COVID-19 DIARY – EASTER 2021

April 02

Good Friday.

I was not sure how long it would take for me to get my tests. I had in the past gotten tested first thing in the morning and received a result twelve hours later late in the morning via text but testing numbers were much higher currently.

As it was, at 4:01pm I received a text from Queensland Health advising “Your test for COVID-19 from 02/04/2021 was NEGATIVE.”

I was never really expecting anything else but it was a relief of course.

To me you didn’t wear a mask to protect yourself – you wore it to protect others.

You didn’t get tested because you were paranoid of getting the virus but of passing it on to others.

You didn’t isolate out of fear for your safety but out of concern for the safety of others.

That is why I got tested and that is why I was not going to see anyone over the Easter weekend.

The negative result though did give Karen freedom to go out if she needed to as per health guidelines.

There were no new commmunity cases reported the morning of Good Friday.

April 04

Easter Sunday I was very fortunate, my parents drove over from the other side of town and delivered Karen and I hotboxes of the family Easter lunch. I expected it to be left outside our place but my Dad walked it to our door. We met both wearing masks and I took the box off him.

It was very kind and very delicious.

In the news there was talk of the new Brazilian strain which was taking off in places as far away as Canada.

The median age of patients The strain was up to 150 per cent more infectious than the original COVID as opposed to the U.K. strain was up to 70 per cent more infectious.

The P1 could be the variant that is the big troublemaker for the next surge,” U.S. Epidemilogist Eric Fiegl-Ding said.

The average age of people hospitalised in Brazil last year was 65 – now doctors estimates is now around 37.

Here was an earlier report from Australian Broadcasting Corporation on the 23rd of January.

April 06

Tuesday I worked from home, during the day I called the Prince Charles Hospital and was assured that the Fever Clinic would be open when I left after work that night.

So you can imagine my surprise when I arrived to this.

It was now just after 5pm as I scrambled for another nearby site after work to get tested. If the Prince Charles had correctly informed me that they would be closed then I would have made other arrangements.

I fortunately found a nearby Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology at my local medical centre that was closing at 6pm.

I arrived to a nearly closed centre just in time and the nurse kindly performed the test for me and someone else it appeared.

I received a slightly different text from SNP than the one Queensland Health sends.

At 2:37pm the next day advising ” RESULT: COVID-19 virus NOT DETECTED.”

In the news Tuesday night there was talk a new TransTasman Bubble that had long been touted by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Now it was happening.

I wondered given our recent snap lockdowns what the upside was for New Zealand and while it was not being discussed openly I had to imagine there had to be an economic factor here.

Either way this would be good news for many on both sides of the Tasman sea and one that caused anxiety for others but it was happening either way.

On the 6th of April, 2021 the World Health Organisation reported there had been 131,531,981 confirmed cases globally with a daily increase of 453,834.

There had been 2,859,469 deaths worldwide with a daily increase of 6,819.

In New Zealand there had been 2,168 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 17. There had been 26 deaths.

In Papua New Guinea there had been 7,406 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 368. There had been 67 deaths with a daily increase of six.

In Australia there had been 29,357 confirmed cases with a daily increase of nine. There had been 909 deaths.

In Ireland there had been 238,466 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 318. There had been 4,718 deaths. Their recent surge over Christmas well over for now.

In Canada there had been 1,008,106 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 6,448. Just the day before the country had reached more than 1 million cases with 1,001,658. There had been 23,075 deaths with a daily increase of 25.

In the United Kingdom there had been 4,356,334 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2237. There had been 126,862 deaths with a daily increase of 26.

In India there had been 12,686,049 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 96,982! There had been 165,547 with a daily increase of 446.

Brazil hits 82,000 Covid deaths in April, new monthly record

In Brazil there had been 12,984,956 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 31,359. There had been 331433 deaths with a daily increase of 1,240. As mentioned in a previous post, on March 27th the country had reported their highest number of new daily cases with 100,158. The country recorded its highest daily number of deaths on the 10th of April with 4,249.

In the United States of America  30,413,124 with a daily increase of 41,108. There had been 551,769 deaths with a daily increase of 378.

I was back at work, able to go back out in the community, having been able to get tested.

In a few weeks I would a meal with my family having missed them at Easter and even earlier catch up with friends.

Other people had a much worse Easter and no such lovely events in the weeks ahead. I am very lucky.

-Lloyd Marken

ONE YEAR EARLIER: April 02, 2020. 

Captain Brett Crozier relieved of his command of the COVID stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt marched down the gangplank to the cheers of his 5,000 crew who knew he had put their lives first by urging an evacuation of the ship while it was docked in Guam. 

April 04, 2020.

A year earlier the World Health Organisation reported the number of cases in the world had crossed one million with 1,056,157 cases.

April 06, 2020.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

There were 743 active cases in Queensland recorded a year ago. There were now 70 active cases a year later to the day.

COVID-19 DIARY – REACHING CRITICAL MASK

20210116_175442
Karen and I masked up and ready to get some pizza! 16JAN2021. Copyright Lloyd Marken.

January 15

Friday I was at work in the office, wearing a mask and taking it off at my desk as I had been throughout the week. The lockdown had ended on Monday evening kicking off a ten day period of wearing masks amongst other restrictions.

The Public Health Directions from the Queensland Government were pretty clear.

A person must wear a face mask at all times when a person is outside of a principal place of residence in an impacted area.

Exemptions applied to infants and children 12 years and younger.

A person who is affected by a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a face mask, including problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition.

A person communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

A person who has past experiences of trauma and are unable to wear a face mask due to psychological impacts.

A person for whom wearing a face mask would create a risk to that person’s health and safety related to their work, as determined through Occupational Health and Safety guidelines.

Also.

A person being married while in the process of being married.

During an emergency.

While not exemptions, masks could removed by a person when they were eating or drinking; engaging in work that requires clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth; or directed to remove the face mask to ascertain identity.

Once those circumstances were over you had to put the mask back on as soon as practical.

On my up to the Toowong village to get my morning coffee I passed a man chowing down on a burger. If you were eating you didn’t have to be wearing a mask. Was this guy munching on a burger while waddling down ramps to avoid wearing a mask? On my way back I got in the elevator alone, at the last minute a woman jumped in sans mask. I’m not one for confrontation but my icy silence must have caught her attention. She gave me a big friendly smile and offered, “For me to have a really nice day.”

Often my fellow bloggers abroad tell me from their perspective they feel Australia has done a great job. I do feel very fortunate about the decisions that were made by all levels of government, I do think luck and isolation played its part but also good decisions were made and relatively early.

But people are people, a three day lockdown is nothing and here we were with the cracks already showing in a 10 day mandate to wear masks. How much would we have failed if called upon to deal with what people overseas had? How much could we still fail if our luck didn’t hold?

January 17

Sunday there was a family get together with my in-laws.

I wore a mask although government restrictions did not mandate it for such household gatherings where up to 20 people could gather. Clearly it would have offered ultimately no protection if something there had been infected with the virus which of course was highly unlikely.

There were currently 26 active cases in Queensland.

Why did I wear the mask?

Because I wanted to.

If it had been up to me alone, I would not have been there. Despite the low risk I just wanted some time to pass since the lockdown.

But in life you find you have competing obligations.

I am obligated to do things for my fellow human beings.

For my work colleagues.

For my family which includes my in-laws.

But most of all the person I am most obligated to consider the needs, safety and feelings of is my wife.

I made my decision to go and I made my decision to wear my mask.

It was a lovely get together.

On the 17th of January the World Health Organisation reported there had been 93,676,141 confirmed cases globally with a daily increase of 486,056.

There had been 2,010,864 deaths worldwide with a daily increase of 9,567.

The day before the death toll had reached more than 2 million people with 2,001,297.

In Australia there had been 28,689 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 20. There had been 909 Australian deaths.

In Canada there had been 695,707 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 6,816. There had been 17,729 deaths with a daily increase of 191.

In the United Kingdom there had been 3,357,365 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 41,342. There had been 88,590 deaths with a daily increase of 1,295.

Coronavirus: India confirms six cases of new Covid variant - BBC News

In India there had been 10,557,985 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 15,144. There had been 152,274 deaths with a daily increase of 181.

In the United States of America there had been 22,871,330 confirmed cases. There was no daily increase reported but the next day there was a daily increase of 473,093. This paled in comparison to the largest daily increase in confirmed cases of 667,188 on the 19th of December, 2020 also following a day of new reported cases.

There had been 381,522 deaths with no daily increase reported.

Here people talked fatalistically, spoke about a need to live. Caught up with others. Talked stats. Lamented economic consequences of state border closures. Interestingly not one of those fucking people were nurses and doctors. For lack of a better way to put it, these people were victims of our luck and success.

I hoped we would not squander it.

The vaccine was coming, now was not the time to lose our priorities.

We needed to see this through.

-Lloyd Marken