Written 22nd July, 2020
In the US, there are 1000 deaths a day from the virus. Tragic stories of the morgues being full, of refrigerated truck in the cities. “Bring out your dead”. 20,000 of the US military are infected. Trump interviewed: he’s at last agreed to wear a mask. Perhaps he knows 70% of his country believe in masks. Perhaps he knows his popularity is slipping. Perhaps he knows he has to seem involved. it must be a nightmare to advise him. The new book about him by his niece says he has “ice in his veins”. He says the mask change is because the advice has changed. it’s true that about ten days ago, research published and signed by 260 doctors said that masks would help, because they’ve discovered that the virus spreads not only in large and visible drops, but tiny invisible droplets.
Here, people have lost their terror. In Queensland, 200 people in quarantine have gone missing. This is what it depends on, this vile virus. Governments put protections in place but there are chinks in the armour, and people are uncaring, unconvinced. The cases today so high in Victoria, we’re told the hospitals may not cope. The age of the dying is always reported, with that implied threat.Don’t get old. Don’t be old. You are dangerously old.
In Sydney, the infections are rising. Nothing by US standards, but i’m shocked. I have to go by bus to Ikea, Tempe, for our click and collect curtains for warmth for the upper house, the same curtains we tried to get delivered back in April- yes, and now it’s July but in the lounge room, the cold seeps through the glass. It’s a frightening journey. The bus on the trip out is fine, almost empty, with seats marked for social distancing.
But I’m held up at Ikea because they’ve packaged up the wrong curtains. I sort this out, get my turquoise block out curtains instead of the dark grey ones they gave me. On the way home, the disaster. All buses are crammed. No one remembers social distancing. I’m the only one in a mask. I get on one bus, but must get off. Get on another, get off. Get on another, get off. I do this six times, I give up, and walk home. i can’t wait to get out of the city. Back to home.