Trump was quick to point out he hadn’t played golf since thousands of Americans had started dying.
Of course it rang a little hollow because he had criticized former President Barack Obama for playing golf in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak of that year in the States.
It also rang hollow because the number of dead of Americans was such a catastrophic number.
It also rang hollow because Trump had played a lot more golf than President Obama had this far into his first term.
It probably also rang hollow because Trump is a liar, a hypocrite, a narcist, adulterer, swindler, spoilt brat, self-involved fat fuck who has presided over the greatest loss of American lives during a crisis since the second world war.
Did he apologise, own up to his hypocrisy, talk about how he weeped for those Americans lost? Not on your fucking life or more specifically their lives.
No apparently it was all about turning the corner, the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kick-off the American summer and re-starting the economy.
Why did the liberal media have to be so negative over such a significant milestone?
Couldn’t they see what a great job he had done and all those democrats calling him racist for the travel ban from Wuhan in February? Thank God he hadn’t listened.
Thank God, we could have had 300,000 dead at this point if not for such a fearless and whipsmart leader.
You know lots of people were telling him to just ride it out, I mean not any of his health experts or chief advisors but still he was thinking it – worried about the potential economic impact and how it would affect him.
Hell we’re only talking 94,011 / 334,534 of all the deaths reported in the entire world had occurred in America.
On the 24th of May the New York Times ran a front page full of death notices from across the country of close to 1,000 people.
Most could not remember a front page from The Times that did not feature a photo.
Still Trump was arguing it could’ve been a lot worse….
I mean he could have ignored Dr Fauci from day one.
Wasn’t it time to get back on with getting the economy back to normal?
After all cases and deaths were down in the coastal elite states, so what if the numbers were trending upwards in the majority of states?
You could say that Trump was showing Americans how to get back to living their lives.
That it was for morale purposes.
You could say he’s worked hard during a crisis and at some point everybody deserves a break.
While I’m sitting here bemoaning stats, how much have I sat on a couch and watched Netflix? What have I done besides buying a jumper off a celebrity for the American people? You could say what have I done that allows me to be a critic of a world leader?
You could say that and you’d be making a good point.
There’s 100,000 Americans who can’t and that’s my point.
During this week the numbers only got worse for America and the United Kingdom. which moved ahead of Spain and Italy. Russia and Peru also became hotspots and the number in India continued to skyrocket.
On the 21st of May the World Health Organisation reported globally 4,904,313 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 103,210. The number of dead 323,413 with a daily increase of 4,478.
In Australia there were 7,079 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 11. There were 100 dead with a daily increase of one.
In Canada there were 79,502 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,003. The number of dead 5,955 with a daily increase of 98.
In Peru there were 99,483 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 4,550. The number of dead were 2,914 with a daily increase of 125. Peru was now of the hardest hit countries in the world listed individually on the WHO’s website overview of numbers.
In India there were 112,359 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 5,609. The number of dead 3435 with a daily increase of 132. Their national lockdown which began on the 24th of March, had been extended on the 4th of May and was extended on the 17th of May for a further two weeks until the 31st of May.
In Iran there were 129,341 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2,392. The number of dead were 7,249 with a daily increase of 66. Iran had been one of the earliest countries to be hit outside of Asia with significant numbers.
In France there were 141,312 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 353. The number of dead were 28,081 with a daily increase of 109.
In Turkey there were 152,587 with a daily increase of 972. The number of dead were 4,222 with a daily increase of 23.
In Germany there were 176,752 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 745. The number of dead were 8,147 with a daily increase of 57.
In Italy there were 227,364 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 665. The number of dead 32,330 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 161.
In Spain there were 232,555 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 518. The number of dead were 27,888 with a daily increase of 110.
What had happened in Italy and Spain was horrible but there was a slither of hope to be found in the daily increases going down.
In the United Kingdom where I have family the numbers were all too scary as the United Kingdom came to be listed as the country with the fourth most number of cases in the world. There were 248,297 confirmed cases with a daily decrease of 525. The number of dead 35,704 with a daily increase of 363.
In Brazil there were 271,628 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 17,408! The number of dead were 17,971 with a daily increase of 1,179.
In Russia there were 317,554 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 8,849. The number of dead were 3,099 with a daily increase of 127.
In the United States of America there were 1,501,876 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 24,417. The number of dead were 90,203 with a daily increase of 932.
Friday there was a push for state borders to be re-opened by the likes of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the federal government.
New South Wales and Victoria had more cases. As the states that had shown leadership to urge more restrictions like school closures they were now angling for the borders to become open.
With less cases in their own states the leaders of WA, NT, ACT, SA, TAS and QLD understandably took a different view.
Monday I started feeling some mild flu like symptoms and it only got worse on Tuesday so as a precaution we decided I would work from home the whole week. Originally it was expected I would be coming in Thursday and Fridays.
The national broadcaster’s program Foreign Correspondent ran a great piece about how COVID-19 was affecting the lowest paid workers in India.
At the best of times, living conditions in slums will cause people who live in better conditions to feel sadness, shame or horror.
In the slums of Mumbai a bathroom will be shared by 80 people in a daily basis, under such circumstances it is easy for a virus to spread.
People had moved from the regions to work in those slums for corporations that once the country shut down no longer paid them. Many just started walking home with public transport shut down. They will walk for days with the possessions they have.
With COVID-19 in full flight the disproportion of wealth in any society is being made more apparent.
I don’t have any answers but this episode reminded me yet again how lucky I am and wonder about what I could do to help others.
Some people leave their run late.
Nobody would have felt Tom Moore had much else left to do on the eve of turning 100. A veteran of World War II he had served in Burma and come back home and raised his family and lived a good life.
Yet when the grandfather who had been born in the time of the Spanish flu pandemic started to live through COVID-19 he set himself a task.
He would walk 100 laps of the 25 metre loop in his garden with the aid of his walking frame before his upcoming 100th birthday on the 30th of April in the hopes of raising $1,000 pounds for the UK National Health Service (NHS).
As he completed his laps and promised “Tomorrow will be a good day,” his determination captured the heart of his nation and the world.
With Michael Ball and NHS Voices of Care Choir he recorded a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone which topped the UK Charts.
On April 16 when he completed his 100th lap the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment were on hand to provide him with a guard of honour.
On the day of his 100th Birthday the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over his home in Bedfordshire.
He was made an Honorary member of the English Cricket Team which is not nearly as good as being an Honorary member of the Australian Cricket Team but probably means a lot to him as an Englishman.
The retired Captain was made an Honorary Colonel.
Then Boris Johnson decided fuck it, let’s give him a knighthood and the Queen thought yeah well we bloody well should. Overwhelmed by the honour he tweeted thanks to the Prime Minister, Her Majesty The Queen and the Great British public.
This was part of the cluster that originated with a store in Fawkner, Melbourne and affected 1,000 staff. At the time only twelve cases of COVID-19 related to this incident.
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned “We’re going to see more of these outbreaks.”
The Cedar Meats Abattoir linked to 100 COVID-19 cases earlier in Victoria was now partially re-opening.
For me it did highlight as we began to get to low number of active cases in Australia that the virus was still going to be with us, that we were going to have break-outs and that the rush to get back to levels of activity pre COVID carried a far greater risk. In my mind the spread of these break-outs we were seeing could be minimised by lower levels of social interaction.
May 18 held significance for another reason that really didn’t receive a lot of focus in the media.
A year earlier I had worked for the Australian Electoral Commission on Election Night counting votes in a warehouse somewhere.
I had done temporary work for the AEC in 2016 before doing temporary work for the ECQ.
Karen had worked all that day at a polling station like she does at local and state elections.
In 2016 I had worked as a driver on election day, three years later I stated clearly an interest to do further work counting. I feel fortunate to have this extra work as I try to get ahead in life and this was even more so 18MAY2019 when I remained on contract.
I was in the warehouse just before sunset and left around about midnight.
On my way in I drove past what I knew to be the venue where my parents had their wedding reception. A lot had changed since then so my parents had never really taken us there.
After my shift I walked into the main bar area and looked around for a big staircase with a chandelier. There were not a lot of people around. I walked upstairs and found myself at a doorway of a function room.
Inside were a few people in red T-shirts looking sad. This was my first indication of the election results and then up on the screen was Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announcing he had congratulated the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
I drove home and my amazing Karen served dinner even thoigh she had worked a very long day.
On the screen Morrison stood with his two cute daughters and beautiful wife on stage. They looked like the middle class families who had voted him in.
In an age of economic uncertainty and identity politics this image of a regular family man was part of the appeal.
The Labour party had put forward an ambitious platform of reform and change just like the conservative campaign of 1993.
A former marketing guru Morrison had reinvented himself from the hard man Immigration Minister he had been, pushing himself as a point of difference from Bill Shorten who knifed two Labour Prime Ministers in a row and his immediate predecessor the urbane and statesman like Malcolm Turnbull who had never won an outright electoral victory to leverage his party room into backing his more ambitious and progressive intents.
Despite this Morrison had polled badly against Shorten throughout the campaign and so on the 18th of May he quite rightly proclaimed “I have always believed in miracles.”
A year later it may seem hyperbole but Prime Minister Scott Morrison may be steering us through the most difficult times this country has faced since World War II.
Prime Minister John Curtin broke from Britain and faced imminent invasion in 1942. Like Roosevelt he died in office before the war ended.
There have been other wars and times when the country seemed to be tearing itself apart. There have been great reformers and leaders who saw us through a crisis or two and pushed through unpopular policies that bore out in time. Menzies, Whitlam, Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd. They’ve all got something to be proud if not many things.
Yet in the twelve months since 18MAY2018 Scott Morrison was heading us towards an economic surplus. When the bushfires started in September he was up at a Canungra sharing a cry with a local resident.
Then he went to Hawaii, then he came back and forced handshakes at Cobargo.
Then he called out the military and attempted to re-write history in press interviews about what happened when the Australian people knew better.
When his father passed after a lifetime of service to the community as a policeman and politician you could see Morrison was hurting but it was hard to drum up sympathy given the anger those lies stirred within.
Yet the bulldog in him sucked it up and got on with the job. This personality trait may prove his undoing but it has also seen him through some tough times.
Since March, Prime Minister Morrison has sacrificed his economic good fortune to ensure all Australians have a roof over their head and money for food and medicine. He’s given lifelines to numerous businesses and while we were arguably a week or two behind putting in place restrictions in comparison to other countries Australia so far has come through.
That can’t be attributed to all one man nor would he want it to be but we have to give credit where credit is due.
A year ago Scott Morrison would never have been able to imagine what he would have to deal with in the next 12 months as Prime Minister.
So far he has proven himself capable and I for one am hoping he will continue to do so.
A trade war is looming with China, international tourism and investments are seriously impacted by COVID-19 and with a slowed down economy not everybody is going to go back to their pre-COVID earning capacity.
There is going to be real suffering in our country and around the world but so far Morrison has managed to keep cases numbers and the spreading of the disease low, provide a safety net for most of the populace and plan ahead as best he can.
I hope for all of our sakes, his second year in office proves less stressful.
It was also interesting for since it’s been a while since I have been published with Weekend Notes and it is the first time I have supplied photos and written about a walk rather than a show for them.
There a few people around enjoying the walk even though there had been some light showers. The nearby Natural Arch café was shut.
On the way home, Karen and I bought some Thai on the southside of town.
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As April had become May we had seen some people social, I had been back in the office and now we were able to travel and go out a little bit.
Would this be a fleeting reprieve leading to further lockdowns or part an ongoing management of living with the disease?
At different times during its history education has expanded in Scotland at a rapid rate.
On the 11th of May in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the World Health Organisation reported there were 219,187 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,923 on the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to lower restrictions.
The number of dead stood at 31,855 with a daily increase of 268.
Tuesday and Wednesday I worked from home.
On the 12th of May Trump was having a press briefing in the White House Rose Garden.
After an exchange with Weijang Zhang he cut the conference short and stormed off like a little bitch.
Below is a compilation of the disgusting behaviour he has repeatedly shown in press briefings during the crisis.
On the 12th of May the WHO reported in the United States of America there were 1,298,287 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 26,642. The number of dead Americans was 78,652 with a daily increase of 1,736.
I wonder how many of those dead Americans would think it was fair to ask such negative questions when the situation in America was so clearly a positive one.
I wonder as their families stood at tombstones for loved ones they could not go and visit in the hospital or attend the funerals of had they thought “Yeah, those reporters should watch their tone!”.
What I wonder honestly sometimes is how a country that was born out of throwing off the rule of the most powerful Empire the world has ever seen is so divided now that it will argue on whether this individual is fit for office.
It kind of breaks my heart.
In Australia Treasurer Josh Frydenberg got tested for COVID-19. He had been tested following a coughing fit the day before in which he presented an economic update to Parliament. 11MAY2020 was originally intended to be the day he presented the National Budget but due to COVID-19 this has now been rescheduled to October.
The number of unemployed was cited as 10% or 1.4million Australians. This was the highest unemployment rate since the early 1990s recession in Australia and in which unemployment had risen at a far slower rate then during the pandemic.
The 10% won’t include underemployment or those who are technically employed but not working while under JobSeeker.
This was a big moment for the Treasurer to advice how dire the situation was but also all the measures he was putting in place and all the difference their unprecedent spending has done to help Australians.
Players took 20% pay cuts, there were compulsory flu jabs for all and all kinds of measures to put in place including a return to playing to empty stadiums.
New Zealand Warrior players accepted spending 18 days in quarantine and a relocation from Auckland to Gosford, NSW.
The Melbourne Storm will be based out of Albury-Wodonga. A town on the border of New South Wales and Victoria with a major Army presence.
Rucks were out and we were back to one referee but sports fans this was unexpected and something to celebrate.
From midnight Friday certain restrictions were lifting in Queensland specifically.
Ten people could now go to a cafe, pub or restaurant and dine in. They would have to sign in with their details in the event of a need for contract tracing. That meant starting Saturday places like Stellarossa Toowong would be able to have patrons dine in to a certain limit.
Other states were following similar paths but not the Northern Territory.
I had noticed earlier in the week that one of my tyres was deflating a little faster than my other tyres. On Saturday I went to Bob Jane T-Mart and got the puncture repaired.
While Karen and I waited we walked over to a nearby park. There was a sense that things were returning to normal a little bit.
On the way home I decided I wanted a proper cake with icing. I went to a local cheesecake shop and returned with this.
Now Karen was not upset that I had purchased a large cake for just the two of us at some expense. She was however perplexed by one thing. Whose birthday was it?
And yes we managed to get through it before it went off.
That afternoon we skyped my Mum for Mother’s Day with the family assembling across the globe. I was very worried about the escalating numbers in the UK.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Copyright Lloyd Marken.
Over the weekend I watched a great episode of Planet America which went into some detail around the welfare system in America and how many Americans were likely to get any assistance. It paints a picture of how desperate some Americans must feel to get back to work no matter the risk.
On Sunday I went to see my mother-in-law at her house. Each set of kids were visiting one at a time.
On the steps of Parliament House in Victoria hundreds of protestors gathered.
In Australia the number of confirmed cases were 6,929 with a daily increase of 15. Australia had reached a death toll of 97 from COVID-19.
In Ireland there were 22,760 confirmed cases with a daily increase 219. The number of dead were 1,446 with a daily increase of 17.
In Canada there were 66,780 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,381. The number of dead were 4,628 with a daily increase of 157.
In India there were 62,939 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,277. The number of dead were 2,109 with a daily increase of 128. The country had been placed in lockdown for 21 days on the 26th of March when there only 649 confirmed cases. This had been extended on the 4th of May but despite these efforts the number of cases in India were climbing rapidly.
It was reported in China there were 84,430 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 14. The number of dead 4,643 deaths.
When you think about how many Chinese people have more likely died from this disease it makes me angry to type such a pathetic and clearly obvious lie as that figure.
My condolences to the families of all Chinese who did die from COVID-19 and to all the brave Chinese hospital staff who faced this disease first and any of who risked so much to try and get the word out about how serious this disease was.
The Chinese people have suffered bravely. Their country should honour their deaths. There is no shame in admitting how much they have endured as a nation and hopefully they have overcome the worst of it.
In Brazil there 145,328 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 10,222. The number of dead 9,897 with a daily increase of 751.
In Russia there were 209,688 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 11,012. There were 1,915 deaths with a daily increase of 88.
In the United Kingdom there were 215,264 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,896. The number of dead were 31,587 with a daily increase of 346.
In Italy there were 218,268 with a daily increase of 1,083. The number of dead were 30,395 with a daily increase of 194.
In Spain there were 223,578 with a daily increase of 721. The number of dead was 26,478 with a daily increase of 227.
In the United States of America there were 1,245,775 with a daily decrease of 99. The death toll in America reached 75,364 with a daily increase of 5,475. There were those in the country that desperately wanted to start re-opening but this seemed odd given the high numbers of cases and dead and while the rate of increase was slowing in the worst hit parts of America like New York it was steadily rising elsewhere.
For the first time since the pandemic took off 2 months ago, President Trump leaves Washington D.C. to visit a mask factory in Honeywell, Arizona. In a press conference he stresses that the country has to be re-opened soon mentioning the fact that death from drug use and suicide increase during unemployment.
It was fair to say things were getting better in Australia in early May. The danger was still present but there were days when states were not reporting any new cases. In comparison to what could have happened and what was taking place in other countries Australians could breathe somewhat a sigh of relief.
The danger now was to not take this status quo for granted, to not squander our safety with rash decisions. A second wave seemed inevitable so how best to manage it.
That week there was an all too clear example of how things could still escalate even with all the restrictions that had been put in place remaining.
Queensland committed Saturday May 16 or specifically midnight next Friday.
Tasmania would lift some restrictions on the 11th and planned to do others on the 18th.
New South Wales with the most cases said there would be no changes yet. Half of all cases in Australia were in New South Wales.
The Northern Territory had already set a roadmap for themselves coming out of lockdown. When they started lifting restrictions on the 5th of May, 28 of all 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Territory had recovered and there had been no new cases for over a month.
Step 2 would involve gatherings of 20 people, the potential opening of gyms, cinemas, galleries, museums and beauty therapists. Distances of 250 kilometres from home.
Step 3 hoped to be reached in July would look at interstate travel, maybe even travel in the AUS-NZ bubble and gatherings of 100 people. Pubs and clubs would only be looked at for step 3. It seemed like only yesterday that the Prime Minister on the 13th of March had announced gatherings would be restricted to only 100 people in the country from the 16th onwards.
My brother-in-law celebrated his birthday ANZAC Day.
I am fond of calling him my brother from another mother. I say this because he really is a brother to me.
He was born a Sikh in India, fell in love with an Australian girl while studying here and that was the end of that.
Life hasn’t always been easy for him as an immigrant but I’ve never met a man who works harder, is more resilient and more loyal.
He is a wonderful husband and to his family in India a dearly missed son. Having a sister living in the UK means I know a little of how they feel.
We went over to where he and his wife lived and sat in spaced apart chairs out the front of their place. We just talked but gosh it was good to see them.
The next day the whole family skyped to celebrate his birthday.
The same day four of the largest airline planes in the world A380s landed in the centre of Australia in the very dry Alice Springs.
Working from home Monday morning I read an e-mail mentioning we had a few people sick in our team from my supervisor.
I sent him an e-mail asking if there is anything I could do in support and he replied yes – could I read the text message he had sent me almost an hour prior.
After reading the text sent earlier I got in my car and spent the day working in the office.
That night Karen and I spoke to an old friend of our’s. An accomplished academic it seemed like a lifetime ago when we had heard she was getting a gig working at HARVARD!
Based there for almost a year she was one of the early few sounding the alarm on social media about the danger of this disease.
As things got worse in America she saw footage of international travellers returning to Australia bundled together with no social distancing.
The days passed and she relayed hearing sirens go past outside her residence throughout the day. She finally arranged a flight coming back to Australia, worried about her American friends who she was leaving behind.
When we spoke she was in the midst of the 14 day quarantine in hotels for returning travellers. A yoga practitioner and a marathon runner she had no complaints about her confinement.
Her thoughts were with all the people confined to ventilators breathing their last breaths.
She had come through and we were glad to hear she was all right.
I ended up only working from home that Wednesday grateful to be back in the office for most of the week. Traffic was still not so bad and I was so happy to be with my colleagues again even most of us were still working from home.
One of them was going on maternity leave, someone who I had worked with last year during my secondment.
Somebody who will be a great parent.
Someone who is so amazing in everything she does that I refer to her as lightning in a bottle.
We wished her well in a skype morning tea that I was lucky to attend.
It’s too hot for most of the year and we never got around to having the place exactly how we want it for entertaining.
But on Saturday the 2nd of May, Karen told me her brother and his girlfriend was coming around and that was that. So they brought tacos for dinner and we had a wonderful time.
This night along with seeing my brother from another mother were our first social engagements in almost two months outside of phone calls and skype.
I may have erred on the side of caution if consulted but once the train was on the tracks I really didn’t want to take this away from my wife. She lets me have my way on most things.
I realise a lot of people around the world have gone without socialising even longer and will even longer still if their governments show any sense.
So I know I have been very fortunate it had been only a few weeks but I must admit it was really nice to have the dinner.
After the main I offered some port for everyone and while I don’t often drink I decided I would have some more port. Galway Pipe.
It was really nice to have the dinner.
In most parts of the world things were only getting worse but here in Australia things were getting just a little bit better.
On the 2nd of May, the World Health Organisation reported globally there were 3,272,212 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 90,578.
The death toll 230,107 with a daily increase of 5,805.
We reached 1 million confirmed cases on the 4th of April, 2 million on the 17th of April and 3 million on the 29th of April.
4 million was reached on the 11th of May and 5 million on the 23rd of May.
Knowing how fast this thing can spread, either the measures we’re putting in place are working or some of the numbers coming out of countries aren’t accurate.
On the 2nd of May the WHO reported 6,767 confirmed cases in Australia with a daily increase of five. There were 93 deaths with a daily increase of one.
In Canada there were 53,657 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,601. The number of deaths 3,223 with a daily increase of 141.
158 Canadian soldiers died in the war in Afghanistan.
In India there were 37,336 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2,293. There were 1,218 deaths with a daily increase of 71.
527 Indians died in the Kargil conflict.
In the United Kingdom there were 177,458 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 6,201. There were 27,510 deaths with a daily increase of 739.
In World War II during The Blitz from September 1940 to July 1941 it was estimated 40,000 civilians died from the bombings.
On the 30th of April the United States of America reached over 1 million confirmed cases. On the 2nd of May there were 1,067,127 with a daily increase of 31,774. The number of deaths 57,406 with a daily increase of 2,069.
58,318 American military personnel died in the decade long Vietnam war which shook the country to its core.