Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Over the last fortnight we’ve been importing coronavirus cases so that Aussies can sit back and watch the Australian Open tennis. It’s good for tennis and good for the Victorian state economy apparently. As you can imagine, some residents of the fair city of Melbourne (where the tournament is being held) are none too happy with the latest virus breakout via a worker at one of the Australian Open quarantine hotels. Melburnians spent six months sheltering at home last year so they are entitled to be a bit miffed. It also does not seem fair on the quarantine workers who risk their health every day to ensure that the rest of the country can live virtually virus free.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I suppose the risk of these small cracks in our borders would be one most Aussies would be willing to accept if we knew that it meant Aussies stranded overseas could come home as soon as possible. Yes, my brother-in-law is currently stuck in the US. I understand that the Victorian Premier has indicated the quarantine arrangements put in place for international tennis players were not at the expense of any Australians wanting to return home. And yet, and yet, there are over 30,000 stranded Aussies still waiting to come home.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your point of view, there is always the spectre of the premier of New South Wales (NSW) falling over herself to make the Australian Open happen in her state if the Victorian premier hesitates. State premiers are a competitive bunch, especially that lot in NSW with its gold star everything.

Meanwhile the lovely people of Perth in Western Australia are in the midst of their own quarantine scare. Snap stay at home orders have been imposed for five days. These restrictions do not apply to those affected by bushfires in the northern suburbs of Perth. Phew! The fires are horrendous and many have been left homeless. As for the virus, the more infectious, more deadly strains have got everyone worried. Western Australians are a resilient, diligent lot and I am confident that they will prevent the virus from spreading.

I have great sympathy for the quarantine security guards who have to sit in a hotel corridor for hours on end. In some jurisdictions, they apparently do not have to wear masks while they are guarding since they are not mixing with the “guests”. If the hotels are anything like the ones I’ve stayed at, the corridors are the repository of hot, stagnant air which is only refreshed when someone in their room opens a door. Big breath in now. Breathe that virus-laden air.

Meanwhile we are still waiting for the vaccination program to start (now scheduled for the end of February). If the long awaited vaccination program doesn’t go to plan, that will no doubt be the fault of state governments as well. Can I make a suggestion or two? Despite appearances to the contrary, the national government is responsible for our external borders. Perhaps then, it could set up purpose-built quarantine facilities for international arrivals in Mr Craig Kelly’s electorate? I wonder if the good folk in the electorate of Hughes share their local member’s views on all things Covid-related? Or maybe they could put a quarantine facility out in western New South Wales, in Narrabri? There’s a lot of hot air venting out there and plenty of workers willing to fly in, fly-out. A miners camp will be needed in Narrabri for that new coal seam gas project recently approved by the NSW state government. A multi-use facility. Very efficient. The New South Wales government is good at balancing public health and economic development so they could potentially be only too happy for such a proposal. The federal government too could be pleased to combine its gas-led recovery with protecting Australian citizens. Truly, I don’t know why they didn’t think of that themselves.

Anyway, back to the tennis. I don’t know many songs from this century but I came across this song by Courtney Barnett the other day. It is called Avant Gardener. I am sure you will be able to find a version of the song to view if this one is not available in your region. I’m glad I am not too old to relate. Check it out.

Grab your puffer and breathe easy, Aussies. Everyone else, stay safe and enjoy the tennis.

Kind Regards.

36 thoughts on “Double Fault

  1. I made it back home from the South West and after unpacking went out to buy some milk. Forty five minutes and three shopping centres later, I returned home perplexed by the crowded car parks and lines that wound around buildings. I then caught up with the news … lockdown! Keeping fingers crossed we go back to normalcy next week. I don’t understand the logic of holding sporting events at this challenging time!
    The smoke and ash from the bushfire is pungent in the air. The strong winds have been unrelenting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that has happened to you before, Dawn! These things always happen when you’ve run out of milk. I hope it all goes well there. Dealing with the fires is enough. So awful. I found the smoke unbearable last year. I know you don’t have air conditioning so that makes it doubly difficult when you can’t open the window. I hope those winds settle down. They do seem to be a feature of climate change.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t get the necessity for sporting events during a global pandemic either. Dr. Fauci is expected the Super Bowl to be a super-spreader event. I did enjoy the video. (When I attempt to play tennis, that’s how I do it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said, I quite agree. It seems strange that planes can be found to carry all these people associated with the tennis tournament here but stranded Aussies can’t get on a flight without paying exorbitant amounts. Personally I find tennis about as interesting as watching paint dry but a whole lot noisier, especially the girls. However, I love to watch the cricket on TV. Even so I was quite shocked that the Sydney Test went ahead with spectators while Sydney was still in partial lockdown. I don’t doubt Gladys would have grabbed the tennis if Dan had cancelled. Of course Victorians did not like losing their AFL Grand Final but I think that most people in any state would rather not have great big super spreader events happening in their cities.
    Having to cope with bushfires like we had the last two summers while a lockdown was in place was something I was very concerned about and I worry for the people in WA. It seems to be their turn this summer.
    Love your suggestion of where to put a big quarantine facility.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the supportive comment, Vanda. I don’t think the cloud over the sporting fixtures improves our mental health. Nor does the continuing debate over climate change. Hopefully the weather will improve in the west soon. The BOM is predicting higher than average rainfall for them from Feb through to April. It can’t come soon enough.
      I’m not ungrateful for all the effort that our state and federal governments have made to protect us. I still find some of the decisions a little strange. They keep making statements that there is no chance of our ICUs being overwhelmed. Small comfort for those who come down with the virus though and the vulnerable people who feel they can’t leave their homes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did you see the news that the World Surf League is not holding the surf comp at Bells Beach over Easter. It is being held in Newcastle instead? It may be held at Bells at a later date. NSW is taking advantage of other states more cautious approach to pandemic management. One might call it spite. Others would call it business!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t realize that so many Australians have been stranded for so long! That’s terrible. And I agree letting them come home should be the priority over holding tennis matches, no matter how important. The pandemic has shown us just how illogical people can be, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the problem is that there is one state in Australia that is prone to pinching major events off other jurisdictions and this puts a lot of pressure on the original event jurisdiction to go ahead with the event. Australians wanting to return home become collateral damage. It is so unfortunate, Ann.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. All Australians want to get back to COVID ‘normal’ and I do understand the restrictions with even the smallest ‘cluster’, but why oh why have a major sporting event like the Tennis (or any other major sporting event if it comes to that). Surely, we can miss it for a year or two?

    I know they’re good for the economy, but surely with the COVID risk it’s not worth the lockdowns and further restrictions when an outbreak occurs.

    I wonder if the whole idea of Hotel quarantine in buildings that are not designed for the purpose is good. Surely these new more contagious variants can wander through the air-con systems and even, when folk open their hotel doors to get supplies and so on.

    I feel so sorry for the fellow from Noble Park (hotel security guard) who stuck to the rules and did nothing wrong and STILL contracted the virus.

    Surely there must be somewhere away from inner-city hotels to house those from overseas in quarantine where windows can be opened for fresh air, instead of air-con?

    Secondly, do delivery workers/security guards have the option of disposable rubber gloves to use for each time they deliver (or cleaning staff collect linen)? I hope so.

    My best friend is stuck in London at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, I hope your friend has support in the UK. It must be an absolute nightmare.
      The logistics associated with new quarantine facilities must be quite difficult, particularly the need to be near an airport that can cope with large planes. Places like Cairns and Townsville, for example, would surely have a range of accommodation options available. They could temporarily take over a caravan park for instance and put in some dongas. There are enough of them outside major metropolitan centres. How hard can it be?
      I’m not into sports. I suppose they are okay if it can be done safely, but the problem is if they have to cancel for any reason. Because they cost so much to hold, there is a lot of pressure to go ahead. Yeah, I think we can do without them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Times are very challenging worldwide. In Canada approaches to fighting the pandemic are varied province by province depending on the politics of each individual region. We have those who think the pandemic is a hoax and they ignore the warnings to social distance , wear a mask and to social isolate or quarantine. When the pandemic first arrived the elderly in the supportive care facilities became ill and many died. The current group with rising numbers dying are the 20-29 year old cohort. Many claim a Constitutional right to ignore the health safety warnings of Dr. Bonnie Taylor.
    Recently Dr Taylor was asked this question by the media, “How soon after I meet someone on Tinder, may I kiss them?” Needless to say conceptual issues remain and are complicated by “fake news.”
    I enjoyed your Friday song by Courtney Barnett. Courtney is a new artist to me but my research shows she is very popular in America. Thank you for the introduction Tracy. My suggestion is a group called Sixpence None the Wiser, “Kiss Me” on YouTube.


    1. The search engine knew that. 🙂 I really enjoyed the song. Thanks for the suggestion, Sid.
      That’s very concerning if people in that age group are dying more frequently now. I read that it was mostly associated with co-morbitities, which of course, young people have too. I wish they better understood that even mild symptoms can lead to long term damage, and of course, the virus is always changing, and if the incidence is highest in young people then there is great scope for it to learn how to overcome their defenses. But that is just what I think.
      I felt like a dinosaur when you gave me the Tinder example. I am glad kissing hasn’t gone out of fashion, but still … Public health campaigns designed for young people by young people might be better at getting the message across than Dr Henry.


  7. Dr Bonnie worked against SARS or COVID-2, and the Ebola virus, also she fought against the antivaxers and anti maskers but now the “cancel culture” is attacking Dr Henry. Young people are ignoring medical advice and getting sick. It seems that scientific medical advice is also under attack.


    1. I remember being young once and ignoring my doctor’s advice, but I would have hesitated about jeopardising others ,,, I do not envy Dr Henry her job. A job that would not be made easy by vastly different provincial government approaches and the continuous stream of misinformation. I despair over the lack of credence given in some sections of the population to the growing body of scientific knowledge on the virus. It is like a Mad Max apocalypse movie, don’t you think?


  8. Excellent song from Courtney Barnett. I’ve heard if before, but hadn’t seen the video. Adding to the nonsense of letting tennis stars come to Australia, is the questionable ability of a few well known politicians to come and go at will, one with his own government supplied aircraft, and I’m sure you know exactly who I mean, Tracy. It’s one rule for them and quite another for stranded Australians, who are doing it really hard in some cases.
    It’s pretty easy to be angry about politics just now, and I’m having to disassociate myself a bit in the interests of self preservation.


    1. I do know who you mean, Jane.
      Everything is political at the moment so it is hard to have a conversation these days without straying into that territory. I’m not sure that even gardening is safe these days. 😉
      I thought of sticking to local wildlife photos but decided that would not be true to the reason for starting this blog.


  9. A thought-provoking post, Tracy – contemplative, sensitive and hopeful. New issues arise as this madness continues. And no matter how much we hunker down, the people we know personally who are affected by this pandemic will continue to climb. It is challenging, to say the least.

    The tennis allusion in your title and song are so witty. Have never heard this song before: Younger Daughter & I have just enjoyed listening to it.

    Keep safe and well.


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