The new ‘COVID 19 Normal’

I’ve just spent the last half hour writing a rant. I’m relatively sure no one wants to know about what’s irritating me right now, so I’ve closed off that post and sent it to the draft bin.

One day, when I’m not so angry, I might being it out again and temper the language. I’m sure there have been days when you’ve been so annoyed at the stupidity of people that you too would want to vent your anger.

Neither the time or the place.

The point is, I have an awful feeling the world is going to hell. It never used to be like this. Life was normal once. You know, we were all battling along the majority of us hovering just above or just below the poverty line, but mostly above.

The Government sailed along making stupid decisions like it always does, increasing our incredulity in either the government or the opposition, because it seemed to me all they did was blame each other when something went wrong.

Coronavirus withstanding, the status quo is almost the same as before it hit, only there are a lot more people hovering below the poverty line, and as governments, reportedly looking after their people in a crisis, start throwing money around like it’s water.

I can’t complain, they threw some water at me and I drank it. I’m still alive becaise of the decisions the current ruling party has made over the course of the pandemic in this country, so I can’t complain. That is left to the opposition party who, for the first few months were silent, but now, have decided to question everything the government has done, or criticiser it for what it hasn;t done.

To me, no one is perfect, and it is a pandemic and none of us alive (except for a very few who wethered the Spanish Flu pandemnic) have any iidea what it’s like to live in such times. We are weathering it, we have lost relatively few people in the fisrt wave, and a lot more in the second.

That the second wave could have been prevented is moot. It happened. We have learned from it. I hope. Foolish mistakes are always accompanied by catastrophic results, and in the eventual wash up someone will be blamed. We live in a world where blame is essential to make ourselves feel better. I’m bot sure anyone will feel better about anything this time.

But, we’re not out of the woods. There is still a whole lot of scope for us to catestrophically fail again, because this virus is insidious, and a killer, and not just to those we know it will kill. We don;t know enough about it yet to know whether any vaccine will give lasting protection, or just a few weeks, like it seems to this who have had it and recovered.

They can get it again. Given the damage it does to some of the survivors, it’s like if it didn’t kill you the first time, maybe it will the second time around. Who’s compiling the results so far from those who’ve survived, or from those who have died? What underlying causes are the worst, who should be protected, and are vaccines being tested on vulnerable groups?

What will happen to those who are given a so-called vaccine in six, twelve or eighteen months time? How long have we been testing the current batch of vaccines, a month, two at most?

I worry that being in that vulnerable group, irrespective of vaccines tested or untested, that I’m between a rock and a hard place. Whoever came up with this coronavirus, whether manmade or from wildlife, certainly knew their stuff, because it seems to be it’s incurable, like the common cold, only with a lot more deadly effect.

I had a cold, I thought it was the virus, but no, it was just a cold. It was bad and I’m still recovering from the effects. Colds, as we all know, can kill. So can influenza. Neither of these have been eradicated, but can be vaccinated against, but you can still get it. This is the nature of such viruses.

So, we now live in a new world, a COVID 19 world where we are going to have to change everything we do, and apply a new level of care, and, unfortunately, suspicion, because the moment there’s a chink in the armour, the results will be catastrophic.

They’re are beginning to call it a ‘COVID 19 normal’ down here.

Limited or no overseas travel, limited interstate travel, a new level of public hygiene, with new laws and regulations? Pre COVIS we thought we were free, but that was just an illusion. Now, we’re still free, but the lines between right and wrong, once blurred are very, very clear.

Will this, eventually, be the fate of the whole world?

I’ve been reading a lot

And at times wish I hadn’t.

Having been a journalist in a previous lifetime, and one that always believed that the truth mattered, it didn’t take long to realise that journalists should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Newspapers, and all other forms of media, will only write what they believe will sell, or what they think the public wants to read. The truth, sadly, is not the first thing on the readers mind, only that someone is to blame for something they have no control over, and it doesn’t matter who.

And the more outlandish the situation, the more the public will buy into it.

This, I guess, is why we like reading about celebrities and royalty, not for the good they might do, but the fact they stumble and make mistakes, and that somehow makes us feel better about ourselves.

Similarly, if the media can beat up a subject, like the corona-virus, and make it worse that it is, then people will lap up the continuing saga, as it relates to them, and will take one of two stances, that they believe the horror of it, and do as they’re asked, or disbelieve it because nothing can be that bad, and ignore it and the consequences of disobedience. knowing the government will not press too hard against the non compliers simply because of domocracy issues it will stir up.

That is, then the media will get a hold of this angle and push it, and people will start to think disobedience is a good thing not a bad.

So, our problems of trying to get a fair and balanced look at what the coronavirus is all about is nigh on impossible. We are continuously bombarded with both right and wrong information, and the trouble is, both sides are very plausibly supported by facts.

And that’s the next problem we have in reporting. We can get facts to prove anything we want. It;s called the use and abuse of statistics, and was an interest part of the journalism degree I studied for. We were told all about statistics, good and bad, and using them to prove the veracity of our piece.

I remember writing a piece for the tutor extolling the virtues of a particular person who was probably the worst human since Vlad the Impaler, using only the facts that suited my narrative. I also remember the bollocking he gave me for doing so, but had to acknowledge that sometimes that would happen.

Integrity of reporting only went as far as the editor, and if the editor hated something, you had to hate it too. This is infamously covered in various texts where newspaper publishers pick sides, and can influence elections, and governments. It still happens.

So, the bottom line is, when I;m reading an article in the media, I always take it with a grain of salt, and do my own fact checking, remembering, of course, not just to fact check to prove the bias one way of the other, but the get a sense of balance.

We have state elections coming up where I live, but it does not sink to the personal sniping level as it does in the US, we haven’t sunk that low yet, but we haven;t got past the sniping about all the wrongs and failed promises of the govern,ment of the day, or the endless tirade against the opposition and how bad a job they did whenb they were previously in government.

You can see, no one is talking about what they’re going to do for us, no one is telling us what their policies are. It’s simply schoolyard tit for tat garbage speak. What happened to the town hall meeting, a long and winding speech encompassing the policies, what the government plans to do for its people in the next three years, and then genuinely answer questions?

Perhaps we should ban campaigning, and just get each party to write a book about what they intend to do, and keep them away from the papers, the TV, and any other form of media, in other words, don’t let them speak!

And don’t get me started about the drivel they speak in the parliament. Five year olds could do a better job.

OK, rant over.

Is one vote worth anything these days?

Here’s another interesting question that seems to have been forgotten in the election.

The value of one vote.

Let’s forget about the 50 million or so so-called possible illegal postal ballots, and concentrate on just one.

Your vote.

Has any election of any candidate ever depended on one vote? Well, perhaps not, but I’m willing to bet that there have been occasions where the separation between winner and loser has been about 20 or so.

After a dozen legal challengers and recounts.

But…

The point here is, that one vote, your vote, could have been one of those 20. Or just one.

This year seems to be the year where one vote will make a difference.

Just think! That divine right given to you, that one vote, could change the very fabric of what happens in the future.

How often has it been where one person has changed the course of history, sometimes not for the better, but by and large, they have. I know, where we are, my one vote got the right man elected, and he has given us better roads, better sporting facilities to keep kids off the streets, better bus services.

We have learned not to expect miracles, but sometimes, after casting that one vote, miracles are possible. And what was more miraculous was that none of the candidates stooped to trashing the other.

We got policies, we got promises, and we got action.