• The Great Escape


Suddenly going bush in a caravan and homeschooling your kids doesn't seem like such a crazy idea, hey? 🤣

But all jokes aside, the speed in which the world has changed in recent weeks has definitely shaken us up a bit.

The world has been getting ever smaller in recent years with a global economy and the ability to safely and cheaply travel from one side of the earth to the other. But right now with travel bans, countries isolated from each other, lockdowns, and very few international flights it suddenly feels like a bloody big place. A place where even my family just across the ditch in Melbourne feel like they're a hell of a long way away.

I understand why this is happening, and I accept that it is necessary. I very much hope that it is temporary. But what I can't understand and can't accept is how divisive things are becoming.

In times of trouble Aussies and Kiwis alike pull together. We do it when there's drought. When there's bushfires. In earthquakes, eruptions, floods, and terror attacks.

But now? Now by necessity we must pull away from each other, and as a result I'm seeing so much division. I see so many people looking out for themselves. When you can't buy toilet paper (of all things!) at the shop because some people feel their need is grater than all others. When foreign visitors are blamed simply for being here, and told to go back where they came from. When people of Asian descent are subject to racist attacks for something that's completely outside of their responsibility or control. And everyone seems to sit somewhere along the scale of "she'll be right mate" to "apocalypse now", each thinking the way they feel is the correct way to respond, with many berating others for not responding in the same way. And sadly I also see people exploiting these divisions to push their own agendas.

I would have thought that in times like this we'd show compassion for our fellow man, and perhaps some gratitude for what we have. You know, the way us Aussies and Kiwis usually do?

Sure, we can't buy all the things we'd usually buy at the shops. But for so many people around the world that is the norm, and for us all it means is we have to adapt a little bit. It doesn't mean we're going hungry. And it's a great opportunity to change things up in the kitchen, maybe try some vegetarian options, or to think about reusable items like cloth nappies and menstrual cups.

Sure we can't see the people that we love as often as we'd like. But at least we know if they're safe, and we can keep in touch. And we have our own safe spaces to retreat to. We don't live in a slum. We're not fleeing from a warzone. We still live in a country that is safe and secure, with excellent healthcare. And that makes us much luckier than most people on the planet.

And yes, we have to curb our wanderlust for the time being. But perhaps it's what our Earth needs for a time, to recover a little bit too.

These times are unprecedented, unpredictable and uncertain. And that's pretty scary. A great many of us will hit financial hardship. We don't all have emergency savings. Jobs will be lost. It will be hard to pay the rent. Mental Health issues will be on the rise, so will suicides and family violence. People already living on the breadline may be forced into homelessness and poverty. And of course some of us will get sick, and some of us will lose loved ones. So if we want to get through this we need to stop the divisiveness and start looking out for each other. And while I suspect things will never quite be the same as they were before, I have hope for the future and I'm looking forward to the adventures still to come.

And just an FYI - toilet paper is not a necessary item. Particularly in a first world country with easy access to power and running water. I'm sure we'll all find a way to get by if we have to 😉🤣💩

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