The reality for us Melbournians is that while we are frustrated or angry, we have gone back into a tight lockdown for another six weeks because the number of corona virus cases is growing out of control in this state. These are a direct result of the government stuff-ups that I described in my previous post.
Over the last week, the city has had in excess of 200 new cases of the virus most days. The government has taken the entire metropolitan area of Melbourne (over 5 million people) back into lockdown. We now need to stay isolated at home for another period of six weeks,. Restaurants, gyms, pubs, beauty salons, bars etc. are no longer open for their normal business and school children are back to learning at home for at least another month. We are back to being limited to only a few reasons for leaving our homes.
Rural areas in the state of Victoria are unaffected and police, with military support have established road blocks and check points around the city to ensure that we do not escape the city and potentially contaminate regional areas with the virus. These rural parts of the state have little, or no virus cases in their areas and it makes sense for them not to have the same regime as we do in the city. In Melbourne, we are now in day five of another forty-two days of home isolation.
I worry for my American friends. In the USA, 1% of the population have now contracted this virus and the numbers are still growing. That’s one person in every hundred who has been affected! It looks like the genie is well and truly out of the bottle. It is probably no longer possible for them to contain this virus – the only action to take seems to be strict avoidance.
Assuming the WHO’s numbers are consistent across countries, the US. Is experiencing a mortality rate of over 4%. Britain has a mortality rate of just 1.5% and Australia has one of 1.1%. Spain has a mortality rate that is off the scale of 9,4%. It looks like people are much more likely to die because of the virus in America than other western countries.
Until these new restrictions came into force, we were starting to enjoy a limited exposure to the outside world. Last Monday, Jill and I packed up a thermos flask and had a nice outing to a little picnic area in the hills at Castella (near Toolangi). We stopped off on the way at one of Melbourne’s water storage reservoirs (Sugarloaf Reservoir) which was pleasingly quite full. So it ought to be after the very wet autumn that we gave experienced!
We used to go to our local RSL (Returned Services League) Club for a meal every week or so. We have missed the food and atmosphere of this veterans and community club and we had a reservation for lunch last Wednesday. This lunch turned out to be our ‘last supper’. With Covid-19 restrictions, they could only seat 20 people in each area of their bistro anyway, but this was the last day on which it could be open. It is compulsory closed now for another couple of months.
We were also looking forward to getting away for a few days along the coast at Apollo Bay and Warrnambool this week. I was planing to visit another Vietnam Veteran mate whose wife died a little while ago and spend a few hours with him. We have now had to put that trip on hold until another day. We were also planning to spend a week in Singapore in mid August to celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary. We knew that we couldn’t make that trip , so instead we had planned a weekend at a beautiful boutique hotel and gastronomic restaurant at Dunkeld in the southern Grampian Ranges. They called me yesterday to say that they were now closing until the new restrictions are over. We have moved our booking until a later date bit I think we will now be celebrating our anniversary in our lounge room.
Another thing that we have missed is our eldest grand daughter’s (Audrey’s) thirteenth birthday. We had all planned to go out to her favourite restaurant for lunch on Saturday but this also had to be cancelled. I was even going to get dressed up! I am very pleased that she was able to substitute our lunch with a Zoom meeting with her friends in which they participated in an an online art class doing stylised portraits.
We are very envious of people in other states who can now go about their business pretty much as normal. Every state in Australia has closed their borders to us Victorians. We feel like the lepers of the country although it is our government’s fault that these restrictions have been reintroduced, not the people’s fault. I’m not really sure what I will be doing to fill in the extra lockdown time. I completed most of my odd jobs in the previous lock down. I find that the nights get quite boring and by about 9.30 pm I’m looking go to bed – not that I’m tired, just bored.
When the weather is fine, I have been trying to get out into the garden and do some photography. I found a little patch of moss and liverwort that is growing in a corner and captured some macro shots. Apparently, mosses are thriving at the moment because of the lower pollution levels with the Covid shutdown. The moss has tiny little white flowers that need a very close look to be able to see. Otherwise, everything in the garden is still in good shape.
One bright spot that distracts me from my computer time and Zoom meetings is the tall camellia bush that I can see outside my upstairs study window. It has masses of pink flowers and is a popular place for the Noisy Miners (native honey eaters) to come for nectar. I enjoy watching their antics as they flit from branch to branch and flower to flower.
A few years ago, some ringtail possums had a nest in this bush. I was surprised to see them one morning when I opened the blinds, but I haven’t seen them for some time.
I am amazed by some of the creative ways in which the authorities can analyse trends with this virus. Although our infection numbers are high (they actually represent what was really happening seven two ten days ago because of the incubation period), I saw a news report that said that Victorians have been behaving more safely over the last few days. This analysis is based on the numbers of requests made to Apple Maps for directions. Over the last week, these requests have been decreasing in number while in other states that have been increasing ever since the first national lockdown finished some weeks ago.
Every day, I have a virus test. I open a bottle of red wine and pour some into a glass. I use this test to make sure that I haven’t lost my sense of smell, or. taste (classic Covid-19 symptoms), so I know that I am still free of this dreaded virus. First, I sniff it in true wine tasting fashion and then I sip a little from the glass. My preferred red wine type is Shiraz. If I can smell it and taste its peppery flavour on the back of my tongue, I know that it is wine that I will enjoy (and I am symptom free0. Then I pour a few extra glasses to drink. I’ll keep doing this each day just to make sure I am still healthy.
Finally, I am pleased to announce my nomination for a finalist in the 2020 Darwin awards. These awards are given to people who die stupidly and leave the world with an average higher level of intelligence than when they were alive. You can read about other recipients here.
My nomination goes to an unnamed young 30 year old man from San Antonio, Texas, who died after deliberately attending a COVID party thinking that the virus was nothing but a hoax. At the party, people put money into a pot and they tried to get infected with the virus. Whoever got the virus first won the pot. This young man died last week and on his deathbed, he was reported as saying “I think I made a mistake”.
I feel very sorry for this young man’s family but more incredulous that he would follow the advice of America’s President that the virus was just a hoax. What a pathetic and stupid role model this idiot of a president is. Other people have already died from his other suggestion that drinking bleach or disinfectant will cure the virus. Although, to be fair to him, I haven’t yet heard yet of anyone who has died because of his nonsense idea that exposing internal organs to UV light can impact the virus. I guess that no one yet has stuck a flashlight down their throat or up their arse in an attempt to disinfect their body with UV light. It’s no wonder he is the laughing stock of the world!