Saturday, March 7, 2020

COVID-19 interesting times




I don't think there is anyone left in the world, perhaps with the exception of some refugees in war torn areas of the globe, who have not heard about the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. It is a new influenza with no vaccine at this stage. We are four months into the spread of this new virus and right now the world is indeed a wretched place. It is wholely up to each individual to keep themselves free of the virus to the best of their ability. through personal hygiene and cleanliness. The stories and visual images of cities emptied of people & traffic, closed businesses and schools, people working from home and so on are compelling. Hospitals are gearing up for one of the worst epidemics we have seen since 1918 with the Spanish Flu, which if I remember correctly had nothing to do with originating Spain. The WHO has not called it a pandemic yet. Many in government and health circles believe it is just a matter of time.

It is not funny but oh how fickle and selfish people are.  With our medical experts pleading people not to panic buy they raid the shops buying up toilet paper, long-life milk, pasta & rice  You have to either laugh or cry. A fight broke out over toilet paper between three women in a Woolworths supermarket yesterday. It was video recorded and the clip went viral. The police were called and two of the women have since been charged. How foolish they are. How will they feel when we finally come out of this epidemic after it peaks.

In the meantime there are things I need to think seriously about and then either take action or not.  There are travel bans in various countries at present they are China, South Korea & Iran. Many other countries have travel restriction and there are COVID-19 testing stations set up all around the general flight and travel community.  As you know I have a very hefty calligraphy international travel itinerary ahead this 2020. Here are the countries I have on my schedule and in this order:  Hong Kong, Singapore, England, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Belgium, Canada and the USA.  Every one of these places has COVID-19.

The strange thing is I am not afraid. I feel I am healthy enough that if I contract the virus like others, I may well survive as I am not at high risk and my immune system is not compromised. David's would be as he is asthmatic. I would certainly need to take this into consideration.

My problem with this travel schedule is the likelihood that I shall be detained and placed in quarantine for fourteen days at any point on my journey. Perhaps multiple times. This would disrupt my schedule and subsequently the place I am teaching next and then the next. I feel however, the worst situation will be the quarantine or self-isolation. For me it will come at a huge monetary cost perhaps many times. Where do I go, who do I stay with, how can I afford two weeks of B&B or hotel costs etc. etc. etc. Would anyone put up their hand to host me or at least offer help. Should I expect someone will? No methinks not. Would I if the situation was reversed?  All of these questions need to be well thought out and a decision made.

I feel I have already made my decision for the situation at this time, but if the coronavirus rapidly decreases it's infection rate in the coming two weeks I may reconsider. I need to write emails to all my hosts and see what their feelings are on our gatherings. Interesting times, watch this space.





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Something about Gemma

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Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia
I am an Australian, a letter designer & calligrapher. I enjoy working with letters and grounds, teaching and mixing with like-minded people.

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