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Miscellaneous writing

Big Sneeze

The man is at the head of the queue for the AstraZeneca jab. I’m number two. It’s for the second vaccine. He’s older than me – probably 70s – and sits squat in the plastic chair that’s too small for his bulky frame. He grips firm to a wooden walking stick placed squarely between his legs.

He’s called in. I follow soon after, go to a curtained area where a nurse will jab me [‘…which arm do you prefer?’]. Another nurse comes in and says: My gentleman only had his first dose three weeks ago.

‘Oh, that’s too soon. It has to be 12 weeks, 8 minimum. Unless it’s for work or something. Why does he want it early?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘You’d better ask the doctor then. It’s too soon.’

I’m jabbed and leave, to wait for the regulated 15 minutes under a pop-up awning in the car park. I’m reading [Augustus by John Williams] when I raise my head to see the bulky man with his wooden stick limping towards a silver Jeep Patriot. He drives away, jab-less I guess.

A sticker on the rear window – There’s only one Jeep.

Categories
Miscellaneous writing

Pandemic memories: Australian version

Pandemic memories from Australia.

Stuffed fluffy kids animals tied to tree branches or gate posts outside houses where there are children; passing at a ‘safe’ distance other walkers; no toilet paper in supermarkets, then the rice and pasta empty; flour too, and cleaning materials/fluids; only certain numbers allowed inside the supermarket at any one time, staff counting and checking; shops empty/closed up at the shopping mall; no planes in the sky, sound of their engines as they throttle up or back; fewer vehicles on roads as people are at home; no using cash; nightly bulletin or morning presser by State and Federal politcos and medical officers; Zoom comes into its own as a virtual platform; driving and thinking am I infected? And if I am what then? People lining up outside Centrelink early on [before it opens its shutters at 8.30am]; marks on the ground where people need to stand to observe social distancing – looks like where actors stand in a film shoot. Have a drink while at the hairdresser, since both bottleshops and hair salons remain open.  

Categories
Miscellaneous writing

Racing to normal after the pandemic

The race to ‘normal again’ is on – economic normal. The graphs have been pointing down a while and now the politicians are eager to see those lines heading north again. Some commentators point to the V effect, and to resume that upward tick is about pumping out more growth targets – more shovel-ready projects. Hopes for a rational re-think of how we pursue our lives [shops are open again and the TV news screens crowds gathering outside before the doors are thrown open, the pent-up frenzy palpable through the tube] gone in an instant. Yet I think I caught a news item [by caught I mean I spotted fleetingly a flash on my mobile of a news item seeking my attention; or I may have been browsing a news site and caught this ‘flash’] somewhere today about scientists emphasising we have ’50 years’ before climate reversal becomes untenable.