Virus: A micro-organism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep itself alive and to replicate itself. (www.medicinenet.com) This Covid-19 virus simply sees the human race as “chemical machinery to keep itself alive and replicate itself”.
Who would ever have thought that something so small could be so deadly and wreak so much havoc on the world. It certainly has turned our world upside down.
We had hoped to be sailing from Wyee to Airlie Beach now to spend winter in Queensland. We are however stuck here for the foreseeable future in partial lockdown. There are worse places to be in lockdown. The numbers in Australia are really good even though we are only in a partial lockdown. At the time of writing this Australia has 6 747 Covid-19 cases and 89 deaths.
In anticipation of the trip to Airlie Beach I put a post on the Crew Finder website looking for crew to help us get the boat to Airlie Beach. As the crisis developed we have been swamped with offers to crew. All of them had one thing is common, they were really just looking for somewhere to stay. We have had to withdraw the post. We even had two Americans offer us money to get them to one of the Pacific Islands.
We are in lockdown in our on-site caravan in Jasmine Lakside Village. We are fortunate, we can still go to the local shopping centre to do shopping and we can move around the park quite freely subject to the social-distancing requirements.
We still need to do some essential repairs to the boat and have permission from the Australian Police to go to the boat to do the necessary repairs.
Being in partial lockdown has given me some time to reflect on where we are and where we are going. There is no doubt that the world is in serious trouble and it is going to be a very long time before we go back to the way we were. That is of course assuming that the world financial system doesn’t collapse. Right now the world leaders are trying to buy us out of this financial problem but I somehow doubt that we, as a society, have enough money to buy our way out of this. The numbers being thrown around are simply staggering and I have no idea where all this money is coming from.
I somehow suspect the governments are simply printing money and we know how this worked out for Zimbabwe. Time will tell how this ends. The markets are extremely volatile but it seems to me the current volatility is all sentiment, we will have to wait to see what effect the lockdowns around the world are having on companies earnings. My personal view is that there are many companies who will not survive. Those individuals and companies that have survived the past few years on the back of cheap credit will find the next few months very difficult.
I have a great deal of sympathy for those who have spent many years building their business only to have it all fall apart now through no fault of their own. I remember only too well the sacrifices I made to build my businesses.
I sold my last business just over 10 years ago and have spent the last 10 years traveling and seeing the world. Many of my peers have spent the last 10 years building their businesses at great sacrifice only to now see the business fall apart. Life is about choices I guess. I have paid a price for the last 10 years of freedom but given where we are right now I am certainly glad I made the choices I did 10 years ago.
There is no doubt that the world leaders will have to open their countries up again – the world simply cannot stay in lockdown much longer without a real risk of everything collapsing. There will however be a price to pay for doing so. They are going to have to make some very difficult decisions.
Our on-site caravan is fairly small and was designed as a holiday home, not ideal for a lockdown. We have converted the carport into an outdoor area so that we can spend time outside and have a little more space to live in.
The Australian government have been really good at providing support to their citizens and residents but have made it very clear that they will only support Australian citizens and residents – an “Australia first” approach. The are hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders and foreign students who are in dire straits but who do not qualify for support from the Australian government. Given that the borders are now closed they cannot go home even if they wanted to. I am not sure how they are going to cope in the next few months.
There are difficult times ahead.