I don’t know whether we are in Lockdown No 3 or maybe it is Lockdown 2B but over the last week the lockdown conditions in Melbourne have become more harsh.
Because of increasing numbers of people being affected by the virus and the failure of some people in the community to wear masks and maintain social distance we have been further locked down for at least another six weeks. A week ago, the government was reporting over 700 new cases a day. Today we have 394 new cases. We now must stay at home other than to buy food or essentials, seek medical treatment or provide / receive support. We are not allowed visitors in our home and we are restricted to travelling no further than 5 km from our house. We have a curfew from 8 pm till 5 pm and one person from each house can only go shopping once per day for no more than an hour. Retail stores and businesses (apart from shops that sell food) have been forced to close. Of course, we must continue to wear masks or risk a fine of $200. We are allowed to exercise within 5 km of our house for no longer than one hour per day. The fine for breaching these rules is $1652, increasing to over $10,000 for multiple breaches.
As a result we have been lying very low at home, just getting to the supermarket once per week and finding that this whole process is becoming boring and tedious. My anger level at this government is increasing because it appears that nearly all of the 700 or so new cases that we are seeing per day, and around 100 deaths, not to mention the economic impact of billions of dollars as well as 5 1/2 million people being locked down for six weeks like we are) is a result of the stupid decision to hire incompetent security guards, rather than having the police or military, guard hotels where overseas travellers were in compulsory isolation. There is a judicial inquiry that is about to start and I’ll be watching it with great interest.
Being lockdown again is bad enough, but when something goes wrong, it creates a problem more significant than normal. A little over a week ago I had to go to hospital for a gastroscopy. To meet the hospital’s quarantine requirements I had to have a Covid test three days before this procedure and not go out anywhere before being admitted to hospital. It was a relatively quick procedure. Jill dropped me at the hospital at 7.45 in the morning and I was discharged to go home at 10:30 am.
I thought that I would give myself a treat after this procedure so I bit into a chocolate bar and promptly broke one of my teeth. I was able to get to the dentist a few days later and he quickly decided that there wasn’t enough tooth left to save and it had to be extracted. My gum is still a bit tender.
I managed to top up our pantry on Tuesday (the first day of this extended lockdown) and came home to find that our washing machine in the laundry had died. Because no one can come to our house it would’ve been six weeks before a repair technician was able to come to fix it so we purchased a new machine online that was delivered on Friday.
Whilst spring does not officially start until next month we are finding a good number of the plants in our garden that are flowering – especially camellias. The one outside my study window is now being visited by rainbow lorikeets and I was able to capture this photo of one with pollen all over its face without even leaving the chair in my study. Jill found a nice display of the various types of camellias that we have in the garden and they brightened up the house for a couple of days.
The weather has been pretty cold over the last week with some mornings seeing a temperature of 0°C that only increased to a maximum of 11° C during the day. I have been able to get out for a walk at least every second day and came across this rather nice blue tongue lizard that was sunning itself in the grass by the walking track.
I spent a good number of hours inside this week because of the weather and I was interested to find quite a number of weird and interesting things that have been taking place around the world during the lockdown in various countries. Here are some of them.
- Marijuana went from being totally outlawed in Colorado to being considered “essential.’“
- Video game addiction is officially considered a mental disorder by the WHO. Now, they are recommending video games as an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- In North America, Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada) banned foreigners, Mexicans demanded a crackdown on Americans crossing the border, city dwellers are fleeing to rural areas and the Illinois governor labeled gun stores as essential.
- Some Russian chefs held a nude protest at losing their jobs when their restaurant closed.
- It appears that the pandemic is giving people vivid, unusual dreams. Some dream experts believe that withdrawal from our usual environments and daily stimuli has left dreamers with a dearth of “inspiration,” forcing our subconscious minds to draw more heavily on themes from our past.
- After Hong Kong’s Ocean Park Zoo closed its doors to the public, two pandas were finally able to mate after 10 years of unsuccessful attempts. Perhaps they just needed a little privacy.
- Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, president of Hindu Mahasabha in India, had an interesting suggestion for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. He believes that the liberal use of cow urine should be the perfect disinfectant. (It would certainly make social distancing essential!)
- Supermarkets in some parts of America ran short of bereavement cards while in Australia, some spices are in short supply.
- Social distancing has pushed some members of the Flat Earth Society over the edge.
- The United States, with over 2.3 million active cases of the virus issued a travel warning against going to New Zealand which has just 23 active cases. It is irrelevant anyway as New Zealand won’t let anyone in.
- Fundamental churches have declared that the 1 1/2 metre length for social distancing is also the perfect distance when couples are dancing.
- In the Philippines, photos of a Korean tourist lying on the street went viral after people thought that he was Chinese and had contracted the coronavirus. It turned out that the guy was just plastered as hell after a night out.
- An Irish pub has “banned” patrons from singing Neil Diamond’s hit song Sweet Caroline in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. Not only do the lyrics actively promote reaching out, touching you, touching me, but the song is also popular amongst drunken bar patrons, creating the perfect storm for a coronavirus super-spreading event.
- A Florida man donned a “Grim Reaper” costume and walked along the state’s crowded beaches to warn beachgoers about COVID-19.
- An Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Tabrizian, reckons that applying essential oils to your bum will cure the coronavirus. (Now we know why toilet paper was in so short supply!)
- Scientists in the US say they are training dogs to identify COVID-19 in humans by sniffing out the disease in saliva and urine samples. According to the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in the US, the training program will utilise scent detection dogs to discriminate between samples from COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative patients.
- The New York City Mafia is apparently hurting for money, because people aren’t gambling on sports. Similarly, a New York Magazine reported, “Desperate Casinos Are Now Taking Bets on the Weather.”
- In Las Vegas, strip club dancers are making ends meet by delivering food.
- Eighty Six clients from a brothel in Valencia, Spain have recently been put under quarantine after one prostitute tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Quarantined Italians sang to each other from their balconies.
- Dolphins and fish have been seen swimming in Venice’s otherwise empty canals.
- “Bleach will kill the virus in five minutes. Isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds. You rub it and it goes away faster,” Donald Trump said and suggested that they test whether these treatments could be used on, or in, the human body to get rid of the virus.
- In Malaysia, rumours spread that the coronavirus will make you act like a zombie.
- Cases of influenza have dropped significantly n Australia because people are social distancing and it can’t spread as fast as in normal years.
- Mosses and liverworts are thriving because of reduced pollution due to much less use of vehicles.
- One lucky baseball fan in Tokyo was taken inside the otherwise empty Stadium for for her team’s (Yomiuri Giants’) win via a monitor mounted on a robot that she controlled from home.
- Animals have been entering urban areas to find food – Deer have been roaming the streets in Nara, Japan and Mountain Goats are wandering around a village in Wales.
Meanwhile, at home the other day, I was so bored that I asked my Google Home device to tell me a joke. She replied “What would you call a cave man’s fart?” Answer = a blast from the past. There’s just no getting away from toilet humour!