ANZAC Day Downunder

Last Saturday, 25th April, was ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand. It stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It is commemorated every year with a service at around 6am, with a “dawn service”. This was based on the time that the ANZAC forces started the landing on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25th April 1916. This year however things were different.

Quick History

Anzac day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand to commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served, and in many cases died, in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The day of remembrance was originally devised to honour the members of ANZAC who served in the Gallipoli campaign, their first engagement in the First World War. It is similar to Remembrance Day in Europe held on November 11th every year (and also on the closest Sunday to the 11th).

This year it was a little different…

It was an odd one because of this virus nonsense. Whereas tens of thousands would normally gather at war memorial sites, this year because of the lockdown and social distancing rules, people were asked to come out onto their balconies or to the front of their houses and stand in silence. At 6am!

There was a lot of coverage in the media with all the usual things you would expect. They even interviewed a 95-year-old second world war veteran who took part in the D- Day landings at Normandy. It is sad to think that pretty soon there will be nobody left who witnessed that war at first hand.

The paradox?

The media also used all the phrases that go with these events. “Lest we forget” and “those who gave their lives for our freedom”. All this at the same time as people were being told to stay at home. Freedom? Stay at home? Do not congregate? I don’t know. There is something very wrong with all this. I can’t quite think of the right words for how this all makes me feel. If you can help, then please let me know what I am searching for.

There is a certain paradox going on here. Men died so their sons and grandchildren could be free. Now the politicians are turning totalitarian and telling people to commemorate this day from the confines of their homes. Do you agree that this is an odd state of affairs?

The Bitch in Queensland

As if there are not enough stupid and ridiculous tales about this virus here is another one from the state of Queensland. I make no apologies for this one. Make your own minds up.

The Queensland government takes its advice from a woman called Dr. Jeanette Young. She is the “Chief Health Officer” in the state. This woman is making a lot of calls as to what people can and cannot do. The power has clearly gone to her head. It proves the old adage that once you grant a person a reasonable amount of power they will always, always abuse it.

This medical adviser would not allow four pilots to do a flyover in second world war planes, to pay tribute to the Anzac veterans. Even though the four separate planes were in four separate hangars. How much social distancing do they want for f*ck sake?

There will be many who think this “doctor” now represents everything that the veterans fought against. I choose to view things a lot more simplistically. As far as I am concerned, she is just a complete and utter bitch. Don’t take my word for it. If you want to make your own mind up then just look her up online. I think one look is all it takes.

School ANZAC Assembly

The kids are back at school (or those that are not doing the home schooling). Today, Dani’s school are holding some kind of ANZAC assembly, to include those staying at home. That should be interesting. I do think it is a good thing to teach youngsters about these things. Let’s see how it turns out. Off on the school run right now…

My Challenge to Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain

I was trying not to write about this coronavirus stuff for a while, but occasionally something pops up that really needs to be said. This is definitely one such case. The catalyst was my son’s grandmother.

Virus Tests

Dani’s Spanish grandmother had a test for coronavirus the other day. The results were good. She has the required anti-bodies which means that she has either had a mild dose of the disease or is naturally immune. That is basically it. The exact medical and scientific analysis is not that important right now. The test cost just €60 in a private hospital. Sixty euros only!

She is retired, so therefore a vulnerable member of society when there is a virus going around. This test result gives her great peace of mind. And that is really important. Stress will be seen to be as much of a factor when the dust settles on all this.

But then I thought about it from another angle. I immediately realised how little it would cost to test the country’s entire working population.

Cost of testing in Spain

This is very basic arithmetic. If you equate that to the working population of Spain – which is about 25 million – then it would cost:

25,000,000 x 60 Euros.
That comes to 1.5 billion Euros.  (1,500,000,000 if you want to see all the zeros)

That is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nada! And this is based on private hospital charges. Surely any country’s national health service could do it for far less.

Compare the costs

Those who are immune can go back to work – with immediate effect. Get the economy up and running again. The rest should take the usual common sense precautions. It’s not rocket science is it?

Compare the relatively small expense of testing with the cost to the economy. I really do not have all the figures, but when you completely shutdown a country and stop everyone from working the cost must be huge. Astronomical. This has been the case now for nearly two months (in Spain). Seven or eight weeks and counting. How is this being allowed to happen?

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has already launched a €200 billion spending spree to counteract the effects of coronavirus (whatever that means). Apparently warning of “very tough days ahead”. Why? For goodness sake, why? That is 133 times the cost of testing the working population. What is all that money for? A large portion will no doubt be used to pay people unemployment benefits as their jobs disappear. But even that is only a fraction. Where is the rest going eh?

For crying out loud man! Let’s get the people back to work!

Hola Señor Sanchez

So, my challenge to the Prime Minister of Spain is simply this: Give me the purse strings. Let me run the economy for a short time to get as many people back to work as possible. We can discuss my fee later. Let’s just say that you can give me 10% of the money I save the Spanish economy. That would not only rescue the Spanish economy; it would make me a very rich man.

What do you say, Señor Sanchez?

Are you awake yet?

Ah but (there’s always a “but” right?). They say that they are not sure whether a person can contract the disease again. At least that is what some of the media stories I have read say about it. I am sure you have heard similar tales too.

Well then. What are we to do? Really. This can mean only one of two things. Either, there is no hope; none. Or, they just don’t want to find a quick and simple solution to all this garbage. I naturally lean toward the latter. Ask yourself – and your local member of parliament – why are they not trying to get the working population tested. It must be time to wake up and challenge this economic suicide.

Well? Are you awake yet?

 

NOTE: This example is for Spain, but it applies equally to any country

 

Disaster Movies – Right now, NOT for the Faint-Hearted

Only yesterday I found a film on Youtube that I first watched in the year 2010. It is called ‘After Armageddon’, part documentary, part acting. I think they call such films ‘docu-dramas’.

A Little too Close to the Here and Now?

I clearly remember seeing this movie on TV when it was first aired. There are more than a few similarities to what is going on now. Perhaps more scary, there are some things that might happen in the near future if this present virus situation persists or gets worse. I would certainly not show this movie to anyone who believes even half of this coronavirsus bullshit. Fortunately, I do not, so I watched it with interest. It was made just a few years after hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area. The documentary side of this film makes several references to the immediate aftermath of that natural disaster. How things broke down and especially how humans went feral in a very short space of time. That is very real and far more frightening than any virus.

Anyway, my main point is that this film was taken down the following day. After I had sent the link to several family and friends. Most odd eh? Are they worried that people may be getting a little too scared by what is happening? Maybe.

It reminded me of some other major human disaster movies. So, I checked a few.

Medical Disaster versus Documentaries

There are plenty to choose from, but I can only mention a few here. I know many people have been watching classic medical disaster movies during lockdown. The likes of ‘Outbreak’ starring Dustin Hoffman and ‘Contagion’ starring Matt Damon describe deadly viruses spreading from animals to humans. These are Hollywood fiction based on possible futures. Yet here we are. Almost. Again, not movies to show anyone nervous of the current pan(ic)demic.

Here is another one I remember being on TV – back in 2008. This one is more interesting than scary. It is called “Aftermath: Population Zero – The World without Humans”. It is a good mixture of supposition and facts (that we already know) plus a few too many bullshit references to ‘global warming’. (All that climate nonsense was still ramping up back in 2008.) This film is like a thought experiment.

Presidential Speech

Finally: This was a speech by the President of the USA after announcing a major potential disaster. In a movie. Do you know the actor and which film?

“Our society will continue as normal.
Work will go on. You will pay your bills.
There will be no hoarding. There will be no sudden profiteering.
I am freezing all wages. All prices.
What a bottle of water cost you yesterday, it will cost you tomorrow.”

Wise words; calmly delivered in the movie. However, such a speech is much easier in Hollywood. Reality is obviously far more difficult. Right now “paying your bills” is only possible for most people if the governments ensure that the ”work will go on”. And that is not happening right now is it?

New Term, New School

New Term, New School

Dani went back to school today for his second term. It was not a new school as such. It was a ‘virtual’ school. An online school. He is now doing what almost all of his class were doing at the end of last term.

The mixed messages from state and national governments leading up to the (partial) shutdown remain the same – confusing. The difference this time is that the school is now telling parents to keep their kids at home unless they (the parents) are essential workers. Otherwise we have to complete a form with a good reason. So here we are. First experience of online schooling.

First task? A Holiday Recount

The children’s first task would be to write a brief recount of their Easter holidays. But first the teacher quickly asked each child about their holidays. Most of them said that they went to the park or just stayed at home. When his teacher asked him, Dani told them everything. He grassed us up. Spilled the beans. A full online confession. He told the whole class including the teacher that we had left Sydney and spent time in another house outside of the city. One of the things the government had told people not to do. The innocence of a six-year-old eh. Hardly the crime of the century though is it? I will not be expecting a visit from the police. Then again…the way things have been going…

Online Classes

It was an experience at least. I sat opposite Dani while typing this post so I could hear the remote broadcast classes. The teacher telling kids to put their microphone on to speak then to put it back on mute when finished.

The teacher did a great job, considering. Having to check which little face on screen was asking for attention. Juggling the children online and repeatedly having to remind them that they were still on mute. It was quite funny and definitely more than a little chaotic at times.

I was expecting all the children to be in their own homes. At the end of last term Dani was the last man (kid) standing. But today there were actually just as many kids in the school as there were online. Clearly some parents, who have had their kids at home for over five weeks, have had enough.

It seems to me that the kids are still enjoying the novelty of this method of remote teaching. I, on the other hand, have had enough of it already.

Girls will be Girls

After a while online, the teacher “left the meeting” to allow the children to do the work she had just explained to them. A few girls remained online and chatted more than they worked. Dani joined in initially but soon got bored and muted them. Don’t talk to me about gender stereotyping. This is happening right now in front of me.

What is an ‘essential’ worker?

All this begs the question doesn’t it? What is an essential worker? Has any government produced a list of what is defined as “essential workers”? If you know, can you please share it? I kind of avoid the “news” as much as possible so I would easily have missed it.

Most of us would say we know; but do we? Of course, it includes health workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics and their auxiliary support workers. Probably we would all agree it means police and fire services. Also, the supermarkets workers. But what else? Nobody else seems to get a mention, do they?

If hospitals and supermarkets are open, then cleaners are needed. Security staff too. Then what if there is a plumbing or electrical problem in those buildings? Surely all maintenance (or indeed any skilled) personnel are also ‘essential’? Similarly, for the trucks that deliver food. They need maintaining. Warehouses need stocking and lorries need to be loaded. Food needs to be farmed, picked and packed. Some foods need processing in factories – with all the support work that those places generate.

Any infrastructure repairs need to be done. Leaving such things will only make them worse. Add to that any services required by any of the maintenance workers. That means all suppliers and associated shops are required. The more I think about all this, the more I am of the opinion that almost everyone doing any physical work is an essential worker. That really just leaves office workers who are used to doing work on their computers. Especially council office workers – who don’t do a great deal anyway.

Finally (for this post) the schools must also be considered ‘essential’. They are operating. Even if it is online.

One thing for sure. Personally, I do not qualify as an essential worker. I just qualify as a non-worker.

Strange Days Indeed

There is a famous political saying: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Basically this means that it’s an opportunity to do things you think that you could not do before.

Can you imagine if any party leader in Europe had announced, as recently as 3 months ago, that they thought it was in the best interests of their country to massively cut trade with China? That their country was now going to start manufacturing more?

Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste…

The opposition party would be all over them. The media (in every western country) would have been full of pages commenting on the stupidity of such a thing. The financial scare stories would have been worse than the now infamous Brexit “project fear” nonsense. How can this party leader suggest such a thing? How on earth will we survive?

There would be cries from every political class about how inflation would rise towards the clouds. “Hyper-inflation” would be the new buzzword to frighten the public. The stock markets would probably crash as the greedy investment bankers panicked and reacted like headless chickens in the immediate aftermath of such a ‘frightening announcement’. How the media would love it.

Yet right now we are in completely uncharted waters. So called democracies have never been here before. A brave political leader could now confidently put this idea to their country. They could actually pull it off.

Breaking the China Dependency

I can only write about the places I know best. The UK and Spanish. In Spain the (centre) left Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has just done what would have been unthinkable even in the time of General Franco. He has just put the entire population under house arrest. For almost two months and counting.

Back in 2005 Spain made special arrangements with China. Things have gone reasonably well since then and the prices of manufactured goods have remained fairly low. But things are different now. After what could be at least two months of home jail time the Spanish public would probably accept a year or two of inflation. Especially if it means bringing some manufacturing jobs back home. And why not? Who really needs most of the cheap crap made in China anyway? The recent events have actually presented us with a great opportunity.

Why not other things?

And it’s not just about China. This Stalinist lockdown has been the most incredible jump from what we thought was a democratic society with freedom and liberty. Heading into the abyss of what could become an Orwellian nightmare. Any policy hitherto considered hardcore now seems possible. Doable and even acceptable. Western leaders have already done the unthinkable so whatever they do next, if well presented, would seem the correct and logical thing to do.

Italian leaders can now talk about leaving the European Union. No party leader would have dared suggest that a few months ago. But after 7 weeks (and counting) of locking up their citizens plus the total lack of support from the “union”, it would probably be a vote winning policy.

The Dark Flip Side

Who would not applaud breaking trade ties with China right now? Right now, not many. But there is a downside to all this. Such ‘outside the box’ policies could now be ushered in almost without notice or fanfare. Politicians could also use this situation to bring in other draconian measures. More anti-liberty laws. Taking away even more of the freedom our grandparents fought so hard for. We in the so-called free world, all need to be very careful.

There is a lot of talk – and it will not all be by conspiracy theorists – about compulsory vaccines and imbedded micro-chips. This would be leaning more to the commie totalitarian nightmare; not further away from it. Looking back only two months, it is hard to trust our useless leaders right now. The police (in the UK at least) are already getting well above themselves with over-zealous threats and intimidation. That definitely needs to be fixed. This could all get a lot worse. We need leaders who are not only strong but who are also libertarians at heart.

Equally as bad would be to allow the green ‘eco-loon’ lobby to plunge us all into a permanent paralysed state with no air travel and minimal car usage. They would love to see us all stay exactly as things are now on lockdown.

It’s just like John Lennon wrote…

In these unprecedented times the words of John Lennon strike a chord: (no pun intended)
“Nobody told me there’d be days like these. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar Mama…”

Social Distancing Aussie Style

When you walk through a supermarket there will be a few – probably wearing a face mask or even some kind of world war gas mask – who will deliberately give you a wide berth. Paranoid for sure. Meanwhile out in the streets it’s a case of carry on as normal. You would not know there was a pandemic on. That’s if you even believed in it to begin with.

Checking out Bondi Beach…

I went for a walk with Dani today and we decided to go down to Bondi Beach. The beach remains closed as do most things related to it. The exercise/gym area, the Bondi Rocks and the kids ocean swimming/paddling pools. That does not seem to top anyone wanting to get as close to the sea and sand as possible. Along the promenade joggers, dog walkers, baby walkers, skateboarders, you name it. All out mixing with each other. Some using the grass verge to practice a little solo yoga with others doing some kind of training with friends.

Bondi Beach. Still closed but oddly lots of footprints in the sand…

I noticed plenty of footprints on the beach. Are people getting into the sea very early before the beach patrols start work?

That’s not Social Distancing

I saw groups of young men chatting to groups of young women. Then both groups going their separate ways. Presumably the guys shared some apartment so they are following the rules (whatever those are now) and similarly for the girls. But there was no way the two groups were keeping two metres apart. There were many similar examples of people meeting up. So much for 2 metre “X” marks the spot in supermarket check-outs and other places. People aren’t exactly jumping all over each other but there are many who are definitely not practising the government’s ‘social distancing’ rules.

Bondi Icebergs Pools- Empty since “lockdown”

The famous Bondi Icebergs swimming pools have been empty since the closures. If you look carefully at the photo you can just make out one lone surfer who managed to get in the waves. No police helicopters  following him though. Someone mentioned that being in the sea is not illegal, if you can get there. Apparently it is the use of the beach to get there that is the problem. Some brave (or foolish) surfers have been avoiding the sand by scrambling over rocks to get into the waves.. Very dangerous.

Hair-brained Beach Scheme

It seems the beach may partially reopen early next week. Not for anybody to lie on the sand though. Just to placate the serious ocean lovers. The wonderful authorities have dreamt up an even more wonderful scheme for funnelling surfers and ocean swimmers to the sea for their daily fix. They intend to have another (presumably roped off) route to exit the sea and beach. Appealing to people’s common sense they are suggesting that if there is too much of a queue that they are expected to go away and try again later. Yeah, that’ll work mate!

Aren’t these politicians incredible? Who the hell voted for these idiots? That said, I must go down and make a video of that one. It is going to be quite comical.

Passing Time in Centennial Park

Centennial park is Sydney’s biggest urban park and was opened during the Centennial Festival of 1888. During this (semi) lockdown the park is a great place to go. For the last two days I have been taking Dani there for a walk and to play football. You would think there were no lockdown issues. No lockdown at all, even! This place is busy.

Introducing the park…

There are many roads through the parklands area which extends for some 189 hectares (that’s 467 acres in old money). Cars are allowed to park for several hours normally during week days. Right now, there seem to be plenty of cars stopping there for much longer. Who can blame these people? Most beaches are closed or severely restricted. I am just amazed that the police have not closed the park gates, but I am glad they haven’t. There are so many cyclists, joggers, rollerbladers, walkers, skateboarders as well as the aforementioned car drivers.

The park is a huge green expanse consisting of wooded areas, lakes and wide-open grassland. There is even an equestrian area.

Birdlife

There are supposedly 130 species of birds recorded in this park. We have only seen a few of them. Here are some of those we have seen this week.

Purple Swamphen
Crested Pigeon
Emden Geese
Australian White Ibis

We also saw other birds that are shown in previous posts such as: black swans, galahs, corellas and rainbow lorikeets. Those white ibis are ugly little rascals eh? They have adapted well to urban areas and have become a bit of a nuisance, similar to pigeons and gulls. The locals call them ‘bin chickens’ as they are often found sticking those long beaks in waste bins.

There were also lots of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. These are quite large birds, mainly black with bright yellow cheeks and yellow panel on their tails. Getting a photograph with only a mobile phone proved a little difficult however. These birds fly in large groups from one wooded area to another eating the freshly fallen pin cones. I tried sneaking up on them hiding behind trees. But every time I got close enough and almost ready to take a snap they flew off. One day…

Those Europeans are Pests…It’s Official

That’s European Carp, not people. Although the people can be a nuisance at times, I will be the first to admit. It seems that the European Carp is an alien species in these parts, and they are classed as a pest. These words are straight off the park website:

Cyprinus carpio or European Carp is a major pest species in Australia and poses a significant threat to native fishes by destroying aquatic habitats and competing for resources.

While Dani and I were waking around the various lakes and ponds we did notice many large carp. Yet I was puzzled by the “No Fishing” signs that I easily found.

I then found out that they have what they call “…a community volunteer fishing program focused on educating the public on the impact of European Carp on the environment.”

Yes, OK. I am educated. Basically, these carp are a bit of a nuisance. Got it. Now, what more do I need to know?

“Volunteers who participate in this program have an exemption from the regulation prohibiting fishing and can fish on the ponds.”

BINGO ! Just what I was looking for. A legal Carp Cull! Fantastic. Why have I only just found out about this? Naturally, I checked online, fully intending to ‘volunteer’. But guess what?

“There are no vacancies currently available for this program”

Ah shit! Well hardly a surprise. Judging by the photos there are some monster carp in those ponds. I will definitely try again though. In the words of Arnie: “I will be back.”

Fun Amid the “Doom and Gloom”

What with all this virus crap recently (none stop every day actually) I thought I had better write about some of the more positive things that have been happening. Otherwise when Dani is old enough to read these blog posts he will say “Dad. You were a really miserable old git when that virus stuff was going on, weren’t you?” And he would be right. So here are three things a little more interesting than the bulk of the news these days…

Number 1: Hymans Beach

We made sure we visited the fabulous Hymans Beach again before heading back to the city. It was ideal chance for Dani to try a bit of body-boarding. It’s a good introduction for kids before they learn to surf. I am sure if we end up spending a few years here he will be fully surfing. Before that however, I want him to have some swimming lessons. He has not really done any since his school swimming carnival. That was way back in February!

There were footprints in the sand – some of them ours. But hardly a person to be seen. Absolutely fantastic.

Dani loved it in this area as much as his old dad. I could live around these parts. My idea of a relaxed life-style. How I miss that place. Is this a sign of (very) recent times? Days of toilet roll fights in supermarkets? The toilet facility just off the beach has padlocks on the toilet roll holders. Which is very odd because you can leave a your stuff on the beach and walk to the far end and back and nobody touches it. Yet toilet paper? Crazy times.


Number 2: Cooper Park Adventure

It is like a jungle or rain-forest and very dense in places. A perfect example of how much of the area would have been before the city was built and expanded. Or as the Aboriginal people might say “like it was before the Europeans got here”. Well, not quite that wild maybe. There are more than a few recent man-made additions including the tennis club cafe (seen here next to the waterfall).

Dani in his own version of ‘The Enchanted Wood’
Incredible Survival Skills
View from the East side of the Park
Waterfall next to the Tennis Club café

We exited the park on the east side up Moore Steps – some 100 of them.  Dani had been here with his class on PE time so he had seen the steps before. He referred to them as “The Stairway to heaven” – obviously what other kids and his teachers called it. I am yet to explain to him exactly what that phrase means to me and many other Led Zep fans. 

This place is fairly local so we will be returning again this week. By the way; it was busy. Lots of people still going to parks here.

The steps that Dani called ‘The Stairway to Heaven’

Number 3: Petrol

No, I am not sniffing the stuff. It’s the incredibly low price at the moment that is kind of fun. Less than a dollar a litre. That’s under 50p in old world money. I can’t remember it being that cheap. Is it a good thing though? Once again, economists and “experts” tend to be divided on these financial news items. I am sure it will all become clear when we emerge from the hibernation of CNS (Covid19 Nonsense Syndrome). 

That’s less than 50p per litre in old world money!

I did spot it even cheaper on our drive back to Sydney. It was as low as 85 cents per litre. Definitely great news if you are running a taxi/delivery-van/road-haulage business though. Or if you have an engine driven boat.

Let’s Play: Spot the Deliberate Mistake

Let’s play a game of ‘Spot the Deliberate Mistake’. Check out the completely insane contradictions in the government’s lockdown rules. Furthermore, if you believe all this virus bullshit, then this post will expose the enormous and effectively guaranteed widespread public health risks involved.

A Walk on the Beach or Takeaway Junk Food?

Several weeks back the authorities started to impose a staged lockdown of society here in Australia. Before (some) beaches were closed the first things to go were the pubs, restaurants and cafes. In other words, they do not want people socialising in the same space. Initially restaurants reduced their seating allocation and spaced out tables according to government “social distancing” guidelines. Then they were told to close their seating areas. That did not mean that you could not buy coffee and prepared food however. For some inexplicable reason the government decided to allow cafes and eateries to continue to sell their products – but only to take-away.

It is now illegal to walk on a beach in certain parts of Sydney but takeaway fast food joints are still legal. Which do you think could cause the spread of a virus the most? It is obvious right?

A little historical context.

If you think this is all just another uneducated rant, then you do not know your history.

They keep telling us that many people may be asymptomatic right? This means that they have, and indeed carry, the disease but they show no symptoms and it doesn’t affect them. One of the most infamous examples of asymptomatic people came to be known as ‘Typhoid Mary’.

Mary Mallon worked as a cook for two periods; firstly between 1900 and 1907, then again between 1910 and 1915. Wherever she worked there were outbreaks of typhoid fever. She is believed to have infected 51 people with typhoid and at least three of those died. She was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the disease. Because she persisted in working as a cook, she was twice forcibly quarantined by authorities, and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.

Ironically, she died in quarantine of pneumonia, one of the causes of death brought on by flu viruses – just like coronavirus. When I was a lad, “Typhoid Mary” was a widely used colloquial term for anyone who, knowingly or not, spreads disease or some other undesirable thing.

So, please tell me. If things are supposed to be bad enough to force people to stay in their homes, how can allowing fast food and takeaways from restaurants be a good idea?

Do you Deliver?

I have just returned from a quick trip to the local shopping centre where there are many fast food outlets. While people wander about doing their shopping and making some effort at ‘social distancing’, there are others doing the opposite. Outside one of the more famous fast food joints the delivery boys and girls assemble waiting for their next job. I counted at least six of them in a small close group standing or sitting around their bicycles. Another great example of how takeaway food is helping to stop the spread of this virus? (If you believe in all of this of course – as I keep saying.)

Come to think of it; forget this virus. Since when did we need all of these delivery cyclists? How did we manage without them? Yet another crazy thing in this modern world. ‘Social distancing’ aside, I think these people just annoy me.

Surfing?

They say surfing is like an addiction. Well, surfers in this part of Australia need to get their regular fix from Dr. Pacific. The same is true for the keen swimmers. But despite the official messages telling us to stay healthy the authorities don’t want people doing their regular sporting routines.

Healthy eating and a good exercise regime. That is the kind of advice we should expect right? Especially now. But the reality is the polar opposite. Stay off the beaches and out of the water you fit people! Oh, and while you’re at it, go and buy some junk food from McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks or wherever.

This farce is clearly (mostly) about control. It has very little to do with the public’s health and fitness nor the spread – or containment – of any virus.

Ask yourself: Do these contradictions make any sense? Is this takeaway thing a mistake? And if so, is it deliberate?

Historical poster warning of the dangers of people acting like ‘Typhoid Mary’

Back to Surreality

I was going to call this post ‘Back to Reality’ but I thought this present situation is more surreal than real. Yes ‘surreality’ is a word. Although I admit that I had to look it up to make sure.

I have been dreading this. We drove back to Sydney this weekend. Saturday to be precise. I was expecting it to be like a ghost town after the relatively stress free, no-police-in-sight place we have just been staying.

Return to the Big City

I was expecting to have to sneak back into the city. Conspicuous as one of only a few cars on the road. Like one of those escape movies, but in reverse. Not so much ‘Escape from New York’; more ‘Sneak into Sydney’. It turns out I was wrong. It seemed like a normal day to me. Plenty of traffic and lots of people in the parks we drove past. Odd really. As the official line is that Australia is supposedly doing well in “flattening the curve” (puke) because people are doing what they are told. They are not taking unnecessary journeys by car. They are also not filling the parks. If, that is, you believe the posturing politicians and their media goons. The reality looks quite different and I am glad it does.

In which case we will attempt to have a day in the parks tomorrow. Only because the beaches in this part of town are still closed. The problem could be the weather. We shall see…

Hungry Jacks?

As we entered the suburbs, we stopped for something to eat. There are still plenty of places open but only for take-away service. That does not seem to stop people flocking to them. One such place is Hungry Jacks. This is the face of the Burger King corporation in Australia. Apparently when they made their move into Australia the name ‘Burger King’ had already been trademarked by a burger restaurant in Adelaide. You see, these places can actually be an education.

The one we sopped at was a drive-through and had a long line of cars burning fuel. No unnecessary travel there then… We parked up. Inside was also busy. People practising “social distancing” of course to place their orders. This place must be doing as well as it would if there was no “lock-down”, I thought. Better in fact, as there is now no need to clean the dining areas, because everyone was eating off premises.

Coming Clean…

I have not been near a Burger King since 1998. I remember it well. Too well. I was violently ill after eating some “meal deal” from the Burger King that was located near the top of Las Ramblas in Barcelona. One of those 24-hour vomit and shit fests basically.

Dani loved going to Burger King in Madrid and he knows there is no Burger King in Australia. But he also knows they are called Hungry Jacks. He had been a good little passenger on the drive to and from this holiday break too.

So, I have to admit that we also stopped in a Hungry Jacks on the way to our holiday break two weeks ago. (He deserved it; good lad.) That’s twice in 2 weeks! After 22 years! I have not been ill yet though so… fingers crossed…

It comes to something eh when I am more afraid of eating a burger king “meal” than this coronavirus rubbish.