COVID-19 DIARY – WE WILL MEET AGAIN

Queen Elizabeth II at 94: a look back at the life of the world's ...

I have to come clean with you about something.

I’m a monarchist.

Weird huh?

I mean the Royal Family is pretty rich and yet they receive taxpayers money?

They’re well off and probably look down at people like me. So why should I care about them?

I was 17 when Princess Diana died and I can tell there were a lot of people angry at the Royal Family then and wondering if they could survive.

Yet to paraphrase Julian Fellowes they are like any other family and like no other family. They reflect our times and hold up a mirror of ourselves going through them.

During the funeral in 2002 for the Queen Mother watching her grandchildren in naval uniform march behind her casket and hearing tales of the Royal Family during the war. I thought, “Yeah, I get it.”

At the Queen Mother's funeral, her grandchildren follow behind the ...

That need for pomp and pageantry may seem ridiculous and extravagant but it is needed. Look at America, they’ve been trying to replicate it with their Presidents and First Ladies but it seldom works the same.

Besides the Royals get to be above politics, part of how they endure and how they never quite seem to be important. But I believe they are and on the 5th of April Queen Elizabeth II proved my point.

A 94 year old who had lived through the times we were trying to draw inspiration from now summoned a new resolve and pride in us to come through this all too current and ongoing crisis. For her closing words the camera cut to a close-up that had been saved up until that point and the monarch eyeballed straight down the lens to the individual viewer.

With a steely optimism that spoke of our connection to her and the connection to our loved ones we were not able to be with she drew on words that evoked a famous World War II love song by Vera Lynn and she brought me to Goddamn tears. 

We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.

God Save the Queen.

-Lloyd Marken

 

 

COVID-19 DIARY – SHUT IT DOWN! – PART IV

Coronavirus: Traffic jams on Gold Coast as Queensland shuts borders

25 March

Wednesday was the first day I worked from home.

I’m used to working in my apartment late at night writing stories to meet deadlines. There is no air-conditioning in our house and during the seven months of summer it gets quite hot and uncomfortable in front of the laptop. The sweat of my forearms has warped the wood of the desk over time.

Fortunately for me the temperatures had started to drop so again, with my brand new laptop no less, I felt extremely fortunate.

My back hurt but in the days that followed I found it went away especially if I paced around the place from time to time.

I did get hungry though and went out that night to get takeaway. I noted outside the local shops tables and chairs had been positioned for social distancing and to discourage loitering, markers were out on the floor on where to stand. It was one more subtle shift in how we were living.

That same night the borders to Queensland were closed.

In America President Trump stated an intention to reiterated a desire to re-open the country by Easter if it is suitable.

On the 25th of March the World Health Organisation reported 51,914 cases in the United States of America! Six hundred and seventy-three dead Americans!

While this was simply an absurdly moronic, selfish and irresponsible thing to suggest as a leader while the virus was taking off in the country there were smaller more practical ambitions announced the same day.

Virtually all U.S. late night talk show hosts announced they would be back on the air shooting from home while in isolation starting 30MAR2020.

 

 

26 March

I returned to the office on Thursday as south down at the border people faced a much tougher commute at the QLD/NSW border.

As one man reported to Channel 9 though “It has got to happen. If it helps it helps.”

“I thought there might be just a couple of little police officers at the side of the road but this is good. This is good. We need to do this,” another driver told Channel 9.

 

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk advised children were to learn from home starting next week however kids of essential workers could attend.

It’s not just our health workers, it’s not just our emergency services workers, it’s not just our police workers, it actually involves anyone who’s in our workforce including people who stack shelves at Woolies and work in a whole [range of] different industries that their students will still be allowed to go to school,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Following on from the announcements of other states this decision was hoped to “strike the right balance.”

 

Balmoral Castle: A Royal Holiday - Wilderness Scotland

It was announced that Prince Charles has coronavirus and is displaying mild symptoms. Both he and the Duchess of Cornwall were isolating at Balmoral.

The heir to the British throne had last seen Queen Elizabeth II on the 12th of March and was in good health. The 98 year old Duke of Edinburgh was not present at that meeting.

 

Queen Elizabeth II Here's the Story Behind the Picture

 

The Prince had last attended a public engagement the same day attending a dinner in aid of the recent Australian bushfires. Since then he had been working from home and was tested on Monday after showing symptoms over the recent weekend.

Also in the UK, 250,000 people signed up to volunteer with the NHS.

The WHO reported March 26 in the United Kingdom, 9,533 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,452. The number of dead were 463 deaths with a daily increase of 41.

 

COVID-19 | IAF creates nine quarantine facilities at its nodal ...

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country into a 21 day lockdown prompting panic buying. The population of 1.3 billion people were to remain confined to their homes for the duration.

On the 26th of March the World Health Organisation reported India had 649 cases with a daily increase of 43. The number of dead in the country were 13 with a daily increase of three.

-Lloyd Marken

 

THE CROWN SEASON 2 REVIEW AVAILABLE AT X-PRESS MAGAZINE

X-Press 3

I’ve been lucky to have another review published at X-Press Magazine. The review is for the second season of Netflix’s The Crown. I was a big fan of the original season in particular the first two episodes dealing with the end of King George VI’s reign. The quality would dip and rise in the latter part of that season. I feel some of that is the case with the second season but now the Queen has more agency of her story with the focus on affairs within her own household rather than matters of state. In a pinch I’d say its the better season and certainly the more confident one with Claire Foy and Matt Smith really owning their roles now. Its a shame to bid them adieu. We see for example the same actor playing Lord Mountbatten in 1937 and then in 1957 and it only adds to the power of the storytelling. Why replace Foy and Smith? Yet that was the plan all along and we know that a talented main cast will lead season 3.

You can read more of my thoughts here http://xpressmag.com.au/the-crown-season-2-gets-8-10-queen-of-diamonds/

X-Press Magazine was established in 1985 and at one point was Australia’s highest circulating free weekly entertainment publication with over 40,000 copies reaching 1,0000 outlets every week.  On the 24th May, 2016 Issue 1527 hit stands. Like many publications of its ilk X-Press Magazine is now foremost an online magazine engaged globally and making the most of the possibilities that new digital technology offers. It’s roots though are tied to its home city, love of local artists and productions and music which it supports wholeheartedly. Perth a capital city most isolated from all the other capitals is continuing to grow and develop culturally and artistically with its own identity and talent. X-Press has always been there to capture this growth and will continue to do so.