Confirmed cases Tasmania: 61
Confirmed cases Australia: 3,969
Total deaths Australia: 16
Confirmed cases worldwide: 664,941
Total deaths worldwide: 30,896
Total recovered worldwide: 142,366
So has anyone else hit a sort of shock-wall? I knew this was bad, and that adjustment would be difficult, but now I’m all dear-God-I-really-am-going-to-be-trapped-in-my-house-with-my-children-for-God-knows-how-long? And I really shouldn’t keep a tissue in my sleeve. And, of course, there are people dying. The human race is in Big Trouble.
When I last wrote – about five days ago – the schools were still open, people were out and about, I was walking and driving around a place that still seemed quite a lot like normal old home. I was indulging in a bit of dreaming about the innovative and imaginative homeschool teacher I could be. And now, we’re here. Here, where everyone is being urged to stay home unless it’s totally necessary to go out. Here where there are no planes overhead and where usual, comforting structure is gone and the hum of the everyday has ceased. Here where nothing feels quite right.
In January I caught a peak-hour tram in Melbourne’s CBD and felt jostled and squashed and claustrophobic. I sort of held my breath and wanted it to be over. Now I’d love to be crammed onto a tram, surrounded by life and people and people and life.
I know I have people around me. My own people. With all their incursions on thought and space and time. And food supplies. I’m lucky to have them, lucky not to be alone I know, but fucking HELL, I don’t know how I’ll ever get anything done ever ever again. And I’ve realised how essential it is to be in the company of other people, new people, people who have different ways of looking at things and aren’t about to ask me how to work the blender.
I keep waking up and thinking, ‘Ha, what a strange dream’ and then realising it’s not a dream. I keep needing to start something, to prove something, to make miracles happen, to curl up and sleep. And then I move in circles, get in my own way, sweep the floor and look at my list.
My list. I made an ambitious, preparatory list when I thought that homeschool might be likely. Here it is, set against the reality of life in semi-quarantine.
And when the list seemed altogether too much like failure and I sent the children off to use their own initiative (which is code for staring at their devices), I wrote a poem. It might become a song one day, but probably not, because someone will need to have fractions explained to them, and someone else will want me to rescue a skink, and then it’ll be dinner time again.
Anyway, here’s the poem, see you all soon. XXXOOO
Day one of our home school, we are doing fine.
I’ve turned the house into a haven for enquiring minds,
Our open-plan design creates a classroom atmosphere,
And it’s so lovely having my three babies safe and near.
I’ve planned all kinds of clever, wholesome, fun activities,
I’m sure this thing will bring us closer as a family,
We’ll dance and cook and sing, do drama, paintings, exercise,
This isolation business is a blessing in disguise.
It’s day four of our home school and we are all okay,
The house is filled with laughter and a touch of slight dismay.
I’ve found that I’ve forgotten all the maths I ever learned.
And I don’t understand computers, logins or passwords.
I thought that I might have a bit more time to call my own,
But I can’t even do a wee without a chaperone.
My daughters never listen and my son just can’t sit still,
And someone carved a cock and balls into the window sill.
Day eight of our home school and I’ve punished the whole class,
They’ve been cheating on their tests and brawling during art.
They don’t like my rules, they want to facetime all their mates,
And I’m about to shove their stupid laptops up their dates.
I am sneaking wine at lunchtime, I should probably get the sack.
And I lost my shit in science and gave them all a smack.
My daughter called me ‘mole face’ and my son called me ‘bum head’.
I wish they’d get the virus so they’d all fuck off to bed.
Here’s a photo of our back yard, which proves how lucky I am, and why I shouldn’t whinge. (It also features perhaps the last aeroplane contrail I’ll see in a while.)