from Anne in Adelaide, Australia: the plot thickens

May 10. I see that I have been attending to writing this diary for 6 weeks. During that time our understanding of this Covid-19 virus has grown but it remains a confused field of knowledge. Now, science is mixed up with powerful political and economic forces. There was fear at first. Now anger and frustration are depicted nightly on our TV news reports – previously mainly from overseas. But now it appears in Australia.

The latest mob in full cry Downunder are the Mad Hatters themselves – a contagion of conspiracy theorists. Ignorance personified.

Tonight, I watched as police tried to manage a mob of around 100 people in Melbourne protesting against the continued lockdown in the State of Victoria, which is not stepping down to the lower level as some other states. None of the protesters wore masks or maintained distance from one another. The (masked) police tried to keep control. Several protesters were arrested.  

Placards read, ‘Fight for your freedom and rights’ and people chanted, ‘Arrest Bill Gates’. The SBS report read, ‘A group of conspiracy theorists have been arrested after defying lockdown laws and holding a rally against vaccinations and 5G at Victoria’s state parliament.’

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, was called up to respond to this, saying the claim that 5G is connected to coronavirus is “nonsense”.

What is it in people that they hang onto believing such crazy, weird stuff? Including the following – but not comprehensive:

  1. Bill Gates started the virus helped by the Chinese so he could make money out of the vaccine … and he wants to de-populate the world.
  2. The ‘plandemic video’ postulates that ‘the virus must have been released from a laboratory environment and could not possibly be naturally-occurring; that using masks and gloves actually makes people more sick; and that closing beaches is “insanity” because of “healing microbes” in the water.’ (BBC commentary).
  3. The virus is no more deadly than the flu …  the numbers thrown around are all fake and mostly are generated by computer algorithms.
  4. COVID-19 is turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media
  5.  … the anti-vaxxers in full cry.
  6. Etc…

I was impressed that The Atlantic magazine published an article advising you how to reply politely to those contacts / friends of yours who push the ‘plandemic’ video. I think I needed this advice in order to remain calm and not to disturb the tea party!

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/05/plandemic-video-what-to-say-conspiracy/611464/

“Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. `I don’t quite understand you,’ she said, as politely as she could. (chapter 7. Alice in Wonderland).

from Anne in Adelaide, Australia: boredom? Or is it fear?

April 27. I can find things to do, but I am like a grasshopper, unable to settle. Before this virus dominated our lives, I felt time stretched out in such a way there was mental space for me to … to plan … to write another novel … to read serious books … basically, to concentrate. Now I struggle. My mind has shallowed, lost the will to believe in the possibility of normal.

The uncertainty is getting to me – every day we receive unsettling news. One moment the experts say you will get immunity after recovering from Covid-19. Now, they are not sure. Specialists are reporting that the virus is acting in strange ways not registered before – causing unexpected blood clotting behaviour, for example. We read about past pandemics and mutations and realise how vulnerable we are – and how foolish we have been as a species in our factory farming and consumption of wild animals.

And the USA, which is our western world’s mightiest power and democracy is attacking the WHO, stopping payments, and undermining them in other ways. All this in an attempt to distract from Trump’s mistakes. We spend our time ridiculing the most powerful man in the world, but it’s more a time to weep than laugh. How have we come to this? We are living on slippery sand at the end of our lives.

So, who do we trust? Our politicians are severely scrutinised as we assess them for mistakes. World-wide, faith in politicians is at an all-time low.  Currently, in Australia, there is a fierce debate about whether children should return to school this week. Our South Australian Premier says ‘Yes,’ – with care – taking advice from SA Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier.

But the Australian Education Union, SA president, Lara Golding, muddied the waters, saying that their safety was “not considered as important …(teachers) are told that they are essential workers but don’t have the equipment, training or support to manage a health crisis.” It’s a question of who is most vulnerable and it’s a tricky question. We have not had any new cases in South Australia for 5 days but I read this issue as being more of a power wrangle between a Labor Union and a Liberal Premier. No wonder we are confused about the greater good and who to trust.

Many are saying: trust the science. Sure, but across the world there is some confusion of science as well – do we need masks if we have no symptoms? Yes? No? What is the best treatment for severe cases? Ventilate or not? What drugs are recommended for severe cases? Why is it taking so long to assess hydroxychloroquine?

No wonder my sleep pattern is disturbed. Dreams are strange and vivid.

“Present fears are less than horrible imaginings” …. Macbeth