In this shot dawn is struggling up the sky on the right, painting the high cloud gold. Spring is on its way so the usually uninspiring grey/green of the scrub is splashed with mauve and white from the wildflowers just catching the first hint of light. This was taken from a speeding car as we headed south along the Great Northern Highway.

This picture was taken on the same trip. It’s a very different dawn in pastel shades. That’s pasture in the middle. Well – pasture. Cleared ground where cattle graze.

This was the same trip, too. The sun’s just up, brightening the flowers in the foreground and the folds of the hills. I love the way the sky mirrors the colours of the land.

Another year, another dawn. We were off on a tour to visit Lake Eyre and I took this from the bus on the outskirts of Marree which is really, truly Outback. The tanks and the house are covered in dust from the road. That was a great trip. Take a look here for commentary and pictures.

Ah, the memories. It’s such a diverse continent. Pity everything is so far away. But the journey is half the fun, isn’t it? When we’re allowed to venture out again.

Stay safe, folks.

2 Responses

  1. MonaKarel

    Can’t return anything here due to worry over contamination. I laughed and laughed when those signs showed up! I do believe we (the company I work for) shipped a unit to Port Augusta!

    • Greta

      I love all the funny memes. There are soooo many. Stay safe, Mona

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