Saturday, September 12, 2020

Plague Update #36 - Now With Added Koalas

 Relief surges through me like a tide.  All the signs are pointing to an improvement in the COVID-19 pandemic.  Well, not necessarily the medical signs; they're still pretty grim but the political and social signs are getting more positive.  Firstly the disturbing unanimity shown by our political leaders is starting to collapse as various levels of government bitch at each other.  State leaders are settling back into their normal routines of slagging off their counterparts and people are starting to query whether or not the grim death tolls in various areas can be at least partly traced back to incompetence on the part of the political leaders responsible for dealing with them.  Speaking as someone who found the sight of our nation's various governments working in harmony deeply disturbing I must say I'm pleased we're back on track.

Further evidence of business as usual can be found, strangely, in Victoria parts of which are still under lockdown and a curfew.  It turns out nobody will admit to having asked for a curfew and there are doubts as to whether it might even be legal.  The general public are assisting in the return to normality by gathering to protest about the fact that currently they're not allowed to gather to protest.

Good news aside the principal takeaway from this pandemic is that we're becoming a nation of home cooking alcoholics.  The alcoholic part was pretty obvious but I was a little surprised to learn that a large number of my fellow citizens are whiling away their hangover hours by preparing delicious food.  The next season of Masterchef should be amazing assuming our livers last that long.

On a personal note I should mention that my own cooking and drinking habits have not been affected by the pandemic which is why the major meal of my day consists of washing down dry weetbix with neat vodka while my stuffed puffin looks on disapprovingly.  It may upset him a little but if I don't have breakfast I'm useless for the remainder of the day.  The fact that I'm useless for the remainder of the day anyway is a total irrelevance.

I tried contacting my correspondents in Melbourne to see they're enjoying the police state but I didn't get very far.  One of them (the one without children) was busy setting traps in the backyard so the neighbourhood cats could add a little protein to his diet while the one with children was weeping hysterically into a soup bowl full of gin at 10 o'clock in the morning.  There was no evidence of the delicious meal media reports insist she should have prepared to go with the gin.

In my home state things have got so far back to normal that our government managed to have a koala induced political crisis.  Yes, koalas, the cute furry things that we store chlamydia in.  You may recall that the major bushfires we had which were our pre-COVID disaster burnt a lot of the trees in NSW which is unfortunate for koalas as they live in them.  Koala numbers were already under pressure due to habitat fragmentation and that entire chlamydia business.  Everybody loves koalas, they're cute and sleepy looking and you don't find out that they're short tempered death machines unless you spend a lot of time in their company which most people don't because we live in the city.  

Sensing easy publicity (or possibly genuinely concerned about our cutest native animal) the state government introduced new environmental laws which were supposed to help koala numbers bounce back from the bushfires and return to their previous rate of terminal decline.  This actually happened some months ago but suddenly farmers woke up to the fact that if there were koalas on their property they might not be able to shoot them or cut down all of the trees.  Fairness forces me to point out that farmers didn't necessarily want to go around committing koalacide on their properties.  They just wanted to keep the option open.

The political party supposedly representing said farmers waxed wroth.  Unfortunately this political party was part of the government that passed the "try not to actively kill koalas" regulations in the first place.  Despite this they threatened to stomp off and no longer involve themselves in the government thus removing said government's majority.  Our premier basically said "don't let the door hit your arse on the way out".  At which point the party that represents farmers decided that representing farmers wasn't quite as important as keeping their own jobs.  I'm prepared to bet that neither farmers nor koalas have been particularly impressed but it has given the urban population of the state something to laugh about in between day drinking and food preparation.

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