I was overseas with my mother from the 2nd of March 2020, to the 18th of March 2020. A lot happened with coronavirus in Australia during this time, and when we returned, we were legally required to enter self-isolation. This is my brief diary to document my experiences. (For other posts see: Prelude. Part one. Part two. Part three. Part four.)


10 days to go!

I went out into the kennels first thing, to clean and let the rescue dog out. He’s brilliantly house trained, so I knew he’d be holding on until I put him out. He had a play with our dog as I cleaned and tidied the kennels and poop scooped, of course.

I’m pretty excited about rearranging that cupboard, but that has to wait for me to get my blog post from yesterday up. By the time I edited the blog post for yesterday, it was 9:30am.

I took a couple of dogs for a walk, and then came in to organise the cupboard! Very happy to dismantle some boxes as I put things in their permanent home. Discovered some items that I had forgotten about, and some that didn’t belong in the cupboard, which overall made the day a very challenging one.

I made the same banana pancake recipe for lunch. I burnt the coconut oil and it made the house smell for the rest of the day.

I got a phone enquiry for the rescue dog, but she was concerned about me having coronavirus… She actually asked, about the dog, “Do you touch him?” It’s interesting times and I’m glad I’ve only got one nice dog to rehome right now, now a kennel full of them.

I planted two trees – the start of my orchard! It was much easier to dig the holes than I anticipated.

My new orchard!
My new orchard!

I came in and how a shower and washed my hair to get all that garden off of me.

I received an email saying all vollie functions at Zoos SA have ceased. (I volunteer there as a guide every few weeks.) Every now and then there’s an event or an statement and you realise how bad this coronavirus threat is. This email was one of them. Apparently, the cessation of volunteer services at the zoos is never-before-seen measures. Another layer of the coronavirus issue is the primate exhibits at the zoo, where extra barriers have been brought in to make sure people can’t infect the primates with coronavirus. It’s another level of complexity.

Overall, I am enjoying my life at home. It is easy for me imagine me having a like working as a novelist or dog trainer at home – living like this all the time. It was in 2018 I said that I wanted to be a published novelist in 10 years time but… I don’t think that’s going to happen without some pretty big breaks. And also it probably requires me doing something with my novels besides writing and editing them.

My evening was uneventful. I farted around online, gave dogs dinner and ate my own, and watched the last episode of Chernoybl with hubby. I did a few dog transfers for adopted dogs.


On Schools

There’s been a lot on my newsfeed about schools and whether they should be open or not, due to coronavirus. I am home on mandatory self isolation, so therefore I have had time to form an opinion on something that I would not normally care about. Further, I have the time to write it down. Aren’t you lucky.

Schools should be closed. Schools do not have the facilities to maintain social-distancing or even, in some cases, hand washing. (I have seen teachers (Plural!), posting that their school has run out of hand sanitiser or even soap.) The idea that schools have enough room in each classroom to keep children 1.5 metres from each other is ridiculous, and even more so that each child should have two metres square of space each.

Further, schools remaining open instill activity in the rest of the population. Parents and grandparents go to and from school. Teachers, SSOs, groundkeepers, receptionists, also move to and from school. When we’ve been advised to stay home, these people are still moving around, putting petrol in their cars, shopping for items for school lunchboxes, and so forth. If restricting human-human contact is important, then schools being open compel people to interact.

There’s a lot of talk about whether children are at risk or not, or are simply risky because they are virus carriers. I don’t think these arguments matter, because children are not existing in a school without adults. There are adults there, who do have plenty of risk, and are being forced to be active in the community due to the continued functioning of shcools.

There’s also the argument: Schools need to stay open so parents can continue to go to work. Schools are not a baby-sitting service. Schools are educational institutions that exist for learning purposes, not for child-minding. Saying schools should stay open so there is somewhere for kids while parents to go is belittling to the teaching profession. If we really want somewhere for children to go while their parents work, I would suggest Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services stay open, not schools. However, that would still bring about the other human-interaction issues, listed above.

Finally, I have heard that, “For some kids, school is the only safe space they have.” I know this is true, but that doesn’t mean that school should be left open. If a child’s home environment is unsafe, then there needs to be intervention and support around that. Even when school is open, the child is still spending 75% of their weekday in a home environment, or 100% on a weekend. The solution is not to keep schools open, it’s to fix home. 

So,in conclusion: schools should be closed. They can’t maintain safe spaces for children. They encourage community activity. They put the adults working there at risk (and probably children too). They are not a baby-sitting institution and shouldn’t be used as such. They do not have a responsibility to provide ‘the one safe space’ in a child’s life. Schools should be closed. 

But then, I might just be bitter because I’m sitting at home, without pay, and feel like everyone else should too.