2020 vision isn’t that great

Scattered Clouds, 18°C

I haven’t written a journal for months, not since Christmas. Why?

Remember when we used to look forward to 2020 with optimism?

The reverse is true. So far 2020 has been an unremitting disaster. Already Australia was in the grip of a severe drought. Then came fire. From November until February the fires burned. The very air itself was toxic with dust and ash, the sun red.

You just didn’t want to go out. There was no energy, no joy left to have.

We took a drive down to Geelong with our dog Kita. Our first night was a stopover in rural Gundagai. The ground of our motel was bone dry, all cracks and dead weeds, while clouds of brown dust danced in the air. A tiny shower of rain only succeeded in streaking our car brown.

Trucks from the Rural Fire Service raced out of town to fight the Snowy Mountains blazes that cut the highway that night, while Kita refused to behave, refused to do his business, to sleep.

There were a few days of peace by the Bellarine Peninsula, wandering childhood haunts, but the red sun followed us, the sky was still brown.

Finally, by the end of February the rains came and extinguished the fires, But a new threat revealed itself. Drought, fires and now plague. Covid-19 caused the lock down of China and several other countries and it was only a matter of time for it to arrive in Australia.

Fortunately, with just enough time to hold the annual karate summer course down in Wollongong the weekend before the one that just passed. A couple of days away from the house. I attended six days of karate (three at the camp) in a row and actually felt pretty good, all things considered.

But how long will that health last? I felt the niggle of a sore throat last night. I haven’t been having enough sleep. Kita has been keeping me awake until late, crying out, desperate for yet another drink of the rarely used swimming pool and then a pee before the cycle starts again.

I saw what was happening overseas, bought some extra supplies, including toilet paper, the week before it all went to hell at the supermarkets. I’d be happy to work from home for a long time, it’s what I do anyway. Similarly, if Alex’s school closed I have plenty for him to do. But for some reason B’s company insists on her going to work, though she did work from home on Friday.

My main worry is that idle researchers will decide to work on their websites and flood me with work, which is already at a level almost beyond my resources to handle in a timely manner.

I have no confidence that the government is any more capable of managing the current health crises any better than it mismanaged the fires and drought. There is no appreciation of science, only personal enrichment.

It’s difficult not to feel anxious and down in the current environment of unrelenting stress. And with a global pandemic there’s no chance to escape either! It’s only a matter of time before we have to cancel our bookings for Japan in May. Will 2020 be the year we don’t go to Japan? Maybe not overseas at all? The first time since 2002.

I don’t know.

That’s a quick summary up until now. I should try documenting this time better. It matters.



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