Your columnist isn't the only one who finds it remarkable how easily most Australians have gone along with the COVID restrictions.Sure, they're necessary to stop many people, mostly elderly, from dying. But since when were people so willing to be unselfish?
Turns out that when it matters, we're not bad. Yes, some idiots wantonly break the new codes - but they're largely 20-year-olds, rugby league players, party animals, or large 20-year-old party-loving rugby league players. So that's to be expected.
What I didn't expect was how much that swab stick drove me crazy when a most excellent nurse, wearing the entire protective kit, stuck it about three metres up my nose; probably more. The sensation wasn't pain as such, more a combination of tickle and itch, each turned up to eleven. My 12-year-old son, sitting next to me at this drive-through Bulli clinic, took it in silence, and will continue to remind me how I "howled" until we're both old. I thought it was more of a laugh. Anyway the tests came back negative. Another failure.
Restrictions aren't fun but most of us go along with it. But for how long, I wonder? We seemed ready for a long haul, but the impatient itch is back.
The mob mentality has worked so far, but how many people need to get relaxed before the tipping point comes, and the mob goes the other way?
It seems to me we're not ready for that just yet. But funny contradictions don't help.
There's a park bench near where I live, a solitary old thing, away from paths. It's the ideal spot for some socially distant reflection. But there's a public health notice on it now, warning: Do not sit.
Golf links are closed, but football codes are OK to restart? That's a bit funny.
We're told you can go to your secondary residence (holiday home) if you need to, but former arts minister Don Harwin was fined and resigned for staying on the Central Coast? Not funny for poor old Don.
But while states run schools, and have plans in place for remote learning, the Prime Minister insists teachers and students should physically attend schools, even while premiers say not yet, and teachers aren't sure. That's not so funny.
He's even going to give taxpayers' money to private schools to make it happen. About $3 billion in funding will be delivered early if private schools re-open classrooms. Spare a thought for the public schools where teachers are planning to source ethanol to make their own hand sanitiser, believing supplies aren't sufficient. Not funny.
The difference in Singapore, held up as an example of how to beat a pandemic, is that while their schools were open, they tested every kid's temperature upon arrival. Why is Australia not willing to shoulder this expense? Those billions on their way to Knox Grammar might come in handy.
Yes there are contradictions but we can handle that. We've shown we can be patient, forgiving and unselfish. In fact, as one mate said, we're finding ways to be nicer, gentler, and better than before. Our family, after weeks in a small house together, is probably getting along better than before. The shared mission has been a bonding agent.
We can keep it up. Sure, I still have an income, while not everyone does. Yes, our economy has been blown up. But have you seen how many people have died in the US? Australia has lost less than 100. The US has lost 61,000.
We're doing well. Let's not rush it.