Is it just a month ago that I was asked to write about the fires consuming the Australian earth and psyche? Now we’re onto the second horse of the apocalypse – pestilence. It feels strange to be commenting on these things month by month – like I’m offering punditry on our looming extinction.
A couple of weeks ago I joked with my wife, Kath, that I was thinking of self-isolating. ‘What’s new?’ she said. As a writer and a generally anti-social person the reclusivity has been my MO for a long time.
Now we are voluntarily self-isolating and the jokes have dwindled. Both of us are in the older age bracket and perhaps more vulnerable than some. Yet perhaps not. We keep fit although the pool we regularly swim at is now closed. Still there’s always the bracing D’Entrecasteaux Channel off Tasmania. We can cycle and walk around the rolling hills and coastline of this fabulous place we live in. We have no need to worry about work and mortgages or rent and we are acutely aware of how fortunate we are. We have a bountiful garden that delivers most of our fruit and vegetable needs plus chickens and eggs. And we have family watching out for us. We don’t need to fight over toilet paper in the supermarket. But strolling past those empty shelves is eerie and I do have a creeping sense of dread. The homeless, the sick, the old, the lonely, the casual workers will be doing it tough as always. Meanwhile the government struggles to play catch-up juggling the needs of the economy and the shareholders over the life and death of its citizens. The profiteers have mobilised as have the scammers, the hate and rumour mongers, and the mischievous and stupid continue to thrive.
But maybe, just maybe, governments and anti-science pundits might be starting to heed the experts they derided and de-funded for so long. A huge price is being paid by all of us for that wilful ignorance and more will be exacted before this is over. In the meantime, stay safe, stay well and good luck. Until the next existential crisis …
© Alan Carter, March 2020
- Von Alan Carter sind bisher folgende Kriminalromane in deutscher Übersetzung erschienen:
- Prime Cut. Übersetzt von Sabine Schulte. 368 Seiten. Edition Nautilus 2015. 19,90 Euro.
- Des einen Freund. Übersetzt von Sabine Schulte. 384 Seiten. Edition Nautilus 2016. 19,90 Euro.
- Marlborough Man. Übersetzt von Karen Witthuhn. Hrsg. von Thomas Wörtche. Suhrkamp 2019. 383 Seiten. 14,95 Euro.