Enabling the Travel Bug

I renewed my passport just recently. Yes I know, why bother with doing that when it’s not likely I’ll be heading off anywhere overseas in the near future. I could have saved the money and let the “renew by” date come and go. Except that, should the need arise for me to hop on a plane to somewhere outside of Australia in the next year or so, I’d have to go through the whole rigmarole of getting a new one all over agin, as opposed to just doing a renewal.

So where am I planning to go? Well, nowhere at the moment, but down the track I would love to head back to Europe, especially to France. I loved France. But my new passport is good for the next ten years (because if you’re under the age of 74 in this country, you can only get a ten year one) and I expect that somewhere in the future decade it will be safe to travel again because there will be a good, all-round safe vaccine against COVID by then, and those of us with any sense will get the shots.  And of course, once we get the all-clear, I trust I will be able to grab my passport and go.

But it seems many in the same passport boat decided to jump ship when theirs came up for renewal.  Figures for passport renewals have dropped dramatically as people have decided that if they can’t travel, where is the point of paying out to renew it? Okay, I’ll admit they have a point there, and who knows, perhaps travel will be no safer in the next five to ten years than it is now, but I  think it will be. While there is a vaccine available now, it has had some glitches, so I expect work on the development of an even better version  will continue and when they hit the jackpot with the ultimate COVID vaccine, it will be made available worldwide, thus making it safe for us to globe trot again.

So I am not sorry I renewed my passport. Besides, my photo in this one is so much nicer than the last.  I look good!

Meanwhile, I have pacified my personal travel bug with a few trips beyond my local region and it felt good. There was the trip inland to spend some days with Daughter, Son-in-law and the grandkids (and all their pets) and we had a wonderful catch-up. Not quite overseas, but I did cross from NSW into Canberra so it was sort of interstate. Then there was the trip up the mountains to get new tyres on my car. I could have had them done locally but The Bloke very generously offered to cover the cost and it meant we could catch up for lunch and coffee.  It took about two and a half hours to drive up there, so that was sort of like a long distance trip too. Sort of.

Thing is, a few months ago I would not have done either trip because things were still a bit too iffy and while I knew I was not sick,  the kids and grandkids (and all their pets) were not sick and neither was The Bloke, it just seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time. Travel was still on hold to a degree and I wanted to do the right thing.  But now it’s okay to extend our boundaries for the moment and I am so hoping the trend continues. And I’m sure that’s possible, just so long as we are all responsible with our new-found semi-freedom.  I felt an exhilarating sense of semi-freedom as I headed up the highway! It was great and I truly believe travel much further afield will be possible in the near future and when it is, I’ll be ready. With my nice renewed passport, with the much nicer photo of me.

Seriously, I look good.



Am I the Only One Who’s Confused..?

Okay, so some of the restrictions around COVID are being relaxed a little, but the general gist is that we still need to continue with social distancing, even if we have relaxed a little on some things. People can now gather in homes so long as the keep the number to no more than ten people, and everyone still observes the social distancing rule.

Okay, well that’s fair enough. There has also been a relaxing of the rule regarding masks, which are no longer mandatory in public at present but again, people are being asked to continue keeping their distance from each other. Probably a good thing seeing as the more virulent strain of the virus is making its way around the planet now and will probably get here sooner rather than later.

Which is why I am completely flummoxed over the thousands of fans permitted to attend the tennis! I only saw this because I flicked over to another channel on the telly to watch something advertised in the program guide, only to be met with the tennis about to start instead! Hoping it was just a short news update, I watched for a few moments, waiting for the other program, when it dawned on me that no, the station was televising the tennis instead and while they waited for the tennis starlets (who had no trouble entering Australia, while stranded Aussies trying to get home are still stranded) to make their entry, the cameras were panning around the stands while the commentators waffled on about how great it was to see so many spectators there for the match. Thousands of them actually.

Thousands? Now hang on a minute…we are still being asked to social distance and avoid gathering in large numbers anywhere, yet the stands at the tennis were crammed with spectators about as socially-distanced as sardines in a tin, and that was okay. Why was that okay? But it was the same with the football. Once they got past the initial cardboard cutouts phase, the real crowds were able to fill the stands in great numbers to watch the players getting all over each other. But heaven help you if you were one of fifty or more people on a beach or in a park, and only within a few centimetres from each other!

This is classic double standards if you ask me. Sports teams/people, and the fans who watch them, should not be exempt here. The social distancing rules are in place for a very good reason and if they are applicable to every other aspect of our lives then they should be applicable to sporting events as well. Better yet, don’t hold the event, because I don’t believe for a minute these clubs and organisations are all going to go under if they have to cancel their games. I was stunned when I saw the number of people in the stands, not a mask in sight and all sitting close together.  How is this different from congregating in a large crowd in a park, or on a beach, or in someone’s back yard or living room? It isn’t. It’s no different at all.

Avoiding crowds  and maintaining social distancing still applies at the moment, doesn’t it? So what’s with the thousands of spectators at the tennis? Or a football match?

No wonder people are confused.


It’s Not Rocket Science!

I know I’ve talked about this before but people are still not getting it and I am trying to define what it is that people are failing to understand about social distancing, self isolation and staying home when the health authorities says you must.

Is it that they do not understand what a world pandemic is? Is it that they are still of the belief that COVID-19 is “just the flu”?  Or is it entitlement gone off the scale?

We have all been asked to be socially responsible right now in order to stay safe, health-wise, and not contribute to the spread of a very dangerous and highly contagious virus. We have been asked to keep our distance from each other, not congregate in groups, avoid dining out (although grabbing a takeaway is okay), not hang out in cafes and generally not get together in groups outdoors, indoors, or have large gatherings in our own homes and to avoid protests like the…well I was going to say like the plague, which is appropriate I suppose, but anyway…

Maybe it’s because we haven’t experienced something like this in our lifetime, the last biggie being the flu that went global after the First World War and just about all of us here today were not here then. Things like plagues and pandemics tend to happen in countries where much of the population is crowded into  substandard housing, poverty is rife, sanitation is nonexistent, where there is no access to fresh water, starvation rules and there is limited medical care. These countries are a breeding ground for infectious diseases and while those lucky enough to live in first world countries hear about the misfortunes of third world nations, it doesn’t touch them personally.

Until COVID-19. Suddenly the whole world is staring a deadly health threat in the face, yet there are many out there who are still of the misguided belief that it won’t touch them, they won’t catch it, and therefore the government and health directives do not apply to them. We live in a first world country and it just doesn’t happen to us. Except that it has. And because it has, there are a number of preventative measures that have been put in place in an effort to contain the spread.

So why then is it spreading like wildfire?

Because an entitled minority out there are flatly refusing to stay home, to avoid eating out, going to the pub, to stay in their own state, wear a mask, sanitise before entering a shop or business, are lying about their movements or where they have really come from, and ignoring the self-isolation rules if they have come in from overseas, are awaiting test results or have actually tested positive to the virus.

The threat of a large fine doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for these people so I’m hoping the threat of a gaol term is, and I really hope the authorities follow through with that one because these dipsticks are potentially killing people by their stubborn refusal to do the right thing under the current circumstances.

It’s not difficult. Yet it appears to be those in a position to do it in style and comfort are the ones who aren’t. But if you think about it, most of us aren’t really doing it all that hard by doing what we’ve been asked, and those who believe they are should take a closer look at what’s happening in countries a lot less fortunate than ours. True, some people are experiencing financial hardship to varying degrees but government financial assistance is available and going some way toward easing the pressure. Going out for dinner though, or going out daily for takeaway coffee, hanging out with drinks at the local pub, shopping for non essentials or touring the country (and possibly taking the virus with you) is not the way to go if your available funds have plummeted. But if you think you are being badly done by because you can no longer afford the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed and some of the things you’ve always enjoyed doing have been momentarily curtailed, ask yourself this; would you prefer to be in an intensive care unit fighting for your life? Would dying be preferable to cutting back on your usual social activities and/or wearing a mask when asked?

No one has the right to ignore the current preventative measures simply because they’re “inconvenient”. No one has the right to spread the virus via petulant, selfishly entitled behaviour because they stubbornly insist on clinging to their pre-coronavirus lifestyle, no matter what.

No one is exempt.




Spreading the Dread

So tell me, how does allowing a protest to go ahead, while social distancing is still in place, help with containing a global virus? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the desire to protest, especially to be a voice where there is injustice, but right now  is really not the time.

But I have seen the smug grins on the faces of the lawyers who have managed to get judgements banning the various protests from happening overruled and to be honest, I just want to slap them. What is it they are not getting here?

I mean, the claims that the protests will be safe and those joining it will practice social distancing has my eyes popping in disbelief because when have you ever seen a large gathering of people keeping a metre or so distant from each other while marching en mass through the streets? Seriously, show me a crowd of protesters practising social distancing while getting all het up and spitting spleen, and I’ll show you a herd of vegans grazing at McDonalds.

Exactly. Never going to happen.

But organisers and protesters are trying to convince the rest of us that an angry mob is capable of being responsible about social distancing because the very last thing they would want to do is fast-track the COVID-19 infection rate by gathering too closely together in a large group. Well please excuse me while I fall down laughing. Actually, I’m not laughing. We really are in the grip of a pandemic right now and people really are dying from it, yet authorities are being prevented from acting against entitled self-centred idiots who appear to be of the opinion the restrictions just don’t apply to them.

And so they’re out in force, probably aiding the spread of the virus and getting all bent out of shape over anyone attempting to quell their stupidity. What is it that they just do not get about this pandemic? It is highly contagious and spreads rapidly, hence the social distancing rules. Kind of rules out protest marches, doesn’t it?

Yes it does.

So what happens when they all start getting sick? When they pick it up on the march, take it home with them and spread it to their families and friends and throughout their communities? Which they will do because these people just don’t stay home. They go out for coffee, visit people and shopping centres and wherever they go they will spread the virus they picked up while taking part in a protest that should never have been allowed to go ahead in the first place, and they will do that because they seem to be incapable of getting their empty heads around the fact that COVID-19 can infect anyone, including them.

It is unfair on the rest of us, who are trying to do all the right things no matter how difficult, that there are some out there who cannot, or more likely will not, accept that doing what they like, when they like, is not a good idea right now.  I’m not only fed up with them, I am fed up with the smug lawyers who believe it is right to challenge the courts and have right decisions overruled to support wrong ones. Like large groups of people getting together, too closely together, in the middle of a global pandemic where distancing from each other is vital in slowing the infection rate, thumbing their noses at the rest of us as they go their merry way. Stupid, stupid people, and right now, the world seems to be full of stupid people. And stupid lawyers. Talk about a total disregard for the wellbeing of others.

Just plain stupid.


Designer? No. Crossbred.

Since when have crossbred puppies cost four figures?

Well, probably since some savvy breeder ended up with an accidental litter of crossbreeds, saw how cute they were, and opted to make a killing, financially, via a cutesy name and some clever marketing to make it look like a deliberate creation of a whole new breed.

Except they’re not. Nor are they “designer”. They are a cross between two completely different breeds and while the purebred puppies are entitled to their price tag, within reason, the crossbreds are really not.

That’s not to say they are not entitled to a loving home and a happy life. Of course they are. That should be the life of every animal, but to call these little crosses Cavoodles and Moodles and Labradoodles (just to name three) attach an exorbitant price tag, and con people into thinking they have just paid a small fortune for something unique, is plainly and simply a rip-off.

I’m not blaming the puppies here. Most of these crosses are really cute. It’s the “designer” dog breeders who are big-time snout-in-the-trough who give me the you-know-whats, turning out crossbred puppies in extraordinary numbers and charging over the top prices for them. If anything is going to encourage backyard puppy farms popping up all over the place, it would have to be the “designer” breeders. Especially if they can get away with selling the puppies off at thousands of dollars a pup.

And why am I having this conversation? Because of the recent reports of “designer” puppies being suddenly in high demand by people cooped up at home, as a result of the pandemic, suddenly deciding they want a companion. A dog would be nice. Preferably a French Bulldog (the current trendy breed) or one of those crossbred designer puppies. Either will look good in social media posts and will be a cute distraction from the four walls.

I just hope they realise they are responsible for that puppy’s health and wellbeing for the length of its life. Pet ownership is a long term commitment, not a short term distraction to keep its owner entertained for a few months while in lockdown.

Anyway, French Bulldogs can go from anywhere between $6000 to $15,000 each. A Moodle (Maltese x Poodle) is $6000 plus, ditto a Cavoodle (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Poodle). Thing is, if a Moodle was advertised for sale for what it really is, a Maltese/Poodle cross, that price tag would get laughed out of town because people would rightly conclude that a crossbred puppy, no matter how cute, was not worth six grand! But if it’s called a Moodle, a Designer Puppy… I know, right? Some people have far more money than sense. And probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog.

Once upon a time though, it was whichever purebred dog was the current status symbol that fetched a ridiculous price and unfortunately, many got dumped in pounds and shelters when they went out of fashion, to make room for the next hot breed puppy. But now it’s Designer (mix-breed) puppies that are all the rage.

But if people are really genuine about taking on a canine companion, why not visit one of the animal shelters that have many, many puppies and adult dogs just crying out for a forever home. They could have their pick of the number of purebred and crossbred (okay, maybe not the current “designer”) dogs, and there are some truly beautiful animals there who would love to be someone’s lifetime companion. And they are also a lot more affordable than the little fashion accessories mentioned above. There is nothing wrong with shelter dogs, other than they have been surrendered for whatever reason; their owner had to move away, or died, or had to move from a house to a flat. Or just lost interest in caring for a pet. And it’s sad. But equally sad are the “designer” puppies, whose status as a fashion accessory can drop as quickly as it began, when the next new “designer” cross replaces them.

Some people don’t deserve to have a pet.


Believe It or Not

I recently witnessed an exchange between a potential shopper and a retail assistant at the door of an Op Shop, where the shopper was asked to please use the complimentary hand sanitiser at the doorway, which was a condition of entering the shop. The shop assistant was pleasant and polite, but the shopper backed up as though she had been asked to swallow razorblades with a bleach chaser.

The woman refused to use the sanitiser, claiming she never used it because she was not “buying into the fear”. When the shop assistant politely advised that using the sanitiser first was a condition of entry, the woman stomped off in a huff.

Right now the planet is not in a good place, health wise, and whether you believe the virus is a hoax, a conspiracy, an  immune system killer via waves from the 5G satellites, or just plain evil dust being sprinkled on us from above by same, the fact remains that there is something out there and a lot of people around the world are dropping down dead when they contract it. Even those who recover are being left with after effects which will not necessarily go away.

So it’s not good.

Right, so you don’t believe there is a deadly virus out there. Okay, then feel free to have your  like-minded friends all come to visit you, all at the same time, and you can all hug and party like there’s no tomorrow. That’s your prerogative. Chances are though, that one or more of them may have been exposed to and infected by another like-minded individual and before you know it, your tomorrows may be severely compromised or worse, definitely numbered, because you have all come down with what feels like the worst flu you can ever remember having…

Well you can’t say you weren’t warned.

If by some stroke of luck you all survive the defiant group hug in your own homes, that doesn’t let you off the hook when it comes to the general directives when you are outdoors, and if that directive includes keeping physically-distanced from others and using hand sanitiser, when asked, before you enter a premises, then what’s the problem? It’s not a biggie. The thousands of people dying around the globe are not dropping all at the same time from natural causes and no, it is not “just flu” either.

You see, despite what you may or may not believe, there are many others out there in your community who are taking COVID-19 a little more seriously. As a result they are following all the directives currently in place to protect themselves and others, and while it may be impacting their lives to a greater or lesser extent, depending on their circumstances, at least they are still alive and not threatening the lives of those around them.

It is not that difficult!

No one is asking us to leap through hoops of fire, do the razorblades and bleach thingy (okay, maybe someone I just can’t be bothered naming here did mention bleach), or lock ourselves up so securely as to never see the light of day again. Even at the peak of the threat, we could make a visit to the chemist or the supermarket. We could go out onto a balcony or into a backyard. Walk, cycle or jog around the block or the park. We were just asked to stay distant and make good with the hand sanitiser and keep our socialising to the phone, social media and Face Time, and if you think that has flushed your whole life down the toilet, then you might want to rethink your whole life.

As for the woman who refused to use the hand sanitiser and stomped off in a huff; perhaps that was a blessing because I don’t know whether it was her clothes, or her, or both, but she smelt like there had been no laundry or showering done  in while. Quite a while to be honest, and I wondered whether not washing at all may have been part of her protest over the “fear” she was not “buying into”.  I mean, general hygiene has always been a thing, not a request that has just popped up recently because we have all been asked to be more diligent about it. But  hey, if you don’t want to wash  yourself or your clothes or sanitise your hands, stay home.

Trust me, no one won’t miss you.


What Police State..?

I have to wonder about the groups of people out there protesting over the lockdown and isolation directives designed to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Mainly they are up in arms about their “rights” being trampled on and the emergence of a “police state” which is preventing them from living their lives the way they wish and doing whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it. They are demanding the lockdown and restrictions be lifted immediately because the whole situation has been either a set-up, or a conspiracy, depending on who you listen to.

Okay, so let’s look at rights. Here in Australia we have been asked to stay home, where possible, to slow down the spread of coronavirus. Many have been able to work from home, but those who haven’t are receiving government financial assistance to help them through. Yes, it’s tough right now. People have been asked not to congregate in groups. However, they can grab takeaway food and coffee. They can watch whatever they like on television, download movies, socialise on social media, go to the supermarket whenever they need to and to go outdoors to exercise via going for a walk, a jog or a bicycle ride if they wish. No hard or fast rules here, so even though we have been in a lockdown/social distancing situation, we have still had it pretty good because we have had a lot of options available to keep fit and stay healthy. As a result, I’m not seeing any trampled rights here. If our rights were being seriously compromised, we would not have all of those options.

Regarding those fined by the police, they were the ones who refused to abide by the directives to not travel to holiday destinations, not congregate and mingle in groups or attend/organise functions in large numbers. That was it. They refused to do as they had been asked and so naturally, the consequences they had been warned about repeatedly, followed.

Which brings us to the claims we are now living in a “police state”. My feeling here is that those claiming we are living in one, would not know a police state if they fell over it. As mentioned above, we have not had our lives locked up altogether. We still have the freedom to access the Internet, socialise online, talk on the phone, and go out on essential errands like doing a food shop etc. These activities are not restricted to certain days or times and the only restrictions we do have to abide by is keeping to that social distance thingy marked out on the floor. In a genuine police state, these options are just not there and people live in fear of reprisals every day, even when they are innocent of any wrongdoing. This is not happening here. The police in Australia have been enforcing the social distancing directive only, and only with those who have deliberately flouted it due to a misplaced sense of entitlement. No one is exempt from social distancing at the moment. But no one has been fined for being out for a walk or a jog either, or for a trip to the supermarket or takeaway food outlet, when they have adhered to the directive and kept apart from others they might meet along the way.

In a genuine police state we’d all be pounced on the minute we walked outside our doors, so those claiming we are living in one now have absolutely no idea. Being free to use the Internet, perhaps they should have Googled “Police State” before  congregating with their placards, then perhaps they would have realised just how un-policed we are in comparison to the citizens of countries where a police state is very real and the people have no rights or freedom at all, and any form of protest is out of the question because the fear of reprisals is severe and very, very real. Australian citizens are so not living in a police state. The only thing we have been specifically asked to do is to stay home where possible and avoid close physical contact with each other. That’s it.  Our rights have not been taken away and the police are leaving us alone, so long as we follow that simple directive.

But there’s a lot of misinformation out there and too many people tend to take it as gospel. Do the research! COVID-19 is very real and is killing people world wide. Even those who survive it will be dealing with the after affects for a long time, some even for the rest of their lives, because the disease causes all manner of health complications. It is not a nice thing to contract and plays merry hell with the immune system, lungs, heart and a host of other things.

Personally, I doubt there is a link between it and the 5G network either, because I have yet to find any reliable information which proves that there is, but I remain openminded for the moment and if I ever find a link, I’ll get into it here. But right now, I think we can dismiss that one. The disease it real though, so I’m not dismissing that by any means, nor an I ignoring the practical ways of hopefully avoiding coming down with it.

The be honest, I think those protesting in large, close-contact groups need to take a step back and and a good look at how much they still have. Sure, we are dealing with sudden economical hardships, some more than others, but the nature of COVID-19 currently dictates that life is going to be very different for a while, but we have not been deprived of our rights or our freedom. We are just dealing with temporary parameters designed to slow the spread of a dangerous disease. So shelve the entitled perspective.

And drop the attitude.



Remember That Rainy Day…?

One of the pitfalls of the isolation thingy is the “What day is it?” thingy. Just realised yesterday was Friday (sorry…)


Remember that proverbial rainy day? The one which people used to put aside for, just in case? Okay, well it’s here now, and a lot of people have been caught short because not only did they not think to put something aside, or just didn’t bother, but may have even been lulled into the false assumption that a rainy day just wasn’t on their horizon.

But it so is. That is the nature of rainy days and right now it’s bucketing down and a lot of people have been caught without an umbrella.

Sure, no one saw COVID-19 coming, but some have been caught so short it will take years for them to recover, assuming they ever do, and I am beginning to hear the word “victim” popping up more and more in news reports and talkback programs, and I am not necessarily talking about those who contracted coronavirus.  Mostly it financial victims but the word is being bandied around all over the place and I am beginning to suspect there will be “victims” popping up who really aren’t, except maybe in their own minds. Only some of them will be genuine.

The financial victims will be those small business owners who have had to shut down their only source of income indefinitely, the people who lost their jobs because their workplace had to either cut staff and hours, or close their doors altogether, those low income earners/welfare recipients who live hand to mouth because they just don’t have enough left over after paying for food and other necessities to put anything aside, and those who, for some reason, don’t qualify for government support. Most people have rent or mortgages, and the stress levels among them trying to meet those obligations is rising.

My sympathies are with those now having to deal with being in that position, but tends to peter out a bit regarding those who have over-extended themselves to live in an upwardly-mobile bubble. They took on a mortgage for a nice house with a sought-after address they couldn’t really afford but would sort of scrape by so long as nothing went wrong. Went further into debt for brand new cars and other accessories, and life has revolved around their credit cards for so long they have forgotten what making do with what they have actually means. Others opted for a pricy rental  in an expensive area that realistically was beyond their means but fed their aspirations. They could also scrape by (just) on a wing and prayer so long as nothing went wrong. Well yes, they lived precariously on credit card debt too and perhaps stuck their fingers in their ears while going “lalalalala” whenever the inkling of a rainy day entered their heads (mustn’t think about that). But then something did go wrong. Very badly horribly wrong, and it all came crashing down. I don’t deny for a moment these people are dealing with genuine through-the-ceiling stress levels right now, but I’m not sure they are victims of the current situation because I think financial catastrophe was on the cards for them anyway, coronavirus or no.

Genuine victims here though, are  those in countries where the poorest of their populations have had to leave their villages and go out into fields or hills and in some cases, even up into the trees, in order to self isolate because staying at home in a one-room abode shared with a lot of other people was not really an option. They are existing without facilities, with minimal food, water and shelter and near to no medical assistance should they become ill. These people have had their entire lives made much worse by this pandemic. Those I am less inclined to see as victims however, are people who are safely ensconced in spacious homes with all the comforts, oodles of money in the bank, swimming pools, gadgetry, televisions, plenty of food and clean water, supermarkets and basically everything they could possibly need to keep themselves entertained. Yet oddly (well, maybe not) these are the ones bemoaning their current stay-at-home situation. They can’t go out for coffee, they can’t go to the beach, they can’t pop around to friends’ places for drinks etc. These are the ones feeling “victimised” by coronavirus. Barely a peep from those people experiencing genuine hardship and/or social isolation and loneliness, just a lot of noise from Instagrammers, celebrities, wannabes and those so accustomed to having the lifestyle they want handed to them on a platter that they cannot deal with the sudden restrictions to their vacuous existence. Unsurprisingly, they are often the ones found flouting the social distancing directives as well.

But are they victims? No. There are a lot of victims out there but it’s not these guys.

Anyway, this is the rainy day that was always on the cards and with luck, we have all learned something from it. Hopefully the lesson has been to make preparations for the next one in case it comes down in cats and dogs like it has this time, and to get a handle on who classifies as a victim and who just doesn’t fit the bill, because I’m starting to see a lot of “victims” emerging who aren’t. Perhaps we might learn that we don’t have to have the best of everything like, right now. Previous generations worked and saved for those things and were prepared to wait until they could afford them. Start a mortgage on a starter house and move up from there. A reliable secondhand car will do you just fine until you can afford that shiny new wiz-bang model. If you’re any kind of celebrity, you should have at least a couple of million still sitting in your bank account so shut up, you are not in financial dire straits and if you have a home, a supermarket, a phone and social media, you are not really doing it hard at all, hence you are not a victim.

But as for the rest of us? Just organise that umbrella, okay?

Fright Night!

Okay, so here we all are, sitting in and isolating and being responsible. Well, most of us are. Our options to pass the time are go for a walk or jog, so long as we stay socially distanced, or run through an aerobics program at home, curl up with a good book, listen to some good music or watch the telly.

I opted to put the book aside and watch the telly last night, which meant a perusal of the program guide and Hello! One of the movies on offer was Contagion; all about a deadly virus slowly spreading throughout the world and the various Centres for Disease Control frantically on the hop to develop a vaccine to counter it and save the world’s inhabitants.

Right. Either one of the program managers has a sense of humour (a really black one) or they are genuinely weird enough to think we might want to watch a a film about a deadly disease decimating the global population, while staying inside and sitting out an actual deadly disease that is decimating the global population. Like, what made them think we might want to watch a movie that we are kind of living right now?

On the other hand, perhaps they thought it was eerily relevant to the world’s current situation and so would be a really good choice for weeknight viewing…? Of course, I may be completely off the mark and if I was to see the ratings for last night’s television tune-ins, I might see that a huge number of viewers had tuned in because there’s nothing like watching a fictional fear-raiser while living with a factual one going on right outside our doors, right?

To be honest, I actually did consider (albeit briefly) watching it myself but opted for one of the Alien movies on another channel instead. It was one I hadn’t seen and while I knew there was bound to be some blood and guts, I figured it might be a better option as it was one of the Alien films I hadn’t seen and on the whole, it wasn’t bad. Except for the part where some of the crew were accidentally infected because they unknowingly squished some little round egg type thingies and a fine mist of minute particles became airborne (uh oh) and found their way, disease/virus-like, into the crew members via their skin, their mouths, ears and noses (without them realising) and then developed at warp speed into baby aliens which…well, we all know what happened then so I won’t go into the gory details of them emerging from their human hosts.

And I started wondering if I would have been better off just watching the global disease movie after all. Or better still, watching neither of them and just getting back into my book instead.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it. We all love a scary movie, especially when we know it’s just fiction and once the credits start rolling we can get up and move on with our normal routines. Except we are kind of living in a scary movie in reality right now and have no idea what the running time is, which means there’s no normal at present. We can’t change the channel or just switch it off either. So not good.

On the plus side though, at least the disease we are dealing with right now does not hatch out (really messily!) into baby aliens that want to hunt us down and rip us to shreds! At least that’s something, and eventually what we are dealing with will hopefully run its course and we will be able to venture out again and begin to pick up our lives. Eventually…

I think I should have just stuck with my book.


Okay, what next…?

Firstly, apologies for posting a day late. My signal dropped out yesterday which meant I couldn’t access my site, hence no blog post… Thankfully, it’s all systems back on today!

So what’s going to hit us next? I’m not usually  prone to pessimistic thoughts but right now I can help thinking about how things tend come in threes, so at this moment I’m wondering what is going to come on in and hit us in the face once COVID-19 has passed and we begin getting back on our feet again.  So far, here in Australia, we’ve had the Summer bushfire season and this year it was a lulu, and we were only just beginning to pick up the pieces and get things back to a semblance of normality when the Coronavirus hit. It hit so soon after the fires that we hadn’t really had much of a chance to catch our breath. And now people are breathing through masks and mostly staying inside again. Just like we did with all the smoke and flames and ash. So is it any wonder that I’m wondering what might come next?

1. Fires. 2. Coronavirus. 3. ???

I suppose I could speculate until the cows come home on what a third disaster could be, assuming there is a third, but I can’t completely dispel the thought that Number 3 in on the national/global horizon, and if it is…? Right now every nation on the planet is vulnerable because of the impact of COVID-19. So, what if there was a country out there, for instance, that wished to get the global upper hand? Now would be a smart time to do it because their target would be preoccupied with dealing with the pandemic, wouldn’t see the conflict coming and would probably be shocked to the back teeth by a direct threat or act of aggression and would probably be slower than usual to mobilise a defence. Their allies would be in the same boat, which would give the aggressor a head start in getting a foothold. That’s a worrying thought. So, is there a power out there looking to up their status to Superpower? If there is, it would mean a war and it would probably be a biggie. Could that be Number 3? I sincerely hope not.

Or is it a string of major natural disasters? No, I am not sitting here getting all fatalistic and conjuring up nightmare scenarios, I am just thinking about that Number 3 because I can’t dislodge the thought that it’s out there, somewhere around the corner just waiting to happen.

A major war would be really horrific. A major natural disaster or three would be really horrific too. I mean, we are still recovering from the raging inferno that dominated our entire Summer. The whole world has been shut down by the Coronavirus. Global economies have plunged and job losses worldwide are at an all-time high. This is scary stuff! Is it any wonder I’m feeling a bit shaky (and I am not one who is normally prone to thoughts of doom and gloom, I swear) about the immediate future? I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one either.

But there it is. If I saw the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse trotting down my road tomorrow I’d probably think “Yep, told ya!” and that is so not normally me. So it’s a bit disconcerting for me to be unable to shake the thought that the fires and the Coronavirus are just the start. Perhaps the Age of Pisces is going out with a bang! There is some speculation as to when this age ends and the Age of Aquarius begins (some say it has already begun, except that world events appear to indicate otherwise, while others speculate a time well into the future) but the most reliable source I have found is saying the southern hemisphere Summer Solstice, December 22/23, is the date when we enter the Age of Aquarius, a golden age of peace, spiritual growth and enlightenment (if the tales are correct) that will last for around 2500 years, the average length of an astrological age. I hope this is right, and the world survives to welcome it.

And with luck, that we will too.