Fear is everywhere. It’s on the news, in every headline and fixed into people’s expression on the street. The kind of look that once would have made me stop and ask a stranger if they were ok. Nobody is ok. The biggest trouble with the fearfulness is the snowball it’s become; people are afraid of a sickness but that’s not all it is. They are afraid of catching it, not knowing who has it, not knowing how to protect their health. At first it was just something that was happening overseas which is a long ways away from an island at the bottom of the world. Here we watch world events happen from afar.
It’d never happen here.
Looks what happening over there.
These statements were part of our national identity, we are not equipped for the tragedies of the world. It’s a cultural pass time to stand gawking from afar at the mishaps of other people’s lives, witnessing disasters mainly happens on TV as misfortune sandwiched between commercials just before a favourite sitcom. Of course, that’s not the truth of it all, Australia has real tragedy, real issues, real unrest but for the most part we live up to our brand – the lucky country. Lucky enough to be removed from global issues that spill over from one neighbouring country to another. Island life hasn’t saved us this time though.
Walking is my transport, whenever I can I walk and it’s long been an annoyance to me when people walk me off the footpath or shoulder barge me when passing, but that has all gone. People see me coming and step down into the gutter without even looking to see if I’ll move aside to let them pass. A wider berth has never been given to me even within the rulings of our maritime law. The need for distance disappears in the supermarket aisles though which I find puzzling and even more so that the entire population isn’t scratching their heads at this incongruousness.
A temporary feel ignited events with the promise of some time off at home to kick back and have some respite from it all. A sigh of relief breathed over the city with most settling into the complacency that politicians encourage.
Just keep away from each other to be safe was the message.
We will manage everything, we have it under control.
The sickness wasn’t evident anywhere except for those places under government control. In Sydney it was dockside, in Melbourne they stuck to hotels enforcing strict measures to do everything wrong and antagonising the clever contagion. It was fine left alone it seemed but didn’t respond to government controls as well as the majority of the population. Just when it seemed that it was all going to be fine it got worse because bureaucracy increases contagiousness. The answer of course was that its everybody’s fault unless they’re a local member and even less so their doing if they were part of the decision-making process. The higher up in government that a person is the less accountability they have to the population; it’s the Australian way. To dodge the possibility of questions parliament was cancelled because it’s not essential to the country or economy.
All the while the fear keeps rising to take the headlines by storm taking attention back time and again. Fear has become the main player pushing political ineptitude into the backseat, the perfect scenario for a government full of backseat drivers. There is nothing there for the people, no leadership, no hope, no sense, nonsense.
So still on the streets there’s fear, it’s settled in. With no one to look to people look at one another, with no one to take responsibility people blame one another, with no one listening people refuse to listen to one another. There’s no hope offered, or real advice given. So little sense can be made of dictates that the government is spending more and more time in court having to answer to the people, they try to back out, but the judges won’t have it. Isn’t it the job of politicians to be in parliament not as defendants in court answering to crimes against their own people? Isn’t it doctors that we should listen to about health advice not politicians and businessmen?
The only writing that I’ve seen published that makes any sense is written in chalk on the planks of a wooden fence not far from where I live. It says:
BE STRONG BE PATIENT BE KIND
It’s the best read that I’ve had for a while and quite likely a cure for fear that neither medicine nor self-styled leaders could subscribe.