Sunday, 22 March 2020

Living in Interesting Times

As the writers of Zombieland said, it's amazing how quickly things can go from "bad" to "total shitstorm".  This weekend has ended with us all heading off into the unknown.

Saturday saw me give groceries a miss in the morning: there seemed no point going to a live-action version of Dead Rising.  Instead I went out for a good long run which turned into a half-marathon distance outing.  I've blogged about it here (it's actually a decent post!).  I went up to get groceries and do laundry about 4pm.  I was expecting to find a Venezuela-style wasteland with empty shelves.  There certainly were some empty aisles, but it was very uneven.  There was as much fresh produce and tinned fish as ever.  Nearly as much bread as usual.  Minimal toiletries.  The Indian food section was basically untouched.

Some types of chocolate from the same maker were all gone and the others seemingly all still there.  The same could be said of the Mexican food section.  One had the impression of people panic-buying highly specific items.  This leads me to think that the public aren't worried about actual scarcity, but about the inconvenience of not having their specific preferred product when they want it.

After I'd done laundry I came back and was ironing my shirts when the pager went off for a missing person search.  We ended up with nearly forty members from Northcote, Essendon, Broadmeadows, Port Phillip, Malvern and Footscray Units taking part.  I'm happy to report that the subject was found safe and well (just lost).  I found myself part of the three person management team on this one which was very interesting.

I slept late today and had a wonderful, very chatty facetime with the girls (mainly Rachel) and took them on a tour of my neighbourhood.  They're a little bored being in lockdown and so I'll try and come up with more fun things like that to do with them. Rachel asked what cartoons there were when I was their age; she followed up by observing that "they were all black and white back then weren't they?"  How old do you think I am Rach?!?

I wanted some exercise so I went out for a walk along the Merri Creek trail.  I emerged somewhere in Fitzroy and happened to spot the Pinnacle Hotel.  As I was having a drink I saw the news that Victoria will go into shutdown from Tuesday as an anti-Covid measure.  I duly ordered another beer and some chips on the grounds that this might be my last chance to do so for a while.

And now, I'm really not sure what happens next.  At work tomorrow I'll scan my time limits for the next few weeks and see what needs to be dealt with extremely urgently.  Nobody seems to know what quite will happen or how long the shutdown will last.  I can't go up to the farm, so I guess I'll be confined to barracks.  Happily, I've done the laundry and have enough food for a bit over a week.  As best I can tell this has never happened before in Victoria's history, even in wartime.

Despite the inconvenience, and the risk of being unemployed for some extended period, it's a fascinating time to be alive.

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