A little over a year ago I was working out of a beach shack in Goa and hastily decided to dash back to Australia to ride out the emerging pandemic. Sure, I’m a bit of a risk taker, but it just wasn’t practical to risk staying there on the visa I had. I had to leave and come back within a couple of months, but who would take me, and would India let me back in? Some thought I was too hasty and should stay.
I fractured my right pelvis ring in three places and would be in traction in hospital for around six weeks. That is, I would lie on my back in bed, not able to get up, even to go to the bathroom the ENTIRE time. FABULOUS! Oh the dignity of it all. I still had tubes, wires, and drips attached to all different parts of my body, I was heavily sedated, and couldn’t move. I could open my eyes and talk now, so I could communicate by more than just body convulsions as I went into shock, as I did the previous day when my mother expressed her displeasure at my irresponsibility.
While Christmas and New Years are supposed to be a time for joy, celebrating with friends, giving, and receiving, for many it can be incredibly stressful, exhausting, and even lonely. Whether it is the pressures at work of getting everything done by Christmas, work Christmas parties, spending time with difficult relatives, having the perfectly decorated house, buying the best gifts for your kids and relatives, or perhaps even not having anyone to share it with, there are things we can do to take care of ourselves and those around us this silly season.
In the late 1990s I studied at University in Japan when the world was fascinated by Toyota’s low car defect rates compared to every other brand on the market. It was driving the proud American, car hungry consumer insane! Their efficiency and reliability was so inexplicable, intoxicating, and seemingly unobtainably magical, they termed it ‘X-Efficiency’ and people came from the world over to study this new manufacturing witchcraft. What does this have to do with India?
“There is something called Trump derangement syndrome, ‘TDS,’ Jevaan informed me. “That's the name they have given it in America. And they say it's a threat to democracy, but he was democratically elected, you have to accept it. The problem is you were not able to accept what the other person sees; the other person's perspective is not being digested. And if the person who doesn't have your perspective, has an opposite perspective, he is a bigot. So how can it be a danger to democracy if somebody has been democratic elected? So that's a problem. That's the way that people exaggerate it.”
“It wasn’t about the lying (about the size of the crowd), it was that he was so upset about it,” Dan explained. “Even then I could see that he was ignoring facts. I could see very clearly in that first event that this man was not in touch with reality, and I got really scared on Inauguration Day. Within a week of his inauguration I was thinking he was unstable. “Also, that was when I started to notice the other disturbing pattern, that his supporters will accept the most outrageous red herrings. They will take anything that they would never have accepted from another politician, for the most thin and ridiculous explanations for his behaviours. They will take those and latch onto them like they have believed in them their whole lives.
Sometimes life has a way of teaching us lessons we didn’t know we needed to be taught. There are a lot of ways it can do this: through our relationships with friends and family, through natural and unnatural disasters, and through our pursuit of professional fulfilment… For me, some of my biggest lessons have come from my body, which has sent me the gift of a chronic, ‘incurable’ condition to battle for well over half of my life.
When you are bored and want to cry Remember, you’ve got WIFI! Isolation Isolation When your wardrobe gets a glance But you end up in sweat pants Isolation Isolation
Michael Knight, or Mick as his mates call him, is a 78 year old who has suffered from asbestosis for the past 35 years, has arthritis in most of his joints he has to take pain killers for, and recently survived a horrendous, protracted, and simultaneous bout of COVID19 AND pneumonia. If you think this coronavirus is just another flu; you need to hear Mick’s story. If you are curious about what it is like to get COVID19 and what you should do if you, or someone you know gets it; you need to hear Mick’s story. If you are one of those people who doesn’t think they need to abide by social distancing norms; Mick says you’re a “f*cking idiot.”
Then there is that special form of sickness. The one that when people talk about it, their whole face and bodies change from the sheer traumatic memory of it. You know, when you were travelling and you ate something from a street vendor?