Notes from the bunker day 7

See below. © PJ Croft 2020

I went out late yesterday afternoon to do a little bit of grocery shopping, but mainly to beat a possible closure of bottle shops which I heard about on the radio. That would be a very unpopular move, I would say.

Anyway, I only went to the IGA on Connolly Drive about 1.5Km away. I was wearing a mask and gloves, as we are told to do. But in my trip and visit to the shop, out of the 3-4 dozen people I saw out walking, driving and in the shop, NOT ONE person was wearing a mask or gloves (except the two checkout people wearing gloves as they normally do).

So much for voluntarily following these new rules. I’m very annoyed. Someone said masks and gloves are unobtainable. Dishwashing gloves are in full stock, that’s what I was wearing, and you can easily make a simple mask out of a paper towel by folding it in a concertina way and stapling the ends with rubber bands to go over your ears.

I got my masks out from the serious ‘flu epidemic in 2008. I found I have two boxes of 100 each. They are very simple, just a single layer of paper, but it would provide basic protection, both ways.

Very annoyed.

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I must admit I’m noticing I’m getting a bit irritable and narky. I’ve long known that I’m prone to that, even depression, after long periods of no human company, however brief. I may need to find ways.

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One thing that’s occurred to me is to re-photograph Fremantle streets as I did in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

June 1989 © PJ Croft 2020
January 1991 © PJ Croft 2020
January 1991 © PJ Croft 2020
January 1991 © PJ Croft 2020

Those were taken under normal traffic conditions! Freo can be a very quiet place and if you pick your time, you can eliminate most people and cars. But now, with everything shut down, it would be especially deserted.

It would be interesting to go back there now and recapture these scenes, under the virus shutdown conditions and with the benefit of a modern digital camera. I don’t think I’d be violating any rules. I would wear a mask and gloves. This is the time of year to do it, as well, the equinoxe when the evenings are getting shorter and the sun has moved a bit north. Have you noticed that sunset is at 6.22pm and sunrise is at 6.23am at the moment?

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There’s a great sequence of images in the New York Times today of the great silence in all the world’s great cities. The photos are full screen and are fascinating. Recommended. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/23/world/coronavirus-great-empty.html?campaign_id=3&emc=edit_MBAU_p_20200323&instance_id=17005&nl=morning-briefing&regi_id=90088204&section=whatElse&segment_id=22648&te=1&user_id=b1ade9e6a47d2851775dbb1f19af8aa3

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I mentioned the trouble I had yesterday after the humidifier in my CPAP boiled dry with tap water in it. Above is the reservoir showing the residue from just one night! This is very fine stainless steel, so all those crystals are what came out of the tap water. Ugh! Luckily it’s easy to clean and I found another bottle of distilled water I’d forgotten about, so last night was easy. It just shows that I do need distilled water. I might go over to Woolies now and see if I can get more.

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Later, 4.15pm: busy day. I finally phoned the RAC to get them to come and look at the MX-6. The guy came very promptly (within 30 mins) and didn’t waste any time on the idea of a brake switch causing the problem.

He took a plastic cover off the engine and worked directly on the cable from the gear shift to the auto-trans box on the end of the engine. His conclusion is that something has broken or dislodged in the box and needs to be fixed. Thinking the engine might have to come out to get at the transmission, I groaned at the prospective cost, but he said it could be quite easy to fix in situ.

Then, as I’m an Ultimate Level Gold card member, he said I could get a “free” tow to the RAC service place in Joondalup. They will do an assessment and give me a quote. If it’s too high, I can decline and there’s no cost. He said I can still drive the car as it will go into all the gears except Park. Reverse seems to have freed up. It would be legal to drive. But being unable to get to Park, the key is stuck in the ignition so it wouldn’t be advisable to leave it anywhere too long.

So I should know tomorrow morning what the damage could be. It’s too good a car to write off, even if it is an expensive fix. Them’s the breaks.

A tow truck arrived about 20 minutes later and off she went on the back of a truck. Crumbs, they make it easy. Hydraulics, steel cable from a motor driven drum, fabric, nylon straps and she was up on the truck within 10 minutes. First time I’ve seen it done. And the last time, I hope.

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Then I went to the Woolies shopping centre at Butler Central. To be honest, with my head full of car things, I forgot to take the mask and gloves. Once again, NO-ONE was masked or gloved. It was moderately busy and NOT ONE shop was closed. Everything was open, as if there was no such thing as a corona virus.

Again, I started using a trolley, forgetting to think about sanitising the handles. And now that I’m home and everything’s unpacked, I’ve completely forgotten to wash my hands. Damn, it’s hard to change habits.

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A busy day and a hot day. It’s 34degC and there’s not a breath of wind.

2 comments on “Notes from the bunker day 7

  1. Hi Peter, my understanding is that we are not required to wear masks unless we are ill. And I’ve heard nothing about wearing gloves. I think it would be wise for both to be compulsory when we go out to shops, but we seem to be having a sort of pretend shutdown at the moment (schools not being shut down meanings thousands of people are in contact five days a week, 5 people at weddings and 10 at funerals). Cheers, Susan.

  2. Pete says:

    Maybe not required to, but how do you know if you’re ill when the incubation period is 5 days or so? You could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Everyone should know this. There’s been enough publicity about it, although I guess people don’t watch as much ABC as I do.

    I’m highly vulnerable and I’m scared of being infected by someone who doesn’t wash their hands, especially many guys who don’t wash their hands after using the loo even in the best of times.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

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