23 March 2020
On our afternoon walk, we stumbled across the set of a prominent reality TV show in which contestants are all contained together in isolation for a number of months. We were informed that filming had been ongoing since the first week of February. This got me thinking…
The world that the contestants left six weeks ago will be vastly different to the one they experience upon their return to reality.
To put this in perspective, as of 1 February 2020, Australia had just 12 cases of COVID-19 and the virus was not a concern for the vast majority of the population. There were absolutely no travel restrictions in place, no masks, minimal media coverage, no social distancing, certainly no self-isolation and the thought of not being able to go out for a drink or a bite to eat with your friends would seem absolutely incomprehensible. Plus, loo roll was readily available.
In the wider context – as of 1 February the first case had just been announced in Spain and Italy, the USA had just a handful of cases. In fact, the first death from coronavirus outside of Asia didn’t occur until 15 February 2020.
Fast forward to 23 March 2020. Australia now has more than 1,600 cases, Spain has over 30,000 cases, Italy 60,000 cases, the USA 40,000 cases and these numbers are rising massively on a daily basis. There are now more than 360,000 cases globally and 15,000 deaths. The virus has spread across 169 countries. The entire world population is in lock-down.
By the time these contestants leave the house, who knows what the situation will be.
Today was the day that every single person in Australia will start to feel the true affects of the coronavirus. After all bars, clubs, gyms and non-essential shops were shut down, the average Australian has no option but to self-isolate. Here’s Tory on the the eerily empty Manly beach.
On our walk, we also met a lovely gentleman called Jim, who makes chariots for none other than Queen Elizabeth herself as he’s currently working on the chariot for the new King of England.
In some hopeful news: The Australian Government announced a number of measures to help those who have lost their jobs through the coronavirus outbreak. This is potentially great news as the job market really is dead in the water. We’re praying that we’re eligible for this assistance as new Permanent Residents, but the information online in blurry at best and queues outside the government centres are ridiculous. Think we’ll wait until the ‘panic benefit claiming’ passes. Fingers crossed.