Life at a Standstill

I have two daughters. Both of them are still in full time employment. They do depend on these jobs. During the past few months, while Peter had terminal cancer, they sacrificed already a lot as far as their jobs is concerned., because they were constantly helping out in looking after Peter, so that he could stay at home during the final stages of his bone cancer. They admit they would like to be able to catch up on their work now. Over the Christmas period they had some respite, which I felt they very much needed. Because of the Coronavirus both can work mostly from home. But when there are too many distractions, working from home is not always possible.

I know, that Peter on his deathbed kept worrying about the jobs of his daughters. He kept saying they should not neglect their work because of him. They kept assuring him, that it was alright. Their employment was such, that they could always get compassionate leave when it was needed. And I reckon this says a lot about employment conditions in Australia, well at least for those people that are lucky enough to be in full time employment!

Now to my son, who is already retired and lives on his own in regional Victoria. Even though his father had not much time to live and needed constant care, and even though a most senior Oncologist attested to this, and even though people were always told in special circumstances the border could be crossed on compassionate grounds, Martin, the son, still was not able to get a permit withiout going on a 14 day quarentine first. This stressed out Martin no end, for he did not know how many days his father would have to live! Peter could have died any day, really. Nobody could forecast how many days he would have to live. We were just told that it was unlikely that he’d still be alive by Christmas.

Miraculously, on the 23rd of November the border between NSW and Victoria was opened! Martin could finally rush to his father’s deathbed. And he could bring his dog along in his car. Millie, the dog, was loved by all in the family. She was no bother at all, for Martin took excellent care of her. He treated her really like his baby! He also helped tremendously by sharing in the care of his more and more disabled father.

Millie, the dog, was great therapy for everyone, especially for Peter. On the 12th of December Peter took his final breath. And one day after the funeral, that is on Sunday, the 20th of December. Martin had to rush back to Victoria. He arrived with Millie at his place in Benalla just before the border was closed again! Originally I had planned to go along with Martin to Benalla and stay there for a few weeks. However, at the same time it had been decided to have the family over to my place here in Dapto for our usual Christmas Eve celebrations. Martin having to rush off so suddenly did bring me sort of out of balance. I thought I could not go with him because of our Christmas Eve celebrations. But maybe I should have given the celebrations a miss and gone off with Martin – Who knows?

Martin hopes, the border can be opened again soon. He says he is already preparing my room, that is I am always welcome to have his spare bedroom and to stay with him for as long as I like. At the moment he feels kind of useless, because he cannot do anything for me.

I must say, these border closures are of course necessary because of the Coronavirus. Trying to keep the virus in check. for sure is very important. This brings a lot of peoples’ lives on hold! These closures turned out to be frustrating, especially for Martin. And I must say, for me too. So, sooner or later I have to get over it. It just takes some time. Overall we have been lucky. We must be grateful for the timing, I mean Peter was able to die in peace surrounded by all his loved ones! This is really something, when so many people are immensely distressed because they cannot see their dying loved ones because of the virus.

Is it only a bit over two weeks since Martin had to rush back to Benalla? I guess in about a week for most people the holiday time will be over. So from next week on we might be able to organise some of the planned renovations. I trust Caroline and son-in-law Matthew to do this for me. The question is, will I be able to escape to some other place, while the painters start working here? And then comes the laying out of a new floor! I reckon, it would be nice, if I did not have to be here, when all this is going on.  

hen Australians want to go on holidays right now, they have to book holidays in the state they live in. The hospitality business suffers a lot because of this. Bookings in other states that had already been made, had to be cancelled! The borders are only going to be opened again, when for instance the clusters of Corona cases in Sydney and Melbourne are adequately handled, and when there aren’t any new cases for a while. Fortunately the tracking system works here pretty well. As soon as they find out that there is the possibility that you came into contact with someone who became a known case, they urge you to get tested. Thousands and thousands of people get tested every day to find out the people who might be carrying the virus. The bad thing is, that virus carriers, who do not show any symptoms, can still infect a lot of other people!

Noam Chomsky: Coronavirus – What is at stake? COVID & ECONOMY

The coronavirus is serious enough but it’s worth recalling that there is a much greater horror approaching, we are racing to the edge of disaster, far worse then anything that’s happened in human history. And Donald Trump and his minions are in the lead, in racing to the abyss. In fact there are two immense threats that we are facing. One is the growing threat of nuclear war, which has exacerbated it by the tearing what’s left of the arms control regime and the other of course is the growing threat of global warming. Both threats can be dealt, but there isn’t a lot of time and the corona virus is a horrible [inaudible] can have terrifying consequences But there will be recovery, while the others won’t be recovered, it’s finished. If we don’t deal with them, we’re done. And so the childhood memories are coming back to haunt me, but [in?] a different dimension. The threat of nuclear war didn’t get a sense of where the world really is, by looking to early, to this January, as may you know every year the doomsday clock is set, set with the minute-hand at certain distance from midnight, which means termination. But, ever since Trump was elected, the minute hand has been moving closer and closer to midnight. Last year it was two minutes to midnight. The highest, matching the highest it ever reached. This year the analysts dispensed with minutes, started moving to seconds, 100 seconds to midnight That’s the closest it’s ever been. Sighting three things: The threat of nuclear war, threat of global warming and the deterioration of democracy, which doesn’t quite belong into here but it does, because that’s the only, hope that we have, for overcoming the crisis and in for [inaudible] public taking control of their fate, if that doesn’t happen, we are doomed. If we are leaving our fate to sociopathic buffoons, we’re finished. And that’s coming close, Trump is the worst, that’s because of US Power, which is overwhelming. We are talking about U.S decline, but you just look at the world, you don’t see that when the U.S imposes sanctions, murderers, devastating sanctions, that’s the only country that can do that, but everyone has to follow. Europe may not like, in fact hate [sanctions / actions ???] on Iran, but they have to follow, they have to follow the master, or else they get kicked out of the international financial system. Thats not a law of nature it’s a decision in Europe to be subordinate to the master in Washington, other countries don’t even have a choice. And back to the Coronavirus, one of the most shocking, harsh aspects of it, is the use of sanctions, to maximize the pain, perfectly consciously, Iran is in a zone, enormous internal problems. [inaudible] By the stranglehold of tightening sanctions, which are consciously designed, openly, to make the suffer and suffer bitterly now. Cuba has been suffering from it, from the moment, where it gained independence, but it’s astonishing, that they have survived but they stayed resilient and one of the most ironic elements of today’s virus crisis, is that Cuba is helping Europe. I mean this is so shocking, that you don’t know how to describe it. That Germany can’t help Greece, but Cuba can help the European countries. If you stop to think about [inaudible] what that means, all the words fail, just as when you see thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean, fleeing from a region, that has been devastated for centuries and being sent to the deaths in the Mediterranean, you don’t know what words to use. The crisis, the civilizational crisis of the West at this point is devastating, to think of them and it does bring up childhood memories of listening to Hitler raving on the radio to raucous crowds [inaudible] at the nuremburg rallies it makes you wonder if this species is even viable.”

 

 

Internationally renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky in conversation with National Observer founding editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood about the COVID-19 politics, the global economy and the environment.

Another Sunday Diary

Four weeks ago was Peter’s 85th birthday. I wrote about it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2020/05/24/sunday-diary/

In that post three weeks ago I was also contemplating about what it is like for Peter and me to stay in our home and managing to do everything by ourselves. I thought about it that staying at home there are still many things we can enjoy if only we can make the time for it: Sitting in the sun. reading, writing, playing games, watching TV,  going out for a meal or catch up with family! We also love just listening to music. So far, Peter is still able to drive a car. To go to places in our own car is a good thing because of the Coronavirus. Before the epidemy we always liked to use public transport when at all possible. We still try social distancing!

 

We also want to (or have to!) stay active as much as possible. But somehow we are always running out of time! I ask myself, why is this so? . . . .

These are the things we try to do: Looking after personal hygiene, walking in the open air, shopping for essentials, doing the most necessary housework and gardening. But it usually does not take long and we are so exhausted that we urgently need to rest for a while! This means each day we can do only a very limited amount of work. Each and every day we have to cut back on something that we would have liked to have done. If we decide to do something that we had been neglected to do for very long, something else that might be just as important, cannot be done by us on that day. We feel, that every day we have a bit less time. How is that possible? The question is, what is really most important to us that we still want to be able to do?

Another thing is medical appointments:

At times medical appointments do keep us very busy too!

I should have called this post RUNNING OUT OF TIME!