Monday, 10 May 2021

Not Quite the Washup

Pic courtesy healthychildren.org

Let's look at the pandemic fourteen months in. 

 I consider it fourteen months, because my nephew's wedding was fourteen months ago, and it was one of the last weddings held before the local restrictions arrived. 

On a personal note, my family, with the exception of our youngest daughter weathered it without too many hassles. It completely ruined her great adventure, although she was able to do the UK festival circuit and visit Portugal and Iceland before she was anchored by the lockdown. 

 Because my bride and I are both retired, it didn’t affect our work lives, but it stymied some travel plans, including a fifty-year reunion and commemoration organised by my old unit. As a consequence of that, and another canceled trip, I have what one of the airlines calls a “travel wallet”. The trouble is that the wallet is in their pocket, and not mine. 

 More broadly, I have become very familiar with Zoom and was using it twice weekly for gym and my old geezers’ meetings. We’re back to the gym in person now, and our early morning chats over coffee have reverted to the face-to-face format, although we had to wear masks during the most recent Queensland short and sharp lockdown. 

After watching what schools were going through, I'm very glad I'm no longer a school principal. They were caught between the demands of their school communities and the restrictions imposed by the Health and Education bureaucracies. 

 It’s amazing how quickly we have become accustomed to signing into venues, and to doing the hand sanitising thing. The emphasis on hygiene must be working. Nobody in the family has had so much as a cough or sniffle since 2019. 

I kid you not. 

 The other unexpected bonus was my Astra-Zeneca vaccination a few weeks ago. There were absolutely no side effects, and my routine morning backache has disappeared since. It’s probably a coincidence, but I’ll take it. 

Another bonus is the rapid rise in the value of my classic car. Apparently, because punters can no longer travel, they're spending their dosh on cars and home renovations.

 The national and international outcomes have not been so benign. The tragic statistics in Italy, France, and the UK have been overshadowed by chaos in the USA, Brazil, and now India. On the other hand, the most populous country in the world seems to have come out of it better than most. 

Our governments, both state and federal have made a pretty good job of managing outbreaks, despite obvious weaknesses in our hotel quarantine system. Howard Springs works, and I don't understand why more remote locations close to airports aren't utilised. 

There seems to be an inverse correlation between the pandemic being used as a political wedge, and the health of the population. The statistics in the USA and Brazil bear this out. 

 Leadership has also played a part. Populists (Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi) who put their political profile before the health of their populations have visited a dreadful result on their people. One of them (Trump) has paid the political price, and it looks as if Bolsonaro is heading down that same track. It’s too early to tell whether Modi will lose his gloss. 

 One thing is certain. The virus has changed everything. We now have a Coalition government happy to borrow extensively, despite the fact that when Labor did the same during the GFC it became a “debt and deficit disaster”. 

 Who would have thunk it?

As observed earlier, the virus is an asteroid.

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