Together, apart

Togetherness is a state of mind. Apartness is mostly an expression of physical distance.

A great emptiness and peace, walking Mouse yesterday morning…

While we are now encouraged to avoid touching, conversing and even breathing each others’ air, we seem somehow to be drawing closer together. We applaud, encourage, offer aid and make sacrifices for each other. Apart from a small and entitled minority, we refrain from whinging and moaning. Of course, there are the infamous TP battles, the thieves, the massive stockpilers, the would-be profiteers, but then even the most enlightened society has its dregs. Adversity is making most of us nicer. Could it be that CV19 is actually… good for us as people, in some bizarre fashion?

Outward signs of togetherness and cheerfulness

The world is suddenly a little quieter, a little cleaner. Carbon dioxide and pollution levels are falling as people stay home. There is less noise of traffic and industry (although perhaps this is counterbalanced by the whine of lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and power tools, as stay-at-homes take advantage of the unexpected bonanza of time to catch up with yard work and DIY). We show solidarity by decorating the outsides of our houses. We applaud the frontline soldiers enthusiastically. We shield each other from this horrible illness as well as we can. We adapt to the constantly-changing messages as well as we can.

Here in Australia, our bilateral political system has abandoned its endless adversarial bickering and entered into rational cooperation to get bills passed. Our government is showing unnerving signs of acting sensibly and in the interests of the country and the people instead of Big Business.

There is little to no posturing, credit-grabbing or mudslinging except that our fearless reporters have managed to find an investigative bone to worry, and it appears some behind-the-scenes skulduggery in the business of infected passengers being waved off the Ruby Princess cruise ship before test results came back* may emerge. I await developments with interest; there is sure to be a lot of wriggling, denying, passing of hot potatoes and potentially, falling on swords. We have many things to pride ourselves on in our management of the virus, but I suspect this is not one of them.

I hope the togetherness continues, long after we cease to be apart.

 

*It appears these passengers may represent at least 576 confirmed cases of CV19 out of a total of 5,529 in Australia, and 5 of the country’s 30 deaths. Not enough is known about passengers who passed on to other points to determine how they affected the figures at their final destinations..

40 thoughts on “Together, apart

  1. Well said my friend… I’ve always believed in silver linings in clouds & never being given more than we can bear … it is a time of actually joining hands (albeit virtually) to form a long lasting bond….. May the affliction be lifted but the bonds towards mankind remain 😍

    • katechiconi says:

      How did I miss this comment? I wonder how many people will emerge reluctantly from their isolation, having learned to love the peace and extra time it offered. I hope too that we retain the memory of enduring adversity gracefully, with consideration and with appreciation for those who went over and above.

  2. Marty K says:

    LOVE seeing the bunting up, especially with the lights!

    These are odd times, indeed. Unfortunately, we still have a little too much posturing at the highest levels of gov’t here in the US. On the plus side, my foster cat is getting really good at following a treat lure to sit and down and do a couple of tricks. 😹

    • katechiconi says:

      The lights are there permanently, not just for Christmas and special occasions. I do love a nice little twinkle. I’m hoping they’ll illuminate the bunting a little so you get flashes of flag colour in the night. I have been watching the shifting sands of your national leadership with horror and fear for my friends over there. I beg you to stay safe and enjoy indoor amusements as much as possible. The office of POTUS cannot hold back the rising tide, and the man in the office most certainly cannot.

  3. The bunting looks great! I hope passers by can see the quirky animals too. I applaud everything you have written here – though I am not well informed about the cruise ship debacles as I avoid the news and simply listen to our PM’s daily report. I look to find the good things, the kind people, the improving ecology and wait to see what will be required of me next. In the meantime I’m simply doodling……

    • katechiconi says:

      I think for most Australians the cruise ship debacle is only interesting because of the huge leap it caused in our infection figures, and because there has been wholesale donning of Teflon raincoats as the backwash rolled in. But you’re right, the good stuff is far more encouraging and hopeful.
      Sadly the bunting is almost invisible from the road, though passers by on the grass footpath can catch a glimpse. Too much shrubbery in front of the house!

  4. knitnkwilt says:

    How I wish I could say the same of our gov! While they have passed bills, there have been some less than ideal details and not enough help for the people who really need it. And divsiion still promoted from on high. And relaxing of many more environmental regulations. Oh my! People have tlaked about seeing stars in city skies where they usually hdden by smog, though.

    • katechiconi says:

      A lot less light as well as fume pollution, I’d guess. I don’t know if your bars, restaurants and clubs are closed (except for take-out), but that’d knock out a whole lot of unnecessary light for starters…

      • knitnkwilt says:

        All closings are handled on a state by state level; federal government is AWOL on many issues. Eight states have not issued stay-at-home orders,though some have recommended it. Others issue them but consider church essential so crowds gather once a week. Three that limit to essential functions only have called abortion non-essential. So a lot depends on where one lives.

      • katechiconi says:

        We are also a federal nation, but our states are pulling together a lot more, it seems to me. Yes, there are local differences in definitions, but EVERYONE is told to stay home and the wider definitions of essential are agreed. Our churches will be livestreaming Easter services, with only the celebrants physically present.

  5. nanacathy2 says:

    These things I miss- children the most- you venture bravely into the supermarket, no toddler tantrums, no whinging for something, no babies letting carers know they have had enough, no bikes on footpaths, no laughter from the nearby school, and the church bells on Sunday, and even the annoying person in his light aircraft.
    Things I value right now, the postman, just seeing him on the street going about his daily round, the odd person in their garden, the noise of a lawnmower. I love the phone calls and messages I get and make , knowing people care and showing people I care also, but it’s not the norm, not yet and not ever.
    I did stand to one side on my walk yesterday to let a family past, observing their interaction while parents insisted that the child went their way home, was such a welcome relief of normality I could have shed a tear of joy, but got a grip!
    Take care, x

  6. craftycreeky says:

    I do have a hope that we may actually come out of this with a better society – keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

  7. I love the bunting! I too have been struck by the kindness and concern being shown. I reckon that mostly we are nice and kind but sometimes we need a little push to show it.I certainly hope that when this is all over we will remember what really matters.

  8. Sharon says:

    My first post read of the morning and it made me smile. Perfect way to start a day, uplifted and encouraged. Thank you ~ noticed the ‘bunting’ as you call it. Looks wonderful, I too love my twinkling lights and keep them up yearly and on 🙂 Stay well and safe my friend from down under 🙂

  9. Your bunting is up and glowing! Your posts about it inspired me to find the paper pink flamingo party ‘bunting’ I’ve had at the ready to string up for a party and figure out a way to display it outside on our front porch as a cheery hello to passersby instead. I’ll keep you posted on progress..in the meantime – Love that Aussie (Spirit) Bunting!

  10. kymlucas says:

    Here in the US, we can only wish for a bilateral system that worked. Alas, we have a president for whom I struggle to describe even somewhat politely. On the other hand, I have new – and great – respect for our governor, with whom I disagree about most issues. He has shown himself to be a true leader, and I am grateful he leads our state.

    • katechiconi says:

      I used to loathe our Prime Minister. I still don’t *like* him, but I have discovered a new respect for him and the swift, effective and pragmatic decisions he has taken on our behalf. They’re working. You just have to look at our infection rate.

  11. Steph says:

    I am really hopeful about good things coming out of this.
    And your bunting looks great!

  12. anne54 says:

    Love this post, Kate. I also hope that we will have a more caring world when we come out of this. I am still amazed that the whole system globally is prepared to shut down to protect the health of the of the vulnerable.
    Your bunting is great!

  13. The bunting makes you happy and that’s what matters. I love it too. Twinkle lights and bunting are for fun. Very few come all the way down my street either. The bears really only matter to me. I love that you can have twinkle lights all year long. Too many rules here. Rules are good but they need a bit of flexibility. We are having more cases of the virus daily but fortunately few deaths. I don’t think those on cruise vessels should count. They should be their own country for the moment and counted that way. But who cares what I think? :))) I’m ready for it to be done with. I want this lesson to be well learned and a new head in place in so many countries. It’s time Mother Nature won instead of money.

    • katechiconi says:

      I can’t imagine rules that stop you having lights… what harm do they do? There is now a criminal investigation under way about the cruise ship that disembarked all its passengers in a big hurry, despite knowing there were cases on board. It’s clear the captain lied to the port authority, and that the state Health agency failed to act decisively to keep the ship isolated. There’s a paper trail that’s extremely incriminating….

  14. Putting up bunting is a lovely action that celebrates normality, the simple things in life, like dancing to music only you can hear… it’s real and what matters is doing it for ourselves.

  15. Thank you for this great post! I really enjoyed reading it and hearing your thoughts! I have recently published an article on my blog about the disaster of the Ruby Princess Cruise Ship and the impacts of it. If you have time, it would be great if you could check out my post and let me know your thoughts! Thank you and all the best 🙂

  16. rutigt says:

    We go to Alunda to shop food every week and there are not many people in the store. I try to stay at home as much as it is possible. Here in Sweden people over 70 are recommended to stay at home in quarantine, I´m not there yet, but almost. For me it is´nt so hard, because I usually stay at home 🙂

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