Pandemic-Pandamonium

Its all a bit much! Living life on the pause button is starting to get to me! BUT at least I live in Australia.

I wince and complain about the inconvenience of it all. Can’t go out. Gotta get groceries delivered. Gotta purchase on line. Gotta FaceTime my kids and their kids. Gotta listen to the endless promises and happy thoughts from politicians. How many lights at the end of the tunnel can we look forward to before we actually blind ourselves or get run over by the high speed train? How many times do I have to hear the litany of the number of daily deaths, accompanied by “ to the loved ones of these people we send our deepest condolences”? Gotta keep my fingers crossed that no one I truly love dies leaving me to zoom watch/attend the funeral.

At the start of all of this, a lifetime ago for many, I remember being terrified of the word triage! News items from overseas included coverage of banks of hospital beds lined up in corridors. Beds occupied by those whose lives were not worth ventilation because they were going to die anyway. Collateral damage brought on by age and or “underlying health issues”. The arrival of vaccines brought a new description “the most vulnerable” . The title “Elders” referred in some cultures, not least Aboriginal culture, becomes sanitised into “the elderly”. In a culture where turning 70 is accompanied by “I am 70 years young” because “old” is a word more inappropriate than the worst of the worst expletives. Those who had crossed that threshold were allowed to embrace the vaccine, less likely to suffer the side effects of the minuscule possibility of a rare blood clot. I was thankful for being on blood thinners!

Where I live? Well idiot political leaders stuffed it up. That’s how it will go down in history. They had a chance to get on board and the economic rationalists put dollars before people. Two years (nearly) in lockdown. On a site called “Worldometers Info” I can read the statistics. Number of cases, number of deaths, number of survivors. Its live with continuous updates. Where I live? We are told to behave ourselves, follow the rules and we will all be able to sit with our families around the table for Christmas. I looked up Domestic Violence courtesy of google and read “Domestic violence incidents increased nine times on new years Eve, double around Christmas……Violent offending spikes dramatically between 9pm and midnight on New Years Eve and early New Years Day between midnight and 3am, according to statics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.”

The mythology of “I’ll be home for Christmas” has always been just that. I did not grow up in a violent family but every Christmas when adult members returned to our “ancestral home” the tension could sometimes be as strong and as mood changing as the southerly buster we all hung out for after consuming a full on traditional Christmas Dinner courtesy of our lineage as “boat people” from the Old Dart

It is scandalous to me that the pandemonium around the daily press conferences, announcements from political leaders entering the shadow of impending elections deflects us from the complete agony of so much of the rest of the world. The “haves” have, even here in Australia, ( finally) recognised the fact that our most disempowered people, our First Nation People, are not being listened to. Those who live there challenge us all to wake up and hear their voices, acknowledge their wisdom, learn from their way of surviving and reverencing The Land..

It is scandalous to me that those who came to this country to escape war and terror and who established themselves in this country by maintaining their traditions from the past, a bit like hanging on to the Christmas Pudding for those of us with connections to the “Old Dart, could not access information about COVID 19 in their their own language in this country that prides itself on our multiculturalism!

It is scandalous to me that where state borders have been most firmly shut to families, grieving, displaced by lockdowns they are open to our demigods of football. I find this the most disgraceful of all deals done in order to keep the dollars rolling in. Every time there is a “main event” we hold our breath waiting for the announcement of the increase in cases in areas a few days later.

It is scandalous to me that a whole city can be held to ransom by those who claim their rights are being ignored and assume licence to create havoc.

It is scandalous to me that people in the country I was born in claim their democratic rights are being denied when they demonstrate they do not have a clue how our democracy works. Egged on by opinion polls, social media comment, truly believing that we vote for the Prime Minister or the State Governor.

It is scandalous to me that one of the biggest issues in Australian politics at the moment but generally in many fields, the treatment of Women is being flipped aside by slogans, acronyms, smoke and mirror stuff in much the same way as Mary Poppins once advised “A spoonful of Sugar helps the medicine go down!

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