Drought, fire, plague – now floods (that’s Australia)

posted in: Life and things | 0

The most exciting thing that happened this week was rain! In parts of Queensland and New South Wales the rain was relentless, with widespread flooding around Brisbane and the Gold Coast as well as the Sydney area. It rained in the Outback, too, with waterfalls flowing down Uluru and Kata Juta. It was one of those once in a century (or something) events where two weather systems, one coming across Australia from the west, the other coming in from the Pacific, collided.

A young couple’s house floats away on their wedding day

It’s hard to imagine, looking at these photos, that not much more than a year ago the country was starting over after the worst bush fires in decades, which came hot on the heels of years of crippling drought. And just to make life a little more interesting, covid-19 was beginning its reign of terror.

As usual, Hervey Bay managed to skip the impacts of both the plague, which hardly affected us, and the flood. Fraser Island tends to shelter our town from much of the weather coming in from the south-east, and the western system went further south. Even so, we received around 100mm of very welcome rain over the period. Despite this season being influenced by ‘La Nina’, when we were told to expect higher rainfall than usual, this “wet” season was actually exceptionally dry in our part of the world, so the rain was a great relief. We’d like more, of course. But maybe not that much more.

After all the clouds rolled away, the weather became warm and pretty much cloudless, with only slight breezes, a great time to visit the local beach.

But amid all this calmness there’s always a little bit of drama. We noticed a man with his phone camera on the local pier where one of the ospreys was perched. I got the camera ready, expecting the raptor to fly off – but it pretty much ignored the man. Then suddenly, it dropped down into the water. It snared a fish, then turned and flew toward me – always a difficult shot. However, I got a couple of decent pics.

The osprey has grabbed a fish and is taking off
He’s turned around and flown up the beach toward me clutching lunch in his talons
He took his meal to a tree along the beach front.

On the health front, the results from the MRI I endured a week or two ago were clear, which is what I expected. And Pete and I had our first covid vaccine shot (AstraZeneca) this morning. All good so far. I certainly wasn’t at all worried about the blood clot scare that caused skittish authorities in Europe to pull the vaccine.

“The committee has come to a clear scientific conclusion. This is a safe and effective vaccine,” said Emer Cooke, European Medicine Agency executive director, at a press conference on 18 March. “Its benefits in protecting people from covid-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation outweigh the possible risks. The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots.” [source]

We’re booked in for our second shot in twelve weeks’ time. I can only assume that the delay is so that more people can at least have the first vaccination. After Italy and France both stopped delivery of the vaccine to Australia, it’s just as well we’ll be making our own. Globalism only goes so far, doesn’t it?

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