I’m sitting here listening to a podcast ( SBS World Radio), and reflecting back on the last three weeks. Three weeks ago today I was wandering around Fremantle with my aunt, sitting down for a coffee and a snack, browsing the markets and chatting with the stall holders about how quiet it all was. The next weekend we were down in Walpole, social distancing but eating out in cafes, visiting beaches with other people, casually chatting. However, we were also beginning to think about getting my aunt back to the UK, and borders around the world were beginning to close.
This weekend, it’s a different story. No more than two people together, most of Australia working from home, intra-state restrictions so we can’t leave out local area and these restrictions being enforced by the police. Beaches, cafes, cinemas, churches, wine bars; all closed.
I totally support these restrictions, while large numbers of people will still catch Covid19 we need to slow the spread to allow our medical facilities to manage within their capabilities and facilities. Our premier here in WA has addressed all the issues really well, introducing strict measures and ensuring they are monitored; we’re one of the first states to have the intra-state restrictions put in place.
However, I wonder at the Australia, and world, we will have once the spread of Covid19 is arrested. I don’t think that will take place until a vaccination is found, as there will be surges of cases as restrictions are lifted, people are exposed and hence more cases. So in these ‘unprecedented times’ we have generally responded well here in Australia, understanding the reasons for all the limitations.
However, will we get used to a police state ? Will we get used to avoiding people and living in a tightly controlled environment ? Will we regard those from other states, and countries, and continents, with fear and loathing ? Will nationalistic, far right principles dominate ?
Or, will we remember that we don’t need things, and manage just fine with a more basic lifestyle ? Will we escape consumerism gone mad ? Will we remember how nice it was to meet friends and hug them ? Will we move forward to a more compassionate society and world ?
Some photographs of artworks in our house, as I’m spending so much time here at the moment. I’m privileged to be able to work from home, so what with work, cooking, crocheting, cats loving all the attention, gardening, time is passing fairly easily. The time spent in isolation was really good preparation for this time, and I am able to focus on my MSGym exercises with time to spare.
But … I miss friends, meals out, marvelling at the dolphins on our kayak trips, watching the birds while camping, the trees and flowers and amazing scenes of Western Australia.