Much as I prefer to believe that the coronavirus pandemic is not cause for concern, things are getting weirder and weirder. Whilst we are not now in lockdown per se, we are not meant to leave our homes except to go to work/study, the doctor, the supermarket, or exercise.
Work has made this a bit easier – much as I am reluctant to work from home rather than the habit of my adult life of going to the office, tonight I was obliged to take my laptop home and will be spending at least three days per week working from home. This is probably for the best, as whilst public transport is almost entirely deserted, I suspect that the risk of catching something is greater when on the way to and from the office.
But all this adds to the surreality of what is going on. Most shops are closed, cafes and restaurants are more likely to close for the duration, and people are in their homes rather than out on the streets or going about their usual daily business. How long will this last?
The latest relief package from the federal government (I do keep careful count of these, and the cost is now over $300 billion) supposedly caused the share market to go up by some ‘record’ amount this afternoon. What happens on a day when there is no new relief package announced? And I heard about the relief package whilst grabbing my bus this morning at 7.20am, long before the ASX opened. The share market was all over the place, including down, for much of the day.
More soberly, over 723,000 infections so far, and now over 34,000 deaths. Luckily, the respective numbers in Australia are just over 4000 and under 20. We probably are doing something right to contain it here, and our healthcare system is of better quality than elsewhere, but that just goes to show how lucky we are to live here.