The never-ending story

posted in: Life and things | 0

It’s not about a dragon, though. It’s about that virus. Just as we were all starting hope that after pretty nearly two full years covid-19 would fade into just another ‘flu, it has raised the middle finger and laughed. Europe is facing a new spike in infections and deaths and there’s an even more virulent strain than Delta decimating Africa.

Here in Australia the ‘national cabinet’ – made up of the state premiers and the prime minister – originally agreed that state borders would open at eighty percent. But now, with vaccination levels nearing ninety percent in many areas, they’re moving the goal posts again. Queensland Premier Palaszczuk has decreed that people can only come into Queensland if they provide proof of a negative test result no more than72 hours before they arrive. Now, there’s an argument about who’s paying for the test, which would cost travellers $150 each. Predictably, Anna and her dopey side-kick Stephen Miles, are trying to foist the blame onto the Federal Government – even when it’s on record that both of them, and the Health Minister (her name is D’Ath – very Terry Pratchett) have stated that it’s at traveller’s cost.

McGowan over in Western Australia isn’t opening up until next year. I can’t imagine what he’ll do now a new strain is on its way. Probably build a covid-proof fence along the border. And why not? There’s a rabbit-proof fence and an emu-proof fence and a dingo-proof fence.

What it boils down to is that Australia will still be a continent consisting of six separate states and two territories, all with border patrols, for some time to come.

Mind you New Zealand is right up there with us Aussies. Whatever happened to the trans-Tasman bubble? Now we’re told that New Zealand won’t be opening up until at least 30th April, 2022. So much for our planned holiday. Who’d want to be running any kind of travel company these days? The governments don’t just change the goal posts – they change the rules and sometimes they even change the game!

Then there’s the argument over compulsory vaccination and insisting that unvaccinated people can be banned from aircraft, restaurants, and various jobs. I’ll admit I’ve been a fence-sitter over this one. I can see the point of insisting people in health care are vaccinated. From what I’ve gleaned on the internet (no, that’s not proper research) double vaccinated people can contract the virus and they can end up in hospital. But they are less likely to have a severe infection, and they are less likely to contract the disease. However, according to this article in Nature:

“Data from COVID-19 tests in the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore are showing that vaccinated people who become infected with Delta SARS-CoV-2 can carry as much virus in their nose as do unvaccinated people. This means that despite the protection offered by vaccines, a proportion of vaccinated people can pass on Delta, possibly aiding its rise.” [source]

The fact that you’re double vaccinated doesn’t mean you can afford to stop wearing masks, drop social distancing, or stop washing your hands. Also, while others can contract the virus from a fully vaccinated person, test results showed that people who had been vaccinated were infectious for a much shorter period of time.

Then there’s the argument that if you refuse to be vaccinated you have to pay the medical costs if you contract covid. That’s happening in Singapore. [source] I can only suppose this is a threat to increase uptake of the vaccine. That argument is okay – as long as it also means that obese people have to fork out for diabetes treatment, or alcoholics have to pay for kidney failure etc. It’s not the way our society is supposed to work.

In the meantime, we all wait and see.

Life goes on. The weather is always a major concern here in Australia. The continent goes through a cycle of fire, drought, and flood. That’s how it is and has been for centuries, dictated by Nature Herself. Right now, she has decreed that La Niña will stick around for another season so we’re in the flood part of the cycle. We didn’t get much rain last year so we’re happy to be participating again this wet season. The other night we received 80mm (about 3.2″) overnight and last night that was topped up with another 26mm. The ground is now saturated and I hope the rain clouds spent a bit of time over our local, not very big, dam which is expected to provide town water for a steadily-growing population here in Hervey Bay. The Council is great at approving new housing developments. It’s not so great at making sure all those people will have drinking water when (not if) the next drought arrives.

Log on palm

Speaking of housing developments, we have new tenants. Years ago we put a piece of hollow log we found in our garden up on a palm tree as a nest for lorikeets. That worked for one year – then a possum found the box and lived there for some years. When it fell down (with possum inside) we relocated it. It wasn’t very high up, but it was within our pool fence, so pretty secure. Then the log was vacated. Maybe the possum died? Now, European honey bees have moved in.

It’s a bit like that TV show Who’s Lived in My House? I think before we moved in that log was a house for recuperating parrots. It’s come a long way since then.

One good thing about the rain – the lorikeets and other birds turn up for hand-outs and shelter under the veranda. Here are some photos.

Very bedraggled
These are rare in the garden.

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