It could be worse

Sydney is dealing with a COVID-19 tsunami and a Northern Beaches tornado, but things could be worse. We could be living in North Korea.

North Korea is never much fun, but things are particularly dour there at the moment because its citizens have been banned from laughing for 11 days.

Why? The totalitarian country is commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-un’s father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il.

“During the mourning period, we must not drink alcohol, laugh or engage in leisure activities,” a resident of the northeastern city of Sinuiju told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service.

“In the past many people who were caught drinking or being intoxicated during the mourning period were arrested and treated as ideological criminals. They were taken away and never seen again,” the source told RFA.

“Even if your family member dies during the mourning period, you are not allowed to cry out loud and the body must be taken out after it’s over. People cannot even celebrate their own birthdays if they fall within the mourning period.”

Meanwhile, despot Kim has posed in a black leather trench coat for an official photo beneath a large red banner emblazoned with an image of his dad.

And he’s banned his citizens from being copycats. RFA reports there are actual fashion police patrolling the streets to confiscate black leather coats from sellers and charge anyone wearing any knock-offs.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Meanwhile, my LGA is rife with COVID. It’s literally EVERYWHERE. The queues are three hours long to get tested.

I thought about heading up DD’s way for a test, but most of the COVID clinics closed around there a few weeks ago. I’m not sure that was the smartest move right when restrictions were easing.

My head was spinning last night as I tried to come up with plans to artfully avoid catching COVID before Christmas. I feel so sorry for all the families that will be in isolation on December 25.

Avoiding the scourge will be slightly tricky because I need to get a haircut, convince two teens to stay home, help the eldest’s partner move into his new apartment and buy a few essentials.

I’m not sure I’d be putting money on me.

I’m also fascinated by all the people who seem completely unconcerned. I ducked into my local shopping centre on Sunday for the last Christmas gift on my list and there were so many people without masks.

I wanted them all to have little cartoon thought bubbles so I could understand why they were so blasé. Even if you’re not fearful of the disease, surely you don’t want the quarantine period?

Please explain …

Song the day: Pharrell Williams “Happy”

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