I could spend this entry talking about how Covid appears to be completely out of control in Sydney (900+ cases for the last few days), or about how here in Victoria we're in lockdown #6 and case numbers are on a knife edge, or about how the vaccine rollout pooch has been touched inapprpropriately if… Continue reading The Covid Diaries #14 – The death of retail?
I've been reading Albert Camus' The Plague in light of the current-event-that-we're-all-sick-of. I was always lukewarm on Camus, probably because I was too young when I first read The Stranger. Sometimes you just have to pupate a while for something to make sense. I'm finding a lot of resonances with our situation, not so much… Continue reading Camus and Kafka
Just a short one to raise a few questions: The ABC has posted the results of their huge annual survey on attitudes and beliefs in Australia here. A very interesting finding is how differently people experienced lockdown and the covid pandemic from a mental health point of view. Fascinatingly, among 18-25 year olds around 52%… Continue reading The Covid diaries #12 – How depressing is lockdown, really?
As of last night, Melbourne is going back into lockdown, now for the fourth time. But a lot has happened since I last wrote in this series in October 2020, so let's recap. Multiple vaccines are available and are being rolled out worldwide, with varying degrees of success. Donald Trump lost the US presidential election.… Continue reading The Covid Diaries #11 – Same same but different
I have a small confession to make. During Melbourne's extended COVID lockdown in 2020 people coped in many different ways. Obsessive neighbourhood walking, Netflix binges and low-key alcoholism were popular choices, and I certainly toyed with all of them. But my secret obsession, the one that I didn't really discuss with family and friends but… Continue reading The ineffable tranquility of watching other people walk around Tokyo
A while ago a friend introduced me to the idea of the "flight to security". This is where people, spooked by a stressful or traumatic event, rapidly reconfigure their lives to eliminate uncertainty, especially in areas that they feel sensitive about. This might manifest as people becoming extremely parsimonious with money. In extreme cases someone… Continue reading Flight to security
I am a metric kind of person. I say this, knowing that 95% of the world agrees with me and that there are only a few holdout Americans who don't acknowledge the truth: that using anything other than the metric system is ridiculous, and that you are ridiculous. I mean, I know how these things… Continue reading The metric system has no romance
It's October. Schadenfreude season. Let's start with the obvious one - Donald Trump reportedly has Covid, along with a number of his White House staff, cronies, and trophy wife. Clearly this is justice in its purest form - that the man who by his combination of inaction and blustering incompetence has allowed the more than… Continue reading The COVID diaries 10 – Schadenfreude
It's been a long time since I wrote in here. The fact that so much has happened since then has ironically made it harder, not easier, to actually start typing. There's a lot to catch up on. To recap: there were several weeks of reduced restrictions as the lockdown seemed to have worked. The strange… Continue reading The COVID diaries 9 – Lockdown 2, electric boogaloo
The Wipers are here. On every main street, you'll seet them during daylight hours. Young people, many of whom appear to be Indian students, wearing high vis vests. Orange in Burke Road. Yellow in Victoria Street. Is it plumage? They travel in packs of five or more. They chat as they slowly move down the… Continue reading The Covid Diaries 7 – The Wipers