Doing the limbo

Please let COVID-19 lock down be over soon.

I am not a limbo person, either being in the state of it or actually doing it.

I don’t cope well with uncertainty. I like a firm, two- to five-year plan. I want to know what I’m having for dinner on Saturday night, I want to know where I’m going on holidays in October, I want to know when I’m going to live by the sea.

And I’m not flexible – even when I was a young thing, I couldn’t touch my toes. OK, my views can also be a little inflexible sometimes.

Anyways …

Please let COVID-19 lock down be over soon.

Working from home is making me feel sick for some strange reason. Sitting at my home desk is giving me bad headaches. I didn’t have that problem in the office. I have no idea what’s changed.

There’s talk May 11 is the date more COVID-19 restrictions will be rolled back. I have my fingers tightly crossed for being allowed to sit outdoors. I’m unhappy with the must-keep-walking rules. I want to eat fish and chips on a picnic table in the park or sit on the sand watching the waves crash.

Nothing fancy. Simple pleasures.

I’d love the kids to go back to school – in a way that keeps everyone safe. I was very excited about this kicking off in a few weeks time, but it seems no one is happy with the way the government wants to roll it out.

I wouldn’t been thrilled about putting the kids on buses yet either. At the same time, I don’t think it’s good for them to be cooped up for so long. It’s not good for any of us.

It’s tempting to think that since Australia has such a low infection rate, it should be safe to allow people to return to normal life. So why aren’t we?

And that’s how I found myself researching the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-20 last night.

Ironically, historians believe the flu orginated in the US rather than Spain … but that’s by the by.

From January 1918 to December 1920, the virus — which scientists think moved from birds to humans — infected an estimated 500 million people. That equates to one in three people on Earth. The virus killed around 675,000 people in the US alone and approximately 50 million worldwide.

Whoa!

Although, it ain’t got nothing on the Black Death, which peaked in Europe between 1347 and 1351, and was responsible for an estimated 75–200 million deaths. That means it may have killed half of the entire population.

Double whoa!

Anyways, back to the Spanish flu. In 2007, a study in the Journal of the American Medial Association analysed health data from the US census that experienced the 1918 pandemic, and charted the death rates of 43 US cities.

It found that relaxing intervention measures too early in a pandemic could cause an otherwise stabilised city to relapse.

National Geographic notes: “St Louis, for example, was so emboldened by its low death rate that the city lifted restrictions on public gatherings less than two months after the outbreak began. A rash of new cases soon followed. Of the cities that kept interventions in place, none experienced a second wave of high death rates.”

My grudging verdict: we may have come a long way in terms of medical advances since 1918, but enforcing a loooooong stretch of social distancing remains the tried and true method of keeping a pandemic at bay.

Sigh.

And on that cheery note, have a lovely, socially-distanced weekend.

Song of the day: Chubby Checker “Limbo Rock”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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