A very orange checking-in post

ID: fiery sunset in a cloudy sky, silhouetted trees below. ©careerusinterruptus

So, I’m three-quarters of the way through my rant against self-care. I know what I want to say to wrap this puppy up and move on. I’ve even written some of it.

But DAMN, 2022 is challenging my wordability. It’s like 2021 and 2020 weren’t even trying. (Ah, hell – maybe they did. I can’t bloody remember.)

Queensland protected itself from COVID brilliantly in the first two years. Closed our borders, mandated masks, instituted short lockdowns whenever there was a breakout, and stayed safe. As of January ‘22, we’d only had 7 deaths, from a population of 5.2m.

After we reached sufficient vaccination levels, just before Christmas, the State removed all restrictions. January’s wave delayed the start of the school year by a fortnight and we’ve now passed 700 deaths. Just as it’s finally impacting all of us – upwards of 8k cases/day – the media have gone silent. It’s normal now.

A couple weeks into term we lost another week to flooding. Water shot out of the sky so unthinkably hard, our Premier called it a “rain bomb”. It sounded like it – if you can imagine a blast going for three days. My family’s safe, but the sensory roar was tough, as was the torrent of news and images of familiar places under water. We still drive past homes and businesses with their ruined stuff piled on the kerb; your heart breaks for those people.

ID: A blue industrial skip piled high with all the stock from an orange two-story charity (thrift, or op) shop. Six air-conditioning units are mounted on the walls underneath barred windows; a sign on the right reads, ‘Donations’. ©careerusinterruptus

Moving south the rain raised Wilsons river by 14 metres – can you imagine that? 14 metres! – destroying a town of 29000 people. Thousands of homes, the CBD, under water two stories deep. Electricity, sewage, and clean water, internet and food, bridges and roads, out. Worse, all tiers of relief – from local to Federal – were slow and disorganised.

A month on, they still don’t have a high, dry, safe, tent city—and it’s just flooded again.

The truth is stark: Climate change is here, now. We are one of the wealthiest, most privileged countries on Earth. If we can’t cope effectively? Fuuuuuuuck.

In this context, the federal election (which will be called any minute now) looms pretty fucking large. And look, I know Australia isn’t as big a cheese as we like to think, but our choice truly will impact everyone on Earth. Per capita we’re the third-highest emitter; we have the highest GHG emissions from coal in the world. (‘Straya!) Our major political parties’ responses range from, “er, maybe we could reduce a bit?” to “coal – don’t be afraid!” If we don’t sort ourselves out, the rest of youse are fucked. I feel … responsible.

Billboard run by comedian Dan Ilic ahead of COP-26. Slogan reads, “Australia: Net Zero by 2300!”
To the right a kangaroo hops across the Outback, its tail on fire. Source

And indoors, the usual 2e jitterbug of projects, frustrations, challenges, successes. Family stuff to think about: illnesses, pregnancies, injuries, the elders. All the (not always terribly) normal stuff we usually need respite from.

I’m doing okay. A lot of cleaning and big, manual garden work, memes with the kids, re-reading my Julia Quinns. Just not a lot of writing. Bear with me, I’ll get there.