Monday, April 06, 2020

Birds in Gilded Cages

A few of you are working, some at a workplace and some from home. Most of us are retired and aren't some of us, ok me, suffering by the sensible restrictions to our lives. I want to get out. I want to roam my huge city of 5 million people. I want to catch trains, trams and buses. Actually, it is probably safe at the moment to catch public transport with extra sanitising and no need to touch anything generally and few people using public transport.

Last Sunday we walked down St Kilda Road and back through Fawkner Park at around midday. I saw an empty route 16 tram going to St Kilda without a passenger. St Kilda is normally a great destination for all and trams at that time will be packed. I then saw an empty route 3A tram come from St Kilda, also empty. I felt so sad. There are so few people on public transport, the present full service is not sustainable. Have a read of Daniel's post. We have now become car drivers, not our normal public transport user selves. We go everywhere by car, sanitising our hands our hands after we open the doors but before we enter the car in case someone has coughed or sneezed on the door as they have passed.

It was interesting to be up early last Tuesday and see the traffic below so busy. It is dead at the peak office worker times a couple of hours later. When we drove to Altona, the West Gate Bridge and freeway were busy but mostly trucks and vans. People who get up early and go to work, I thank you and anyone else working at a coal face.

While probably too severe, our building has introduced a policy of only two people in a lift at one time, or a family, or people from one apartment. It has not been a problem as the lifts seem to be unused as people have isolated.

Cro tells a story.

As does Sami.

And Diane.

Grace is not lost in melancholy but is clearly being troubled by not getting out and about..

I received an email from a fellow resident of our building, enquiring about our well being. So nice and we have exchanged back and forth a few times. R told me to be not be so wordy in my replies to her. I told him to mind his business and I will email as I do.

I knew it was coming. R finally cracked last night to stress. He was ok this morning, Sunday. It began with me, but I hadn't done anything wrong. So my b***** Sister became his target You would not want to hear what he said. In spite of what he said, she is still his FB friend. I told him unfriending people shows you care. Ignoring them shows you don't.

Just for something to do and get out, this Sunday we drove to Footscray Coles supermarket to buy a couple of things. It was actually interesting to drive there rather than catching public transport. R showed me where Fire Fighting Nephew and his now wife lived. I had never been there.

Friday evening at about 4pm I walked a kilometre to the small IGA supermarket to buy a litre of milk and walked back again. Traffic should have been jammed up. Trams should be crowded and many people on the street. It was like a super hot Sunday afternoon where everyone stays indoors with their aircon.

With our wide footpaths, walkers stuck to the edges of paths and for some reason everyone has learnt to walk on the left, as we should do normally in busy areas or if you are walking directly towards someone.

As I type at 6.56pm this Sunday and keeping in mind that greater Melbourne is a city of five million people, the stats are for my state are 1135 infections, 911 in Melbourne, 20 new cases today, which with a which I guess is about a week's lead in time and we are on a downward curve. 47 are hospitalised and 11 in intensive care. A paste from our state health department.

The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.
There are only four reasons for Victorians to leave their home: food and supplies, medical care and care giving, exercise, and work or education.
All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction. All travelers (what? travellers, Australian English spelling please) returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for the self-isolation period of 14 days.
Police have strong powers to enforce these directions and can issue on the spot fines, including up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses. 
Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.
Yes, most of us are birds in gilded cages but, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I want my normal life back. Here is something to cheer you up perhaps. As R has been sacked from his volunteer job, I insisted he drove to keep up his driving skills. We are allowed to drive around, yes? So I was the passenger and I could take a phone snap from the car of this sculpture. I don't know what it is about, but we were in the historic area of Port Melbourne.

46 comments:

  1. We are being discouraged (but not forbidden) from driving around too.
    It has shrunk our world's hasn't it? I haven't seen any of our buses but expect that they are largely empty. I have seen carparks - and they are
    We have (at last count) less than 100 confirmed cases and two deaths. Mind you, I expect when testing becomes more widespread our numbers will escalate dramatically.
    Drivers open our bus doors, but I don't know about trams.
    So far we have avoided getting testy with each other. So far.
    Stay well, stay safe.

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    1. EC, from what I have discovered since I began that post is that we are not to just drive around, and people have been fined.

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  2. Interesting narrative about life in Melbourne. I have not been in a car since I went to the ER on March 13. Just staying home keeping the germs at bay.

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    1. Gigi, we are becoming increasingly careful about what we do. It is pretty well only shopping and exercise now.

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  3. I have to get out for a walk, or a bike ride from time to time. At least we have a comfy cage.

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    1. Travel, exercise or not, I can tell many of us will be less fit and put on weight.

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  4. Anonymous7:41 am

    Short distances are ok (as you did), but they are not encouraging people to drive for long distances. What happens if there is an accident, even a slight one where you have to get out. It could take up otherwise needed medical resources and if you are in hospital potentially expose you to the virus.

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    1. Good point Anon and we are further restricting ourselves.

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  5. I totally love the sculpture, but I bet you knew I would! Today was a rough day for us here. The weather was gray and gloomy which matched our moods.

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    1. Maribeth, it is grey and gloomy here today too, but actually fine weather we have been having made me feel sadder.

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  6. I think it's overkill but maybe for our own good but hope it is soon over.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merle, touch wood, it does seem to working.

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  7. The sculpture is attractive from what I can see of it.
    Fortress Tasmania, no driving around is permitted other than going for essential services.
    We are doing ok at home, I go for a walk up and down the driveway several times a day weather permitting. B has dug part of the rose garden around the lawns. Son J that lives at home has another job as well as doing his Uni stuff. I'm busy cooking meals and cleaning etc.

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  8. Yes, it's a tough, harsh world, Andrew.

    And some have it much tougher, harsher, harder than others.

    Some don't have homes...some don't have families or loved ones...some don't have food on their tables or in their cupboards.

    Life is hard... how we wish it were otherwise...

    Take care...stay well.

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    1. Lee, I think of poor people who are far more social than us in the world, people who have bombs dropping from the skies near them as the virus rages on. It is a crap world for them already and now it is so much worse.

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  9. My oldest son lives in central London, in Kensington. Even though a few people are around outside, he said that all the busses are empty. A very strange sight for London.

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    1. Cro, it would interesting to see a deserted Kensington. Maybe he could make a short video from his home window.

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  10. It a changing world out there.

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    1. Dora, and it will never be quite the same again.

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  11. In my country there are also large-scale social restrictions, but we can leave the house if it is really important.

    Safety life, friend

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    1. Himawan, hi. You are in Indonesia. Asian stereotypes, the post on your blog that first came up was about food, haha. Thank you.

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  12. I think your post sums up how many of us are feeling. We are still allowed to go out for a short walk as long as you adhere to the social distancing guidelines. However because of the fabulous weather here at the moment some idiots have been ignoring this and groups have gathered to sun bathe in the park etc. I can see the government taking further action and forbidding us from leaving the home except for food.

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    1. Marie, it would be a shame if that happened. If only people would be sensible, but as I said it is harder for young people who are much more social than us now. You'd better hope having a walk isn't banned. It is hard to imagine you as unfit and fat.

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  13. Love the sculpture. I'm sorry to hear R has cracked up, but I'm sure a little TLC will help him hold together. It's hard, but this isn't permanent. You may not be able to roam the city as you once did, but you can still get out and walk a bit each day. Just live one day at a time. Anybody can do anything if it is only for one day. And then one more day, one more day, one more day...

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    1. River, thanks. You made me feel better. Yes, I can get out and walk. One day at a time.

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  14. Trams are normally silent, smooth, clean and convenient. So it is very sad to see them almost empty now. The only thing I can hope for is that post-pandemic, when normal life is resumed, we may get rid of smelly buses and add more trams (and trains).

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    1. Hels, wouldn't that be so good but an expansion of bus services are needed outside of the inner area.

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  15. Fabulous Photo - Its A Thinker - Also, The Correct Answer Is 43 - Enjoy Your Week Ahead

    Cheers

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    1. Padre, you know you are going to have to explain the answer.

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  16. There is much sadness in our home. LUCKY our pet Cockatiel. finally fell from her perch to day. Lucky was rescued from a Cat about twenty years ago.

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    1. Sad for you Vest, but at least you are still on the perch.

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  17. I heard on the news last night that all our transport services in Perth would move to the Saturday timetable as there aren't enough people using it. I wonder how long it will go that way, as even on Saturday I see empty buses...
    On the news today they talked about a young P platter driving with her Mom and she got fined $1652 for unnecessary travel. After it aired, the fine was cancelled. I think it's going a bit too far!
    Love that statue on your last photo, very sweet.
    Keep well Andrew

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    1. Sami, I am not sure what your Saturday timetables are like, but essentially, a good idea to cut the service. I agree, somewhat overzealous by the police. Common sense is needed. Thanks.

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  18. I love my corona life.

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    1. Strayer, little adjustment for you.

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  19. We'll have to see after Easter whether people have behaved themselves, it will spike a week after Good Friday if the religious behave and stay at home. There'll be services on the tv. Margaret Court seems to think her God is her personal PPE.

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    1. I think people will behave, Jah Teh.

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  20. Ah, me, the perils of confinement. Seems to me the line after "I'm only a bird in a gilded cage" is "a hideous sight to see." Can that be right? So sorry that one of your readers lost a cockateil. What season is it there? Autumn? Two months ago our Dear Leader said that the virus would miraculously disappear in April. Well, it's April and acc to the Surgeon General, the next two weeks will be another Pearl Harbor for us.

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    1. Cynthia, what a nightmare it is in your country, principally due to your leader.

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  21. I feel like an effing saint. We are still on the upclimb here, we're small but we can be wiped out. Lots are not as well behaved as moi. Which pisses me off. I miss my car and my coffee salons and my lunch dates and theatre. I wonder if I can remember how to drive and sit by the ocean.

    But all is well today, a good day.

    Weird sculpture.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, people here are being pretty good as far as I know. Yes, it is rough time to be living in, but you are safe.

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  22. Well here we all are 😀 it's tres interesting to read how we are all coping with this trucking 😊 situation. Most times I'm calm but every now and then I crave a toasted camembert, avocado and chicken sandwich as only the Shingle Inn can make.. ah well something to look forward to.. I'm definitely not melancholy 😀😀

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    1. Grace, I suppose one day this whole thing will be over and life will become normal and you can have your sandwich.

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  23. what you experience now we live like that since 3 weeks and probably it will last til May ! Only 4 passengers per bus are allowed and 1 or 2 people in the lift. You are not allowed to drive to another city or far from your home unless you have a good reason. One person per car in the front and one in the back ! After having closed the parks now they are open and you can go in there but not sit on a bench or on the grass ! It's not easy !!

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    1. Gattina, no one here is using public transport, so aside from locked off front doors on trams and buses, nothing has changed. Our building has a two person per lift rule. I picture Mr G sitting on the back seat of your car, not being able to see your driving and so not make criticisms.

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