Over the next few days I watched the U.S. election coverage with great interest and a swirl of emotions.
You can’t have supporters show up in one state and insist the vote be counted and in another demand the count be stopped. It becomes very clear that your intentions then are not about ensuring the democratic process.
I don’t like to give into the hyperbole of the moment but it was with some concern that we watched the election coverage and were simply stunned by just how fair Ballbag was willing to undermine the election process and also how many people were happy to step in and support him.
I have worked in the past at elections here in Australia. I’ve stood in a warehouse on election night and counted votes and in the days after. People of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs worked with me. There was a lot of supervision, oversight and cross checking. I couldn’t imagine people chanting outside the building and the need for security at such places doing such work.
Democracy is a privilege and something fragile, I certainly thought so even more during these days.
You can hate on Ballbag if you like but he’s a symptom of something much larger and scarier than just his own misbehaviour and hubris.
I turned 40 that Saturday night. I went out and had dinner in the Valley with some friends at a Chinese restaurant. This was the first time I saw some of my closest friends in person all year. Some the second or fourth time. We certainly felt lucky to do this given what was happening around the world.
In fact walking around The Valley that night past lines outside nightclubs you could have been excused for not knowing there a pandemic was on but there was.
The Valley is on the perimeter of the Brisbane CBD, noted for its night life. I walked past the alleyway where a short film was shot by Kelly Chen. I realised there were 20 years of history with me and this part of the world. I could see clearly where a younger man had had adventures but I no longer was the man, I would much prefer to stick to the restaurants even then and I was eager to get home. It was good to see my friends though.
On the 7th of November the World Health Organisation reported there had been 49,219,511 confirmed cases globally with a daily increase of 615,945. There had been 1,242,899 deaths globally with a daily increase of 9,134.
In Australia there had been 27,645 confirmed counts with a daily increase of twelve. There had been 907 Australian deaths.
In Canada there had been 251,338 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,635. There had been 10,381 deaths with a daily increase of 50.
In India there had been 8,462,080 with a daily increase of 50,356. There had been 125,562 deaths with a daily increase of 577.
In the United Kingdom there had been 1,146,488 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 23,287. There had been 48,475 deaths with a daily increase of 355.
In the United States of America there had been 9,504,758 with a daily increase of 116,780. There had been 233,292 deaths with a daily increase of 1,126.
The next day I awoke to find that former Vice President Joe Biden had become President-elect Joe Biden.
On the first day of the month there had been 8,952,086 confirmed cases with a new record daily increase of 99,356.
On the 6th of November there was a new record of the daily increase of confirmed cases – 106,050.
On the 7th of November a new daily record again with 116,780 confirmed cases.
On the 8th of November there was a new daily record of 131,821 confirmed cases.
On the 8th of November the United States of America had 9,636,579 confirmed cases with a new record daily increase of 131,821.
There had been 234,500 deaths with a daily increase of November.
Ballbag went out and played golf.
In Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the ring of steel around Melbourne would be gone come midnight along with many more easing of restrictions.
“Victoria will be once again united as one single state,” Premier Andrews said.
This announcement came following nine days of no new cases or deaths in the state. What was referred to as Double Doughnut days. There were only four active known cases in the entire state.
From Monday restaurants and pubs could have up to 40 people inside and 70 outside depending on density. Gyms could have 20. Religious ceremonies 50. Cinemas and theatres – 20 people. Weddings remained ten plus the couple, celebrant and photographer.
Visitors to care facilities and hospitals were now allowed.
The Premier urged people to not become complacent and to get tested even for mild symptoms.
I have to admit I was concerned at the time that they were opening up way too fast but they did only have four active cases something I did not realise at the time.