My mother, Pat Parker (nee Platford) very late in life, decided to try and write her memoirs. Her health unfortunately deteriorated before she got very far with it. What follows is what she managed to get down on paper before leaving all the joy and pain behind. The title comes
Western democracies, and as far as can be ascertained, most closed societies, despite knowing more pandemics would come, failed not only to build on existing preparedness, but actually cut funding, This happened in Australia under the Abbott government who cut funding to the CSIRO and its Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong (now named The Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness).
The fake news being spread about the virus is doing just as much, if not more damage than the virus itself (notwithstanding the deaths). The virus will eventually run its course. The damage done by the campaigns of disinformation, gleefully published as legit news by the Murdoch empire and friends and spread even further via social media, will leave a more lasting and damaging scar on the public psyche.
My Great-Great Grandfather George Parker, named after King George IV, booked a berth for the price of some cloth. As a bonus he was granted a 7-year working holiday in a Sydney glass factory courtesy of George’s successor, King William IV. George was 18 – but would live to be 79 (almost as long as the indolent monarch whose name he was given). At the time, the average lifespan of male convicts was 61.
Campbelltown is only 35 kms from the heart of Sydney as the crow flies – yet growing up there in my formative years in the late ’60s through most of the 1970s, it may as well have been a world away. It was for instance, a timed and expensive STD call to phone the city, and to get there by public transport was a train straight from a Hitchcock film, with those separate little compartments made for going on epic cross continent adventure. Add sleeping berths and a food carriage and you’re on the poor man’s Orient Express.