Tuesday 24th March, 2020

Confirmed cases Tasmania: 28 (no reported community tranmission)

Confirmed cases Australia: 1,717

Total deaths Australia: 7

Confirmed cases worldwide: 373,885

Total deaths worldwide: 16,382

Total recovered worldwide: 101,520 

I’m sorry to start this first entry into my Corona Chronicles in this grave manner, but them’s the facts my dears. Actually I don’t even know if they are facts. These figures are changing by the minute. But at 9:30am my time, this is all the fact I can find. And in this sudden era of confusion, speculation and tenuous grips on things, facts are things we need. Facts and soap. And music.

Here are some other facts:

  • The day everything changed for me here in downtown Tasmania was Friday the 13th. That day (ten days ago but it feels like about a year) I was at MONA (museum) with two friends, hoards of others escaping the rain and a few hundred passengers from a visiting cruise ship. I skippped in with my happy unawares and skittered out the door a few hours later looking askance at everyone’s FILTHY HANDS.
  • A week later, on the 20th March, Australia recorded its seventh death from Corona virus and Tasmania closed its borders to anyone other than essentials.
  • Every conversation I have with someone includes the word, ‘weird’ or ‘eerie’ or ‘bizarre’. Which means we’re all a bit stunned. Who can blame us? One day our PM is cheerily heading off to the footy and telling us to steer clear if we have a cough and a week or so later, every pub in Australia has been ordered to close. EVERY PUB IN AUSTRALIA. If that’s not a sign of a crisis I don’t know what is.
  • Today, no new deaths have been recorded in Australia. There are a reported eleven serious or critical cases. The hospitals are madly preparing for a spike in incidence, a looming flu season and/or for knobs who are meant to be self-isolating to wander down the shops for a carton of milk, a bit o’ butter and an accidental hand-shake.
  • Isolation violation and hoarding anecdotes are circulating, causing people to be suspicious and crotchety and for our pollies to shout at us about being un-Australian and putting away too much loo paper.
  • On the brighter side of the coin, people are thinking about other people and (once we are content with out stocks of rice and flour) we are showing a lot of kindness.
  • I am painfully conscious of how lucky I am to have a farm to escape to, with empty paddocks for me to push my children into, and cows that continue to be milked.
  • Side fact: I had to treat my children for nits on the weekend. NITS. Those crawly little pricks have no sense of timing.
  • I went foraging for mushrooms, sliced them, dried them in the food dehydrator and put them in my pantry. This is 100% proof that we are living in an altered state. I am not the preserving type. I also mended my son’s trousers on the sewing machine.
  • Yes, we have a food dehydrator (this fact is there purely to make you all wish you owned a food dehydrator in these troubling times).
  • You don’t need a food dehydrator.
  • The dried mushrooms smell funny. They will stay there until I sneak them into the bin in 2022.
  • I panic-bought a ukelele and a skeleton.
  • I wish I owned a bottle shop.

Here are some things making me feel very much confusement:

  • Apparently we should not mix with people unless we absolutely have to, in fact we should stay at home. But we should keep sending the children to school. Unless we’d prefer to keep them home. What the very heck? This is How to Torment a Mother 101. I mean, I am riddled with guilt and indecision at the best of times and I trust my gut where possible except when said gut is digesting unprecedented material and a lot of Carona kadoova from social media and the telly. (Yes I am aware that I am now also a Carona kadoova contributor.)
  • I know I shouldn’t look at facebook too much. Except that if I didn’t look at facebook I would have missed the funny video of the Israeli mum throwing a wobbly about home school and the stories about people doing random acts of kindness and that video showing clumsy dogs.
  • Sometimes I feel funny in the lungs and I think I’m probably going to need one of the few respirators we have in the state and I should be wearing a mask, and then I’m fine again. Psychosomatica?
  • I felt pleased about not having to drive all over the place to sports games and trainings, but faced with such eerily light traffic, no one yelling at the footy and the disturbing feeling of a world slowing down, I want it all back.
  • A woman coughed in a stairwell and I felt cross, then sorry for feeling cross.
  • People hugging each other in movies makes me think they’re not practicing proper social distancing. Then I realise it’s fiction, and set in 1999.
  • I am so, so relieved that this virus doesn’t target our children, but very frightened for our precious olders.
  • I can’t remember what it feels like not to think about germs ALL THE TIME.
  • My stupid senstive skin means my hands are cracked and sore from all the hand washing, but I have too keep washing them because the cracks probably harbour extra droplets. At least no one wants to shake my horrible hands.
  • I think I should get some chooks but they make me uncomfortable. I prefer not to think too hard about where eggs come from.

And now I have to stop thinking about all that and put something else in my mind. Such as this beautiful, tourist free, crystal clear canal in Venice.


And this book which I bought last week and am loving so much.


And also this Burberry cashmere coat, which I keep putting in an online shopping basket late in the evening then dreaming about it actually being mine until I drift off to sleep. Last night I wore it to a premiere in London but it was warm inside the theatre so I took it off and laid it over my arm. Underneath I was wearing a Carla Zampatti navy sequinned jump suit. (Or was it that Vera Wang dress Michelle Williams wore to the Oscars in 2006? That part went blurry.) My hands were smooth and I had good hair and everyone was double kissing because COVID-19 did not exist.


And now I’ll go. Tune in next time for my homeschooling tips (i.e. How to Home School without having to do maths. Or anything else to do with school.)


Categories: Corona Chronicles, Uncategorized

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8 replies

  1. Hi Meg,
    You are so funny and everything you write feels like it’s come out of my brain…. I just write really badly!! Although I sometimes cough and feel like a criminal haha! I also love on the farm and that does give us a [space] luxury city folk can’t afford. Please keep up the good work!


  2. How lovely to hear from you again. Being a little stir-crazy I looke forward to contact and anything to make me laugh,and you do that in spades. I think we are so,so lucky to be living here on this beautiful island, the sun is shining, my first great grandchild was born on Friday healthy and life and the world go on. Live for the moment and stay sane

  3. Thanks so much for making me laugh!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I am an Aussie in Houston and love your blog. We are officially under a “stay at home” order as of midnight tonight (really should be a lock down or as they are doing in California – “Shelter in place” order. Very scary thoughts and times. Right now I am working at the kitchen table and supervising my kids art homework – sort of homeschooling with assistance from the school. It’s weird. I know I wish I were in Tassie. Stay safe and thanks for your post.

    • Thank you so much Bee! I hope you’re coping okay with home school – we’re the same. It’s school run but I need to oversee, which is strange and unpredictable. Comforting to know we’re all in this together. XX

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