Notes from the bunker day 13

All is calm.

Back again. Day 13 – in theory I should be able to end my self-isolation after tomorrow, day 14, but I don’t think that will apply now. People over 70, don’t go out at all! For how long? They are talking six months! That’s hard to comprehend. As I’ve said, this is no great change for me. The only thing different is that I used to enjoy going to the big shopping centre a couple of times a week to do my grocery shopping, have lunch, read the paper while eating, browse the DVDs and CDs at JB and browse the bookshops. There’s QBD and a second-hand book shop at Clarkson, and Target and K-Mart sell books, so there’s plenty of choice. I’ll miss that.

I also have two good mates with whom I have semi regular breakfasts at North Beach, halfway between our homes. But even if our favourite cafe meeting place was still open, which it’s not, we can’t afford to be in close proximity because we’re all over 70 and with various illnesses and vulnerabilities. No more meetups for the foreseeable future. That’s going to be a bit hard to take.

As well, the Dome cafe across the road from me is closed for dine-ins. I wasn’t a frequent customer (too expensive) but I did enjoy my occasional lunch.

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Aaaaah! From a bright sunny morning, it clouded over and now it’s raining. Whacko! I love the changes. Huh, rain’s stopped again, a five minute shower.

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Someone I know well, a maths teacher at a prominent school in Perth, has told me he is very stressed and very tired. Although the school has to remain open, many parents are keeping their children away at home. The teachers have suddenly had remote teaching thrust on them. He’s having to learn how to use a software program from scratch and record his lessons, mostly at home in his own time, for delivery from an empty classroom at the school. This is all new stuff, they only found out about it last week and have to start doing it today. I’d be stressed too. It’s yet another example of where people are expected to rapidly update their skills and take on new workloads. It’s a new world, and not a very nice one.

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SBS showed a BBC program called Contagion last night. I thought it was going to be a fictional drama, but it was about an experiment performed in 2014 in the UK showing how a pandemic grows and spreads. The presenters were real experts and although it was a simulation, the parallels to now were all too real. It could have been written as a training program.

The lessons were just as we are experiencing; the only way to fight a virus attack like this is total lockdown. People will still die, mainly the elderly (yikes!) but the spread will be much less and much slower. It was prescient.

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I’ve also watched two more episodes of The Crown in the past few nights. I’m up to episode six in series two, I think. Although it’s still good, it’s not a patch on the first series. I’m not sure why, it’s still the same story, the sets are all the same, but the actors are different. Claire Foy in the first series as the young queen was just outstanding! It was one of the best characterisations I’ve ever seen, I think. The new queen, Olivia Coleman is good, but she’s not the same. The new Jook Embro is also good, but it’s not the same.

There’s still series three to come so I’ll reserve judgement.

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Both my toilets never quite shut off, there’s always a quiet hiss from the inlet valve and a steady internal drip in one case, 24/7 of course. I hope this is the cause of my enormous water bills recently. Normally I would have just gone to Bunnings and bought a new toilet cistern valve, but I’m not supposed to now. I might try browsing their catalogue on-line and ordering.

The postie was early this morning. I had delivery of two CDs from Amazon when I opened my door at about 9.30am. With so little foot traffic (almost none) I find it nice to leave my front door open.

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Now to do something I should have done years ago, subscribe to Silicon Chip, my electronics magazine. I’ve been buying it for 30 years or more and it always seems easier to pay $9.95 each month at the newsagent than to fork out 12x that for a year’s subscription. Since a year’s supply is much less than the cost of individual issues, that’s wrong, but there ya go. I’m stupid that way. Now it’s time to get it subscribed, posted and delivered.

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