Health

In her acceptance speech for the US National Book Award, writer, scientist and ecologist Rachel Carson argued that the arts of science and writing are inextricably linked.

The materials of science are the materials of life itself. Science is part of the reality of living; it is the what, the how, and the why of everything in our experience. It is impossible to understand man without understanding his environment and the forces that have molded him physically and mentally.

The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth. And that, I take it, is the aim of literature, whether biography or history or fiction; it seems to me, then, that there can be no separate literature of science.

Rachel Carson

Even ficticious work, which does not seek truth in the literal sense, uncovers and explores the nature of humans as we are, have been, and could be.

Science and writing are seperate forms of exploration, unfied by the same motive.

It’s important that we do whatever it is we need to do to feel fresh.

Stuck at home for a Zoom meeting? Iron your best shirt, do your hair; presenting well isn’t only for the sake of the people you’re meeting.

Worried about running your usual track? Find a bush trail and run until your breath is at one with the crisp morning air.

Terrified of the supermarket? It’s highly likely that somewhere nearby is a small, foreign grocer who could really use the business. Pick up something you’ve never tried before.

Life is strange right now but adapting is on you.

Imagine protesting for your right to risk the lives of others for the sake of your own mild convenience.

How much more selfish could we possibly be?

At times like these it hurts to imagine how our children might look back on us; our headlines should plague us not with anger, but with shame.

Most fierce declines are followed by surges; there’s a turning point, and things bounce back in the direction from which they came.

We’re right on the precepice of that here in Australia. Resteraunts are going to welcome us back, our gyms will be open at the crack of dawn and our community centres will be packed to the rafters.

The upshot of this virus might be that we’ll all be a little more eager to engage with one-another once it’s released us from its grasp.

We will flourish as a result of this — like wildflowers after a burn.

For the first evening in many, we were allowed to spend time in person with a handful of friends, thanks to the social distancing restrictions being loosened in Western Australia.

We didn’t hug, or get too close, but we were together. It served as a refreshing reminder that things aren’t far from returning to normality.

This too shall pass.

If you’re not an expert, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve discovered something the experts missed.

While a ‘solution’ might make perfect sense to you, it usually turns out that you were lacking a key piece of context or knowledge (possessed by the experts) which puts a cannonball sized hole right through your sinking idea.

Don’t drink bleach, you’ll end up in hospital. UV light doesn’t belong ‘inside’ your body , it’ll give you cancer.

Trust your experts. Science is falsifiable for a reason.

Still can’t find an expert to solve your problem? Become one.

Heading back to normality is likely to be equally challenging and satisfying.

Finding our rhythm will take time and we’ll need to be patient with one another.

But imagine how good it’s going to feel to embrace your friends again. How nice it will be to sit amongst the bustle and sip a coffee.

This will end and, like all things, it will be bittersweet.

We’ve been at this social distancing thing for a couple of weeks now.

Which means we’re only a few weeks away from everything starting to return to normality.

The curve is approaching it’s peak, but this story is one we’ll be able to tell for the rest of our lives.

What do you want to be able to say you did in isolation?

Today, the common expectations around holidays were reversed.

Instead of being expected to come together, we were forced to stay apart. No matter how unnatural or uncomfortable.

For those with less of these days to look forward to, both the cost of abiding by the rules and the risks involve with breaking them are increased.

Today begged the question: how much longer can we handle this?

And how different might we be once it has passed?

We line up in spirals now, 1.5m apart.

The older you are, the more likely it is that you’re shielded by gloves and a mask.

We skirt around the edges of one another.

Attendants offer sanitising wipes with big smiles and we all pretend it’s normal.

The air is clean but riddled with distrust.

This virus might be even worse for our brains than it is for our lungs.