Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Plumbing and a tangent

Actually it is our plumbing. Our cold water is gravity fed from a roof tank. As you go down each floor, the pressure gets higher and higher and so there are valves to control the pressure on each floor. The building is 20 odd years old and the valves are being progressively replaced, and not soon enough for us. They are known as water (pressure?) tempering valves.

For some time now we turn on a cold tap and cold water comes out from the immediate pipes but then the water warms for a little bit and then becomes properly cold. The problem has been getting worse. While it happened one day before we went away, the water stopped being cold altogether and it was warm enough to shower under without adding warm water. It only lasted a day before it returned to former still annoying state.

But Tuesday the cold water was too hot to shower under and I only managed by throwing water on myself with my hands, soaping myself and then throwing water at myself again to rinse off. R was better off with his shower over his bath and managed by turning the cold bath tap on at full pelt which seemed to cool the water from the shower enough to be bearable.

It was no better today, Wednesday. I used R's shower and his method to get water cool enough to shower. We are wasting a lot of water, but I suppose the dishwasher has to heat less and we aren't using any hot water. Even the toilet cisterns are warm to touch.

I went to see our building manager and he called the building's plumber who came this afternoon and made some temporary adjustments so the cold water is now tepid, which will do until the new valves are fitted and the plumber thought our floor was the next to be done.

I feel safe once home and I have washed my hands after being out, but the plumber was an intrusion into our safe space, so I disinfected the inside and outside door handles and tap handles.

We did go out to buy a few things yesterday and bought take away coffee. Today we drove to the beach and bought take away coffee, sat on benches and watched the waves and felt very sad. We have stopped using cash and many places have stopped taking cash.

Tomorrow we will still take Mother out, but not to eat. We may buy take away coffee or take a thermos.

As retired people with secure incomes, we are in a privileged position compared to so many, but I am angry with our Federal Government for cutting the numbers of government staff at our social security places, leading to queues of people in the street just to get a service number, seven hour waits on the telephone and for two consecutive days the government website crashed because of sheer numbers trying to use it. The website at the very least should have the capacity to deal with disasters like now.

Had our Federal and State Governments, supermarkets and liquour outlets acted sooner, we would be in a much better space.

What I wonder about is the economic aftermath. Supermarket workers may be laid off as people work through their stockpiles. The recently booming cruise ship business is stuffed. Who will want to live in a effectively a petrie dish with a couple of thousand people at buffet breakfasts?

I spoke to Sister this evening. She was sitting alone at the beach too and wanted to show me the waves but it seems I haven't turned on Facetime on my phone. She cried yesterday at the stress and distress of it all yet she too is in a privileged position. Bone Doctor had the day off yesterday but the flu vaccine had arrived, so she made home visits to administer doses after seeking permission from each person. One 92 year old woman's carer had not turned up so off Bone Doctor went on her bicycle to the local supermarket to buy her some necessities.

You will have often read me whinging about our overpopulation and I don't step back from that. I don't like crowded public transport. I don't like road congestion. I don't like our parks being so full of people that you can't use a public barbeque. All Too Big Missy. But I should be careful for what I wish for. Roads are empty. Public transport is empty. Streets are empty. And I don't like it.

Are we all depressed about what is happening in the world? I certainly am. Should we blame peasants in China for eating bats and unsafe slaughter practices? Not sure. Should we blame China for not acting quickly after the outbreak? Probably. Should we blame our Western governments for not acting sooner, yes.

30 comments:

  1. Like you I am in a privileged position. For the moment. My superannuation pension keeps coming, though a note on their website said that they 'hoped' to continue that service.
    Despite my privileged position anxiety for myself and the world are taking up rather more room in my head than is comfortable.
    I continue to thank those in 'essential' services for the work they are doing to retain as much normalacy as possible. And yes, I also continue to blame our Western Governments.

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    1. EC, for me, more will come out of my invested super to pay me my allowance. But it will rise again. R has been very depressed about the whole thing. I've told him to record any commercial tv he watches and skip through newsbreaks. We only need to know so much. Yes, good on the workers out there at some risk.

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    2. My "minimum amount allowance" from my super has dropped to about a fifth of what it was, but I'm still doing okay.

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    3. River, we are fortunate here to have reasonable social security, and no government seems to be stingy at the moment.

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  2. I have a lot of energy and all this down time is boring me badly. Here I don't think we're even supposed to go out, but I don't know, its very unclear, the order. My brother says don't go crazy go to the park and watch the river. I will do that.

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    1. Strayer, feast or famine, You now have energy but at times you are very tired. Not much else to do except for what your brother suggests and I guess work around home.

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  3. I hear ya. Our government dragged feet, saying it was no big deal when they could have easily been on top of this and saved many lives. The potus wants packed churches on Easter. ????

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    1. Sandra, it seems he is prepared to sacrifice many lives for the sake of economic growth and stability, although he is limited in what he can do with state regulations in place. Essentially if he has his way the US will become an experiment for herd immunity. Good for many. Bad for some. Italy has shown that early stages of herd immunity has terrible consequences and I am not sure if it is known that you can't contract it after you have had it.

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  4. Governments can only do so much, though. Not many folks are altruistic enough to say "raise my taxes, please". And without tax revenue, many of the things that would be good or wise to do will remain undone. The whole democratic political system encourages short-term thinking. I'm not sticking up for those in the system, just trying to acknowledge some more of the variables that need to be included in the discussion. We are an imperfect species; it should not be surprising that our solutions to challenges such as governance are imperfect too. Having said that, some governments are certainly doing better than others.

    There aren't very many minutes in a row that go by now that I do not think about this virus and wonder what the final cost to human life will be, both directly and indirectly.

    Your water problem sounds like it is very inconvenient. I hope it gets sorted out soon.

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    1. Jenny, as least your country has a fairer tax base and higher taxes than the one south. Of course no one wants to pay more tax but when people see services failing, it should make them think, as per Governor Reagan in California who cut taxes in the 70s and things began to fall apart. Now it one of the most progressive, and probably highly taxed, state in the US.

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  5. The recently booming cruise ship business is indeed stuffed. Now that countries won't accept passengers off the ships and onto land, those poor sods are locked inside their cabins. Fremantle alone has three big ocean liners trapped off shore.

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    1. Hels, I saw that on the news. The Viking Orion I mentioned a couple of days ago was moved into Station Pier but is now back in the bay, but it is empty of passengers.

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  6. Trump says he is hopeful we will be back to normal by Easter. Ah, No! I do not believe that is true. I listen to the press conferences by the doctors and researchers. It gives me hope.
    I have a small cold. I know I am run down from all my preparations and running around. No fever, just a stuffy nose and headache. Made some chicken soup today. And I will get to bed early.
    Only a little depressed.

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    1. Maribeth, Easter 2021? It won't happen. The wise doctors, researches and hopefully state governments will prevail. Given your precautions, you shouldn't even have caught a cold. Maybe allergy or sinus problem.

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    2. Sadly Trumpet believes he can open up everything by Easter 2020! The man is delusional!

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  7. You do realise that you can put water in the basin and just sponge bath if the shower isn't working properly.
    Maybe this is wrong of me, but I blame China as well as all the governments for not taking the problem seriously enough sooner. China, because of the atrocious habits of eating absolutely any damn thing and the way they kill and process the animals and fish, also the way they grow vegetables etc with unprocessed human waste as fertiliser.
    Now I hear trump wants to open his country again because of the economy? He's putting $$$ above his people! shame on him. shame shame shame.

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    1. River, I said to R we may have to run a bath and wait for the water to cool. Yes, we could sponge bath. Anyway, the temporary fix worked. I expect you are correct about China, from what I heard. Those habits will be hard to change, so at the first sign of a problem the Chinese government needs to act immediately, which it didn't. Re Trump, see my replies above.

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  8. These are strange times. It been a while since anyone mention gravity feed plumbing.

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    1. Dora, probably because it isn't good. Low pressure up top, high pressure down below.

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  9. There were so many 'unknowns'; I think in general our governments have done a good job. It must have been a nightmare for them suddenly having all this thrust upon them. As for the streets being empty, I heard this morning that all the 'rough sleepers' in central London seem to have 'gone home'.

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    1. Cro, I can only really speak for our own government and it was ill prepared for such a catastrophe and it should have been, as it wasn't prepared for extreme bush fires.

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  10. I believe everything is stuffed now, life will never been the same, some businesses will never open when this mess is all over.
    Didn't a Chinese Dr. try to warm the world about the virus but he wasn't permitted to, then he just told the world anyway, then he died from the virus?
    Did anyone hear that or read it?
    Not as many people at our local supermarket today or at the Veggie Shed. Son that lives at home brought home a large pack of toilet rolls, rather surprised at that, he got them from another supermarket.
    Still several cars in our streets today being Thursday as we drove through the city. We only go shopping if we have to.
    Take care, be safe.

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    1. Margaret, I think you are right. Life will never be the same, but being positive, I think things will be good again, but who knows when. Yes, you are right about the Chinese doctor and authorities tried to silence him initially. I expect you are in a better place in your state than the mainland in spite of what I heard this morning. So your supermarket shelves are now depleted?

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    2. Somewhat depleted. You can't go down and do your usual shopping at the supermarket, you just have to take what's in stock and go back again another day and do same..no chicken breast in deli but in the meat section, second time for the chicken breasts, no SR Flour there is now plain flower and sugar..

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  11. I try to avoid listening to the news and reading about all the statistics. I'm trying to keep positive and hope for a quick turnaround. A lot has changed, many businesses will probably not recover which is very sad. The Government could have probably have acted earlier and stopped travel, request isolation, etc. I hope the new measures will bring some change in a couple of weeks.
    At least the news from China are promising, so let's hope things improve all over the world with all the measures.

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    1. Sami, yes, if the news from China is to be believed. I am missing so many other news stories by not listening to news, but I have to protect my mental health.

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  12. I hope the water is fixed, soon. The building I am in is about 35 years old, so far the maintenance has been excellent, it should be the building fees are high, and I support that on the basis that it is better to maintain it, than fix it later. We are staying home, doing our part. My office went from less than 5% telecommute to over 95% telecommute in 24 hours, but we should have done so two weeks earlier.

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    1. Travel, my country was slow to react. Yours has been slower but you have state governments who can ward off the excesses of #45.

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  13. We are also keeping people out of our unit. First had the bright idea it was a good time to get the screen repaired but then realized I didn't want any unnecessary trade ppl out.

    I'm okay being self-isolated. Better safe than sorry. But we also have secure pensions, it is much harder on a lot of people. Trudeau is offering 2K a month so far for people impacted.

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    1. Wise, Jackie. 2K should be enough to keep wolves from the doors.

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