Health

There is currently a cruise ship docked in Fremantle.

On board are a number of people suffering from COVID-19. Also aboard the ship are people who wish to return to their homes and families.

Naturally, many West Australians aren’t stoked about this. The interests of the ship’s inhabitants pose a serious health risk to our community, and a plan needs to be developed to address it.

The point where I stop understanding this conflict is the point at which rational concern turns into vehement hatred.

It’s when the front cover of our newspaper displays a man on board, middle finger extended to the helicopter filming him from the sky.

Why is it that as soon as we have a team, a side, or a line in the sand it becomes acceptable to discard our humanity?

The people on that boat are fighting the same thing we’re fighting; the enemy of our enemy is our friend.

We ought to act accordingly.

What do we need? What can we go without, just for a little while?

Do we need go be congregating at mass on Bondi Beach?

How essential was that trip to the shopping centre?

Would it really be that inconvenient for most of us to work from home?

Are there opportunities we’re missing out on because of how we’re reacting to this thing?

What questions can we ask ourselves which will positivly change our actions tomorrow?

Let’s ask them.

We’ve been meaning to start a veggie patch for a little while now, but the back of our unit is paved end to end in red suburban bricks. Today, I finally cleared the space to make it happen.

Which left me asking the question: what can I actually grow here?

The fences around our house create a lot of shade, so the plot is going to be comprised mainly of leafy vegetables and herbs;

  • spinach thrives in part sun when grown in Australia’s warm climate. It benefits from loose, nitrogen rich soil;
  • basil enjoys a little more sun than spinach moist, neutral PH soil. Basil plants should be watered whenever their topsoil is dry to the touch;
  • rooting vegetables like potatoes can also be handy additions to shady gardens. Potatoes prefer a lot of sun (despite growing underground), but can be grown in shade as the cost of some crop yield;
  • peas can be grown in shady gardens, but need plenty of room underneath the ground to anchor the plant. They don’t like nitrogen rich soil, so they’ll be going on opposite sides of the garden;
  • garlic can be grown in partial shade and thrives when planted deep in neutral PH soil, making it an ideal neighbour to basil;
  • onion can be grown in part shade,
  • finally, I eat so many cherry tomatoes that if I’m going to grow anything, I have to find a way to grow them too. Our garden bed isn’t going to give them the sun they need, so the plan is to pot some of these guys and move them around to make sure they get as much sun as possible throughout different times of year;
  • … same goes for chilli. If for some reason I can’t get out to the shops, I’ve got to have chilli.

That’s it. I’ll likely do a post with some pictures once the garden is all set up. For now, we just have to plan a socially distanced trip to Bunnings; we were running low on toilet paper anyway.

It’s okay to feel exhausted at the moment. Many of us are. Ironically, lots of people finally have the time to start the projects they’ve been dreaming about, and none of the energy required to develop any momentum.

I’m in that camp too.

Tomorrow, if you’re in that camp with me, let’s find an hour to dedicate solely to the project we most want to align ourselves with.

An hour with no distractions, no excuses and no procrastination.

It’s likely that we’re going to have a lot more time on our hands over the next six months.

A single hour tomorrow, no more and no less, might just be the push we need to get the ball rolling.

There will be a day when it’s okay to hug our friends again.

Another when the shelves are stocked full with toilet paper.

And our hospitals are comfortably within capacity.

Soon enough.

We are as fragile as the structures we depend on. Only once those structures are taken away can we measure our honest readiness for the world.

It seems likely that the governments, electricity companies, and supermarkets, which we are so used to relying on, will continue to function – our reliance is a safe bet.

But it’s still a bet. Businesses fail and countries fall. They always have, perhaps they always will.

How ready are we, so comfy and warmed by the heaters in our houses, for a life without the support of systems we’ve worked so hard to build?

It’s a bad time to be poking fun at country folk; a better time to learn how to garden, or how to hunt… Just in case.

Life can be lonely when you’re isolating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Call a friend. Watch Netflix together. Buy a video game.

Just ensure that this situation doesn’t result in you losing touch with those around you.

Video calls are awkward at first, and no, they will never be quite as good as being in the same room… But they can get pretty close.

You’re not alone in this.

Nobody is.

There’s a lot of panic being spread at the moment. Many of us are exhausted, worried and unsure. Some of us feel contained, maybe even trapped.

But, If you’re self-isolating and you aren’t sick, we aren’t trapped in the slightest. While we can’t go out anywhere there will be large groups of other people, we aren’t caged in our homes.

Take a midnight walk. Visit a nature reserve. Watch the sun set over an isolated beach.

Restrictions are sometimes opportunities to grow.

The question is no longer: “when will it hit us?”

The question is: “how well can we spread its impact?”

We only have so many beds and even less trained hands.

This is no longer about how risky or inconvenient this situation is for us as individuals. It’s about how well we can unify to protect those who are most vulnerable among us.

We each get to decide whether we’re going to be a part of the problem or the solution.

Things we should do:

  • be especially friendly to retail and hospitality workers
  • pay close attention to our hygiene and cleanliness
  • keep an eye on the latest government advice and follow it

Things we probably shouldn’t do:

  • create scarcity by stockpiling food and toilet paper
  • ignore suggestions from health professionals
  • give any further attention to anyone who still think this is an orchestrated ruse to introduce a conspiratorial vaccine.

There are some people just not worth arguing against. We’re all tired. Let’s give it a rest.