The announcement by the Premier of an extension to our lockdown has released a barrage of complaints. I am not happy either but I was not surprised. The numbers have not come down nearly low enough to just open freely. Certainly some sectors are more affected than others but isolating health care workers and aged care homes in some sort of bubble means isolating all the people who work there and either their families as well or isolating them from their families. Not really practical when you really look at it properly.
I think, tough as it is for so many businesses, if we stick with it and hold the line we will get the numbers down to manageable control. It has always seemed that Victoria’s track and trace system didn’t seem to be as good but also I have been told many of the tests have to go interstate, which seems bizarre. The large companies who process the test are in Sydney. Mind you that is also how Australia Post is dealing with our parcels too. They are being sorted in NSW or Qld because of the reduced staffing in Victoria. Despite the difficulty I still think it is the best way. Some nuanced decisions for country areas where they are CoVid free seems fair, but last time that happened people from Melbourne took the virus into the country towns because they wanted to go somewhere with less restrictions. So selfish. Everyone wants to go to the beach or for hike or a restaurant but they have been doing that in England, France and Spain and their infections, and hospitalisations are rising again in the thousands.
In the scheme of our lives it is not that long. It would be a hell of a lot easier if people, the media and politicians stopped banging on and making doomsday predictions every day. Yes the economy is a disaster; businesses, small in particular, are teetering on collapse, mental health is being strained, but whinging and whining and carping without any positive or constructive alternatives is not helpful. It is depressing not uplifting. It scorches the flower of hope.
The governments have had plenty of time by now to come up with some new ways of helping businesses. What about helping small businesses to go online? Even before the pandemic, the economy was tanking. Retail was in trouble. jobs were scarce, especially for the young. What jobs there were, were often contract or only casual. That is the flexible economy that has no safe guards for workers or as it turns out, for business too. Many big companies have still made such huge profits they are daring to pay bonuses to executives. So they get huge payouts and the cleaners, hospital workers, care workers, the delivery drivers, the food producers and manufacturers who have kept us fed and safe and the basics going, have no sick leave and mostly casual or pseudo contract work.
If you want to protest the situation we are in then take a good look at the society we have created. We need balance back. Respect for ALL workers. Decent conditions and more permanent jobs or permanent part-time jobs. The scurrilous Commonwealth employment figures that count a person employed when they only have a couple of hours work a week is not honest or honourable.
The world is in a mess. Climate, working conditions, violence in the home, racism, conflict with China, concern about America, the list goes on and it can be overwhelming. Humans have been here before though and despite everything, we adapted, innovated and changed to survive. If we think of others not just ourselves, offer respect instead of demanding to be respected, we thrive. Freedom has its price like every thing. To be bold and change the way our institutions function would be a good start to improving things I think.
I didn’t mean to go on a rant but the negativity of people has weighed on me this week. However I have added novelty to my life by embarking on a new type of fitness program called BodyArt. It is tough but wholistic and a great workout. It is a bit of a mash up of Pilates, Tai chi, dance, Yin and Yang principles. I have also been active in the Art group too and completed my Modigliani style portrait. I am getting fond of the pastels again. The others in the group have created some lovely images.
I also retrieved Alfie from his holiday with Nick and was suitably impressed by his enthusiasm at seeing me. In the end he basically jumped into my arms. He knows where the treats come from!
Anna and I have finished our virtual holiday in Africa but continue our imaginary conversation. She is in quarantine in Melbourne and I am about to walk through CoVid Spain. It was interesting to see what measures the Spanish are doing to contain their new wave. They have a curfew on bars from 1 am in the morning and no one can enter after 12 midnight. Bear in mind that most restaurants and bars don’t open till 9 pm at the earliest. Numbers are restricted to 10. A bit of a concern for walking is that the regions have their own restrictions and can refuse to allow people to continue or move from town to town if they think it is too risky. So we are not the only country with restrictions.
I have signed up for a course on Surrealism through the National Gallery of Victoria. It is an art movement I have not really understood so I think this will be enlightening. There is work to be done too so it should be a bit of a challenge.
I have run two book club sessions which involved wide ranging discussions and even some discussion about the books we had read!
After completing the training for the Chief supervisor of the GAT (which was quite dull, but impressive with the lengths that are taken to ensure the security of the papers), I had to receive and check the material yesterday. I spent a couple of hours with the mind draining task of sticking labels on place cards and student work books! Those place names got a little less square on the card as the task wore on!
During the last two weeks a couple of friends have had health crisis and caused much concern. That really puts a perspective on everything, as Nick’s close call did earlier. I am relieved to know they are both on the mend. Finding themselves in hospital at the same time but in different places was unexpected.
I started playing Scrabble against the IPad as another distraction and it brings back memories of my Mum. In the last few months of her life when I was with her we played daily games until she could no longer sustain her concentration. She was a great player and we had endless tussles with much joking and laughter. it is an activity that gives me a good feeling.
We have started to get warm days and some beautiful sunsets. My obsession with the skyline continues.
So life continues. The sun rises, the sun sets and in between is a patchwork of activities and conversations and Alfie wanting my biscuits! Life isn’t that bad.