Written 18 February, 2021.
It’s a day that’s a joyful, and teary miracle- the 32nd day in NSW of no local coronavirus cases. On the news, it’s said that people have flocked to use public transport back to 70% of the way they were using it back before It All Happened. Victoria has ended its sudden 6 day lockdown. Yesterday, the Astra Zenaca vaccine was officially approved by the Australian authorities- Pfizer was approved weeks ago, and the rollout of the vaccine begins next week, first to those most at risk, then to the over 70s. Throughout the entire country, it’s 48 hours since the last local case. A
It’s a day we couldn’t even begin to envisage throughout 323 days ago. I remember not far into April, the lisping voice of a little girl on Normans Swann’s ABC Coronacast asking:
Are we all going to die?
Poor little mite.
Across 200 countries, 2.4 million people did die, terrible, lonely, unnecessary deaths, for which surely their governments are largely responsible, I believe, putting profits before life, politics before health advice. O often wonder after the dust settles, whether there will be class actions against them by grieving relatives, because you’d never get over losing someone you love like that.
But yesterday WHO said that deaths across the world are falling 16% from the week before- no one knows if it’s the vaccine, now millions have been vaccinated over the world, or just the abating of winter in Europe.
And me, in my little life, I’m in the city after teaching the neuroscience of creativity yesterday at NIDA and was planning to go “home” today to the bay, but winds and storms andGG’s pain prevented me. And on Saturday I fell over in the wet carpark of Bunnings, so now with a swollen knee and an elbow that looks like a Spiral murder scene. I’m cooling my heels till tomorrow hoping the winds will become little breezes, and instead helping K in as many ways as I can, and today took a dramatic step to open out her life, that’s shrivelled with the virus, and autism. I’ll say more if it happens. And I’m delighting in reading, now I sent off my new manuscript two weeks ago – there are lots of good books here to be immersed in. I’m reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Don DeLillo’s The Names (depending on whether i’m at home – the bigger book – or on a bus- (the lighter one),a nd I ordered from Abbey’s Sydney Bookshop Books 2 3 and 4 of Elena Ferrante’s series that beings with My Brilliant Friend, warmly recommended to me by my own brilliant friend in NY, Shelley. it was an wonderful recommendation – I gobbled it in huge bites. A delight today- Lindy on the phone from Abbey’s recognised my name as the author of The Secret Cure, and told me she read it early in manuscript form – but the manuscript was missing the last 2 pages, and she couldn’t find out what happened to “the young man” until it was finally published!
I was so pleased, because I love that book getting praised- it’s always seemed to me like an overlooked child. And of course I can’t tell whether it should be overlooked, but what mother can tell?
And in the bay, our dear and brilliant neighbour Dee has progressed our pontoon solar power bank- remember last year we began this? Now he’s begun installing air conditioning fuelled entirely by the sun- but he’s somehow made a system that, when the sun has set, can switch over to our batteries and run off a small amount of power.
It’ll make home truly a home, which we won’t have to abandon in winter, as we always have had to do. Or in summer, in days above 35 degrees. His genius, and kindness.