Notes on a pandemic

1. When something becomes scarce, or when it is taken away, it suddenly becomes more precious and desirable. Toilet paper. Hugging. The freedom to travel. The freedom to go anywhere without masks, suspicion or anxiety.

2. Epi- or Pan-?
Demic from the Greek word demos meaning people.
Epi means upon or among, therefore an epidemic is among the people.
Pan means all so a pandemic affects all the people

3. I know there are facts and statistics and science and reports. But when faced with scenes from what looks like an apocalyptic world, where the worst of humanity surfaces, it also feels like a message from the universe.

4. Maybe this is supposed to be an awakening. A harsh lesson on the fragility of everything we take for granted. A reminder to value what is sacred. A reminder of the privilege of having loved ones to hold close. A reminder to stay calm in the face of chaos and to look out for one another. Australian poet Mark Tredinnick, in an Instagram post yesterday said, “Perhaps the natural world is trying, through this virus, to tell us we’ve been ill, we human animals, for quite some time. Here’s a chance to wake – to grow more truly well.”

5. Fifty years ago, in 1970, Joni Mitchell sang, “Don’t it always seem to go/ That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Seems so relevant today. How many paradises have we paved over? And are the “pink hotels, boutiques and swinging hotspots” worth the price we paid?

6. When we have the luxury of soap and clean water, do we really need sky-writing to remind us to wash our hands? Apparently so.

washhands

It’s written in the Sydney sky

7. Then there is also this realisation: when we suddenly find ourselves without some of our usual comforts and privileges, maybe we should spare a thought, actually more than just a thought, for those for whom such comforts are not the norm.

8. The Australian government today advised against mass gatherings of more than 500 people. We may soon be in lockdown. The ‘Flatten the Curve’ image below has been called the ‘defining graphic of the coronavirus’, and highlights the need for collective common sense so we can give our healthcare systems the best chance for success. If you want to read more about the figures, in-depth analysis and reasons why we should be ‘social distancing’ today, read Tomas Pueyo’s article on Medium.

flatten-the-curve

Flatten The Curve

 

9. If this pandemic affects all the people, then all the people need to be responsible. That means staying home if you’re unwell, buying only what you need, and leaving enough ‘desirable’ products on the shelves for other people. We cannot clap with one hand, whether or not it is sanitised. 

©2020 Seetha Nambiar Dodd

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