Written 28 June, 2020.
As of today, 104 deaths from the virus in Australia, largely acquired from overseas, and from poorly managed old people’s homes, especially the Anglicare Newmarch House which was responsible for almost a fifth of our deaths
and from cruise ships, especially the now notorious Ruby Princess, where infectious passengers were allowed off the ship, the captain allegedly lying that there was no virus onboard.
Despite all this bungling, those of us not mourning loved ones are doing well so farl, and with hopes that our economy will recover, whereas there are now 125,000 fatalities in the US.
Australia was slow to act, early refusing immigration from China where it began, but delaying on a lockdown. I began this blog March 21, when we despaired of our government. Finally NSW had a lockdown from April 10. then the national government followed.
By then, we’d had a chance to watch, first, the horror of China, then the chaos and searing terror of Italy and Spain, and we have in our contract a strong sense of a social contract, perhaps because of our compulsory voting, Our population in general complied with government orders, if not for their good, then for the greater good- as well as complying in sheer terror.
However, the US, who’d been warned by researchers working in Wuhan in December, 2019, and by their own WHO-employed officials in that month, but Trump claimed he knew nothing, didn’t act effectively. Didn’t he watch China and Europe? Wasn’t he horrified for his people? In January, he refused immigration from China, but unbelievably allowed it from Europe, and then from the UK where they were dying like flies, for their prevention measures under control either! More lives lost. deaths of peoples, parents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles. And then Trump refused safety equipment from the WHO, preferring to criticise WHO instead and saying they’d make their own thanks, giving the contract to a friend, and those ended up being faulty! What a heartless bungler! Yes the US has the best doctors, the best scientists- we have a brain drain there! More lives of loved ones gone needlessly. And then Trump, as deaths of his own countrymen climbed to 100,000, ridiculed its seriousness, (“kung flu”- “Is it flu or a virus_ I don’t know”) and made even the humanitarian measure of mask-wearing a political issue.He recently held an election rally and forbade anyone to come to it wearing a mask. Why cause more death? I don’t understand. It’s even a man issue! Yesterday I woke to a US football star on the radio saying:
I’d rather die than wear a mask!. it’s for the sick and the old!
No, bonehead, it’s not to protect you, its so you, if you’re infectious and don’t know it, protect others.
Then in the UK – my dear friend in New Hampton who works in hospital admin was, on Monday, at last issued with a box of 50 government supplied masks. But it hasn’t been mandated as compulsory to wear a mask, just altruistic. And since everyone in her office has had the virus- two have died of it- no one is wearing a mask, or even observing social distance.
And on the same day, my 3 illegal and fabric masks from Australia arrived in her letter box. (posted Day
And here in Coogee, yesterday, K, allergic to the mould and the dogs, with a nasty face rash and constant wheezing and sleepiness, and longing for her own territory, moved out of Marg’s house, and back to her own, after 99 days away. Eseta, a lovely young carer from the NDIS, helped her. We tried not to.
She’s delighted, but alone, I fear she’ll soon be lonely.
We must stay on in Marg’s house for she needs us, after her fall, jolting her 90 year old brain and clouding her memory.
I’ve forgotten how to cook, she said one night.
Such injuries take a long time getting over. I remember, even in my thirties, taking a long time to recover when a wall cupboard in a rented house fell on my head. I couldn’t finish sentences for weeks. And wrong words would pop up in them- say, pumpkin instead of garden, to everyone’s bewilderment, including my own. Whole memories left, and never returned.
Marg must stay in her home of 52 years. And, these terrible days, who would trust an old people’s home?
She only has Aged Care for two hours once a fortnight, a cleaner who does her best but it’s a giant house where a family of seven lived. Unfortunately it’s also damp, chilly, mouldy and doggy.
We must be there for her, as long as possible. If this virus has taught me anything, it’s that we’re all in this together.