r) DECEMBER – I give up!

After 2 years, seems we are nowhere near the end. And in May this year we thought we were through the worst of it and it was all over! Now that the Omnicron variant is here, we all need a third booster as it seems 2 vaccinations are not enough to protect against Omnicron and numbers are going way up again. It seems that it is much more transmissible, but luckily not as deadly as Delta. Even the booster doesn’t seem to stop you getting it, but means you are not as sick as you would be without it. Daily case numbers have been doubling in December, from 5K to 10K and then 20K a day. Year 12 formals disrupted again with some students dressed in their finery and ready to go when the formal is then cancelled! Hundreds of thousands of cases a day overseas. So far hospitalisations are manageable. Rapid Antigen Tests are the new toilet paper, the moment chemists get them they sell out instantly. Some chemists are price gouging charging 3 times the standard price. Rules are changing at the speed of light – amazingly QLD finally stopped making tourists get PCR tests for entry and accepted RAT tests – but the government had not got enough stock of RAT tests in early enough so they are as rare as hen’s teeth. WA is pulling its borders tighter and tighter – I really can’t see it opening on the proposed 5th Feb date especially seeing that QLD case numbers are going up and up since opening the borders. National cabinet says they have a national definition now of a close contact – someone in a household like situation that you have spent 4 hours with. Gov’t is struggling to change the message – before it was get tested even if you have a single sneeze or cough, now the testing system is overloaded and they are saying stay away! Do a RAT test instead. We have been told by NSW Health that we will all get Omnicron, it is just a matter of time. To date around 1.5% of Australians have had Covid, whereas overseas in places like Europe it is around 30% of their populations. I think they eventually want it to be seen like a cold – stay away from people if you are sick, go to hospital if really sick – but they have a long way to go to reverse the messages of the last 2 years. And that could all fall apart if a new deadlier variant strain arrives.

2022 is looking like a repeat of 2020 and 2021. Time to shift my focus away from the pandemic and just get on with it I think. So last Covid blog. Stay safe!

Toilet paper saga again


Could it be that we are getting closer to normal? NSW cases been hovering under 300 for some time. The predicted peak of case in October when we opened up didn’t materialise thankfully. Still wearing masks indoors, still QR codes and still urging the stubborn people to get vaccinated. But everything is pretty much open again, all the restrictions are slowly slipping away, so do i dare say it, it is looking good! VIC cases still over 1000 but they are opening their borders, QLD says they will open theirs near Xmas and WA – well who knows. When WA opens their borders that will be a sign that it is almost all over. Australia is starting to welcome back people from overseas and I think hotel quarantine is being given the boot too. So it is looking good. It is always a good sign when there aren’t lots of memes floating around – perhaps the blog will be ready to change direction again soom!


Crazy month. Melbourne managed to beat the world record on the number of days locked down. And they had an earthquake. Gladys had to quit as ICAC was investigating her about her dodgy boyfriend, and Dom took up the reins. Poor Gladys she got so close to getting Sydney out of lockdown. 16 weeks and when we hit 70% vaxxed we were finally allowed to go to the pub and get a haircut! Vaccination rates in NSW have been excellent, not so much in QLD and WA. Dom shook everything up and started opening up at lightning speed, the 11am press conferences stopped, and we seemed to reach a peak and have been holding steady for awhile at around 300 cases a day. Anti-vaxxers still making lots of noise. Vic cases still close to 2000 a day. QLD says it will open just in time for Xmas, WA still saying next year and looks like quarantine stuff is being toned down and overseas travel will be opening up.



Maybe Sydney hit the peak daily cases at 1599? We hope so. Hoping that the vaccine benefits are kicking in now. NSW has hit 80% first dose and almost 50% fully vaxxed. Concern that vaccination rates will start to slow down as we get close to the amount of people who will be vaccinated. Plan is we start to open up at 70% fully vaxxed – was looking like Oct 18th, now possibly Oct 11th. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile Dan Andrews who was so smug – was planning on teaching Gladys a lesson on if she had shut down straight away instead of waiting then they wouldn’t have to lock down for age like NSW has. So he locked down straight away and as of mid September they have been locked down 6 weeks with no end in sight and they are up to 500 cases a day. Not so clever after all.  Meanwhile WA is living the dream, raking in heaps of profits from their minerals, no cases and not intending to ever open the borders I think – we will get to go overseas before we get to WA (or QLD at this rate). Then today we had this announcement about AUKUS – a new security partnership: ‘AUKUS’: US, UK & Australia announce new trilateral security partnership for Indo-Pacific (republicworld.com)


In lockdown last year I started my 7th university qualification, after all, there’s only so much bread you can bake. (Full disclosure, I didn’t actually bake any bread).  I’ve continued my study this year, and my current subject is Analyse: Evaluation and Assessment in Learning Design. It has brought to the surface, yet again, something that has bothered me for a long time, what we teach and how we assess our senior high school students in NSW. I was blogging a lot about this before the blog was hijacked by Covid. My personal self-imposed mission is to help students cope with the academic demands of school, in a system that I think is outdated and places unnecessary stress on them. Even more so this year with the uncertainty around the HSC examinations (we are still waiting for the new timetable to drop.)

But what is the purpose of Year 11 and 12? One could argue that Years 7-10 is about grounding students in a comprehensive general knowledge and understanding of the basics of things like mathematics, literature, history, geography, science, music, the arts and so on. I am on board with this. We want to make sure we grow a generation of students who know a bit about the world they live in and have developed skills of critical thinking and analysis.

However, that argument doesn’t hold in the senior years as otherwise all subjects would be compulsory. If I want to be a scientist, why I am made to also choose at least 3 other unrelated subjects that I have interest in learning in-depth. This is one of the reasons students get frustrated. “Why am I learning this? I am never going to use this in my life.”

Students who choose not to go to university and study a non-ATAR pathway have much better options these days. They can study VET subjects and subjects more relevant to their future life. Sadly there still remains some stigma around this pathway, yet the reality is not everyone wants to attend University and that is a perfectly valid path.

For those students looking at a potential university pathway, there currently are limited options for more relevant or life skills subjects.

As an ex-teacher, it always bothered me in staff meetings when people complained, but didn’t put forward a solution. I’d love to say throw out the whole system and re-design it from scratch, but I am a realist.  That is never going to happen sadly. So here is my proposal to modify our existing system to make it more relevant and palatable for more students.

Step 1: Create a new suite of academic subjects that can be counted for the ATAR, but that offer skills or learnings that students may find relevant and useful for life after school. I am talking about subjects like Psychology, Financial Skills & Investing, World Politics, Thinking Skills, Saving the Environment, Civics and Citizenship…just to name a few off the top of my head. Many of the non-ATAR subjects actually fit into this category, and could be beefed up to make them a more academic version of the subject that could then be counted towards the ATAR. So many of the current subjects do not have real world applications. The biggest complaint I hear from senior students is this is such a waste of time why do I need to know this I will never use this in my life. We need to give them at least some options where we can justify why it might be useful for later on. Yes there are still students that won’t be happy, but let’s get to that going then we can see what we need to do to address the needs of this then much smaller group.

Step 2: Year 11 is asked to look at the traditional range of subjects available and choose subjects that they think will be useful for their future career or university course, or are something they are interested in. They might plan to be a marine biologist, but they also have a passion for Modern History or Visual Arts. Great, go for it.

(As a corollary to this, I’d like to see a lot more time and money invested in careers education for students in Year 10. Some schools do a great job, in others it is tokenistic, but overall there is not nearly enough funding or allocation of lessons for students in Year 10 to really help them explore different careers or courses they might find interesting.)

Step 3: If there are not 6 subjects they are keen on, then for Term 1 Year 11 students still need to fill up the rest of their subject options from the traditional courses. This is to ensure that they don’t later say, oh I should have also studied Economics. Also good for students who still have no idea what they want to do when school finishes. So to start with, Year 11 would be just like it currently is, and a chance to try before they buy.

(A conversation with another educator who asked why do we need this step prompted me to add this: Many of the ‘traditional’ subjects would kick up a hell of a fuss if other more relevant and appealing subjects were offered. Plus people  argue ‘oh but they need to give these traditional subjects a go as they might find they actually enjoy them’. I don’t agree with either of these viewpoints, and I’d be happy to skip this, but to pacify the naysayers I thought well let them choose from traditional subjects first, give them a go for a term, then they can drop the subjects they don’t find appealing and move on.  Now I think more about it, the way to go would be to introduce just two new relevant subjects each year for a period of 5 years. Change by stealth.  If there were another 10 subjects available that were more relevant, interesting and appealing to senior students, I think that would stem much of their dissatisfaction and frustration with the senior years.)

Step 4: At the end of Term 1, having had a good taste of their subjects, Year 11 students decide which ones they will keep, and which ones are not relevant or interesting for them and will be replaced with one of the new Life Learning subjects. So none of those new subjects start until Term 2.

This would mean that some students would continue with their 6 traditional subjects. Some would keep say 4 of those subjects, and pick up, for example, Psychology and Financial Skills instead.

If students feel they can choose subjects that they are interested in, or will find relevant for their future life, engagement and satisfaction levels would shoot through the roof and frustration levels would markedly decrease. NESA did this for non-ATAR students, gave them a chance to study subjects that are more relevant for them. NESA now needs to do the same for the ATAR students. 

When I was in the senior years there were 2 subjects I wanted to do, the other 4 I chose were the ones I hated least. How depressing. I don’t want this to continue for future students.

Just in case you aren’t clear what I want, NESA needs to develop a greater range of life relevant and contemporary subjects with enough academic rigour that they can be counted for the ATAR.

Step 5: Make the final HSC exams open book. Why oh why are we still testing memorisation skills so heavily? This just creates massive stress and undue pressure on students. I can’t remember the last time I had a test at university that was testing my memorisation skills. Time to draw a line in the sand. They have had enough memorisation practice by the end of Year 10. (Although if we took it away in the senior years it would trickle down to the junior years too over time.)

Step 6: Apparently only 30% of students still use an ATAR to get into university. So why are we even having these final high-pressured exams? Perhaps instead, the highly competitive courses have an entrance exams students sit (like the GMAT and UCAT) and we ditch summative exams altogether and move purely to formative assessment. This would be transformative as we could focus purely on the learning experiences over the senior years, expanding students’ minds, and having students achieve benchmarks and standards rather than grading to a curve.

(An educator sent this to me:  I worry that if unis are allowed to sit their own exams, they will become de facto the important thing, and the HSC credential will lose something widely applicable. (I worry that we may already be there with the announcement that the ATARS this year will come out before the HSC results!). I want there to be one respected credential for kids going to uni, and those who aren’t, and those who don’t know…)

I don’t know the answer for university entrances, there has to be a better system somewhere in the world – and if it is not sorted by then that’s another thing I’ll research in retirement…

There is so much widespread dissatisfaction with the current model for Years 11/12 in NSW, but nothing seems to change. Surely there are some people in positions of power that can open these discussions?? Would love to know who they are. Maybe if you share this post I’ll find them?

(If you are interested in what sparked this rant, chapter 10 of this book: https://cetl.ppu.edu/sites/default/files/publications/-John_Biggs_and_Catherine_Tang-_Teaching_for_Quali-BookFiorg-.pdf )

If you made it to the end of this post, well done. At least it made me feel better to get this off my chest.

This is all part of a long term plan, when I ‘retire’ in 15 years or so my mission and retirement plan so I am not bored is then to push for serious reform of the education system. I’ll have time then, no pressure to earn income and nothing to lose.


An educator also sent this to me: I also wish we were having a discussion about how many subjects we think should be required for the HSC. Maybe we should have students doing 7 subjects in Year 11, and present three for the HSC…?? Or stacks of other options too?? Maybe 12 units for the HSC, which could be 6 2 unit courses, or 3 4 until courses, depending on your interests and ambitions…?

I also like this idea – it is a bit like a model of what you do in University as you progress from first year and then become more specialised. Now I think about it, why do we make them do 5-6 subjects for the HSC? That is a heavy load. Even if we kept it so Year 11 you do your 12 years and Year 12 you only do 8 units? There are many other options that could be debated.

l) END AUGUST 2021

Well it’s 9 weeks since the Sydney lockdown began. No end in sight.
– Cases have just been going up. Haven’t hit 1000 in a day yet, but it is getting closer and closer.
– Lockdown has been extended to end of September.
– Home schooling to at least the end of Term 3.
– Lockdown has become tighter in the LGAs of concern with a curfew from 9pm to 5am.
– Vaccine rates are also increasing which are promising. The aim is to get to 70/80% asap.
– The Delta virus is spreading more into children so the worry is will students even get back to school at all this year.
– People are still breaking the rules and having parties and gatherings. What really is wrong with people???

Timeline: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/delta-s-dawn-our-winter-of-discontent-20210827-p58mjc.html

j) MID AUGUST 2021 (Year 12)

The NSW Govt announced that Year 12 would be going back to school 16th August which was 2 weeks prior to the lockdown ending (not that we think it will end then). Although the intentions were good, ie get Year 12 back to class, let them experience their last year, let them do their exams – it wasn’t well thought out. Unlike the Alpha variant, with the Delta variant young people are at high risk of infection. So why would we want to get them on public transport then put them together in one place at school? Some schools have 150 different postcodes attending. The next plan was that we would get all the Year 12 students vaccinated and send them back to schools 3 days later. Of course this didn’t make much sense either as they would have only had one dose and it takes weeks for it to even take effect. Then it was announced that no they wouldn’t be going back to school yet, they would be doing their Trial HSC exams online. Well at least they weren’t being forced to school but such chaos and uncertainty for the students. Some had already done their Trials, some were already rescheduled, some schools decided to cancel, some to do the exams online, some to do an alternate assessment task. Next plan is that the Qudos Bank Arena would be turned into a max vaccination hub and the Year 12 students in the most affected LGAs would get vaccinated in a week so that later they could get back to school – unspecified as to when. As there were not enough Pfizer doses, the government cancelled people’s bookings in regional areas to divert the doses to Year 12 in Sydney. Not a popular decision. Some of the people whose appointments were cancelled were actually teachers! No fast track for them. Status is still unclear. It is unlikely Year 12 will get back to school much this term, but the government is planning on going ahead with the HSC exams in November – although they have pushed the start date back a week and there is even talk of holding them outside. The Year 12 students in the forums have not been impressed with all of this (see below), lots of calls to cancel the exams, petitions etc – then the regional kids saying hang on you guys are saying you are being disadvantaged, regional students have been disadvantaged for years! I hope they get to experience some of the last weeks of school and graduations and formals etc, otherwise it is an abrupt end to all their years of schooling.




Well August is here and Sydney cases are out of control. Feels like for days it has been 200-300 cases a day in Sydney with at least 50 people infectious in the community during that time. Although there is lip service to the idea of trying to get back to 0 cases in the community so we can end lockdown (currently supposed to end in Sydney at the end of August after 9 weeks) really the strategy has now switched to getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible. No-one believes we will get back to 0 easily but we are hoping some restrictions may be lifted at the end of August. NSW is aiming for 6 million doses by end of August and 10 million people fully vaccinated asap. Astra Zeneca is now being given to anybody who wants it – all the guidelines seem to have been thrown out of the window. People can get vaccinated at chemists, there are walk-in vaccine places and even some drive through ones opening up. Already there is talk of vaccine passports, mandatory vaccine status in some workplaces. In France you can’t eat in a restaurant or cafe unless you have been vaccinated. The areas where the most cases are have harsher restrictions, like masks outside, 5km radius for exercise, and only leave the LGA for work if they are an essential worker. The construction industry was shut down for a few weeks but huge pressure led to it opening up then under certain restrictions. Those in the worse affected LGAs will be able to go back to work only if they are fully vaccinated. So the upside is that vaccination rates are rapidly climbing. The downside is that hospitality, retail and so many other businesses are just suffering so badly I really can’t see how they will survive. There are so many for lease signs everywhere. It is heartbreaking. The government financial support has come in fast for workers, but hardly anyone I know in business has received anything 6 weeks into the lockdown. I guess it will arrive eventually. I am thinking that this is the new normal, this is what life is going to be like for a really long time. Life will be changed forever in many ways. The impact of this virus will be felt for generations to come – even just paying for all the costs associated with testing, vaccinating and supporting people financially.  Many people think we will be in some form of restrictions until at least Xmas. And it is not just Sydney. Delta snuck out to Newcastle when a young person from Sydney broke the rules and went to a party at a beach in Swansea. It has also popped up in Orange and Armidale. Victoria also has gone into a state wide lockdown to try and stem the cases that have popped up there. Same with QLD and now Cairns.


The Bondi cluster is at 566 as of 11th July with the daily case numbers expected to be over 100 today. 2 weeks into lockdown and things don’t seem to be improving – we are probably looking at quite a few weeks of lockdown now. People are not doing a strict lockdown – they are visiting family, going to furniture shops etc and as the Delta strain is so transmissible the contact tracers can barely keep up. And people have been withholding information from the contact tracers too. The rest of the States seem OK now, and surprisingly it hasn’t escaped out of Sydney into regional areas – despite people being caught out of area, often dobbed in by locals. The State of Origin was going to be moved to Newcastle, now it is going to the Gold Coast. The NRL is moving all the football teams to QLD in a few days, I suspect QLD will follow VIC and shut their borders to all of NSW after that. People are being encouraged to bring their second AV shot forward and we should be getting a lot more Pfizer vaccines into Australia soon. Let’s see how long this lockdown lasts, I would think at least 6 weeks.

e) JUNE 2021 – IT’S BACK!

Well I spoke too soon since the last blog entry. Delta is wreaking havoc in Australia.

Melbourne was just about over their lockdown and it seemed like Australia would be clear for awhile. Sydney hadn’t had a case for ages, it felt like things were finally back to normal again. Optimistically we all book holidays for the next school holidays for a winter break. Then, in mid June, a quarantine transport worker in Sydney drives people from the airport. He’s unvaccinated, doesn’t wear a mask and gets the virus. Within 2 weeks Sydney has 150 cases from this Bondi cluster and is in a full lockdown for 2 weeks. Nightmare. Turns out he wasn’t breaking any laws as the rules did not apply to private transport. Rule now changed – but horse bolted. NSW criticised for not doing the full lockdown more quickly, probably fair enough given that it is this Delta strain that is incredibly infectious – you just pass someone in a shopping centre and you get it. Then 100% of your household gets it. Including children – this strain is not by-passing kids. Of course it is easy to see what to do with hindsight.



And a more lighthearted article:


Darwin then enters lockdown after the detection of five new COVID-19 cases linked to a Central Australian mine. The miners are FIFO workers and 400 of them who are now potentially infections have spread out all over the country and they are frantically trying to track them all down: NT mine-linked COVID outbreak grows by two (msn.com)

There are cases popping up in WA and QLD, who both go into short lock downs. Borders start slamming shut everywhere: Meanwhile in Australia *PART 22* 🤪😭😳🤣 – YouTube

Everyone’s school holiday plans gone. Businesses and workers about to lose a lot of income again. Tourism and restaurants in deep trouble again.

People are also getting fined for breaking the rules:

Meanwhile only about 3% of the Australian population is fully vaccinated. The AZ vaccine was first for those under 60. Then it was changed to under 50. Then we were giving it all to the Pacific Islands and no-one was having it. Then anyone who wanted it could have it. No wonder people have been a bit wary. But I think all these cases and lockdowns will lift the vaccination rates so hopefully things will eventually start to get better.

d) APRIL / MAY 2021

Hands up if you are over Corona? Everyone! Well not much happening, the memes have almost disappeared only one new one I have seen la

Feel like nothing much has changed in the last few months, same old same old life with Corona:

  • Vaccine program in Australia rolling out really slowly, why they didn’t have a team of mobile nurses going straight to nursing homes and retirement villages first I don’t know. Lots of stuff in the media spooking people. Lots of uncertainty about how long the vaccines will last, side effects etc.
  • USA is giving people incentives to vaccinate like the change to win big dollars.
  • Looks like Aust Govt thinking borders will be shut till mid 2022. Although a travel bubble is in place with New Zealand. Was going to be one with Singapore but they have had more outbreaks.
  • Olympics in Japan still going ahead soon. How and why???
  • India has had massive outbreaks and a big death toll. The Indian variant of the strain is supposed to be highly contagious.
  • Every now and then we get a few cases in Australia and restrictions are put in place, we dust off the masks and States shut borders to other states. Melbourne is in it’s 4th lockdown at the moment and they are hoping it will just be a week. They had another toilet paper panic. Sigh.


c) MARCH 2021

I feel like we haven’t made too much progress since the last post. Vaccine roll out has been slow – concerns over vaccines and blood clots, vaccines being promised from overseas then not delivered, federal not giving the states more power to do vaccines, a few mini outbreaks and mini lockdowns. And even though the vaccine is being administered overseas, things don’t seem to be much better there. I think it is going to take even longer than we expected for the world to come back to some form of normality.

The best summary of all are the Jimmy Rees videos, hilarious, I think they are up to Part 13 now.
Meanwhile in Australia – Jimmy Rees – YouTube


The vaccine is just starting to be rolled out across Australia.  There are a number of different vaccines, at the moment the frontline health and quarantine workers are the ones getting the Pfizer vaccine. It is the one that has to be stored at super cool temperatures. A batch has already been lost in Melbourne as they were not sure what temperature it was stored at. An a doctor administered 4 times the dose to two aged care residents, turns out he hadn’t done his training. Apart from that, all going smoothly apart from the anti-vaxxers demonstrating every now and then.

On the plus side I think all borders across all the States may actually be open at the moment! Although really who knows. NSW has not had a community transmission case for 40 days – longest record for NSW since the pandemic started. Still lots popping up in hotel quarantine. Although it has been hard to keep up the NSW as Facebook and the Aust Govt are fighting and they shut down all news sites on FB in one fell swoop.

We only have to wear facemasks on public transport, but we still need to sign in with the Service HSW app. Although at a pub the other night they did a pop check and only 10% of people signed in, people apparently just point their phone to the QR code but don’t bother clicking on the two things to sign in. Definitely a sense of complacency creeping in. This is how it was just before Xmas then we had an outbreak and lockdown.

Qantas is now saying not March but October they will start international travel again but who knows what the rest of the world will be like by then. You’d be brave to book an overseas flight for this year I reckon.

The memes have definitely dropped off but still a few around.


I really thought we were mostly done with the whole Covid thing. Now I realise 2021 will probably be the same as 2020, without the shock value. Even if a vaccine is sorted, it will take a lot of time to distribute it and for it to go away. NYE was the quietest Sydney had ever seen. I think we will expect more of the same this year. Lots of debate as to whether the cricket should go ahead in Sydney this week.

The Australia day lamb add for 2020 pokes fun at the crazy state border rules:

Australian Lamb: Make Lamb, Not Walls – YouTube

And the Jimmy Rees videos poking fun at the States are hilarious:

Jimmy Rees – YouTube

What did you do during Covid???

What a year! Running large group seminars in schools, I think we were the first to have our business collapse overnight and the last to get back to how things used to be. So with a lot of time suddenly on my hands, what did I do with 2020?


  1. Participated in a Fundraising webinar for Women’s Community Shelters.
  2. Created a free Remote Home Learning online course for secondary schools.
  3. Revamped the Online versions of my f2f sessions and created some new ones (great to see schools finally open to learning in this way, I’ve had them online for the last 5 years!).
  4. Created a Preparing in Primary for High School transition course (with Nat).
  5. Gave the Study Samurai Library website a facelift (with Rocky).
  6. Revamped the ELES main business sites. 
  7. Developed a Consultancy package for schools (with Danni).
  8. Starting running my Sessions via Zoom (& Teams/Meet) and was surprised how well it worked.
  9. Enrolled in full time uni for Sem 2 and next year to do a Grad Cert in Learning Design and think in future I might look at doing some of the free open university courses too as I don’t think overseas travel will happen for a few years.


  1. Cancelled the trips for this year (Japan, Broome, Portugual, Spain, Switzerland). Almost as much work as booking.
  2. Went sightseeing in my own city (Sydney) doing things like whale-watching (when we were allowed out).
  3. Took up a few local causes of injustice and had success getting banks and council to change policies.
  4. Read an awful lot. But that is nothing to do with Covid, it is in my top 3 passions and I read every day am & pm.
  5. Knitted wildlife pouches, but had to get a 8 year old to crochet them together cause I can’t crochet.
  6. Planned to get fit. Planned. I did quit the gym and start doing Zumba from YouTube in the lounge room.
  7. Planned to eat healthily. Yeah that one just didn’t stick yet, but I live in hope.
  8. Ordered lots of take-away restaurant meals purely to support them of course.
  9. Ate all the bread, cakes and fancy meals my husband spent his time in lockdown cooking.
  10. Fed a look of kookaburras and lorikeets who came to the balcony and gave the cat a lot of laps.
  11. Then to top things off, in September my brother had a long-awaited heart and double-lung transplant so that was pretty full on for a few months…

Everyone has had a different experience during this time. For some people it has been catastrophic with businesses collapsing, for others life hasn’t changed much, and others have loved being able to get out of the rat race and slow life down a bit. (I however actually loved my pre-Covid life and want it back!).

Here are my two best and worst things about 2020 for me personally.


  1. No travel. This would be probably my biggest passion in life. I haven’t been stuck in Australia for this long a period for over 25 years. Yes I know there are way worse places to be stuck! And of course during COVID I think we are all grateful to be in Australia and not somewhere else. But I miss overseas travel and have no idea when it will possibly start up again. It feeds my soul, stimulates my mind and provides a reset on daily life. I miss it so much.
  2. Overall stress. The overall stress about the world, how things are, the effect on business, the anxiety of the unknown, the lack or certainty, the number of people suffering and doing it tough – it is all just really hard for all of us to live with. My anxiety levels, like everyone’s, have definitely been high this year.


  1. Business development. Having to pivot and adapt the business means that in the last 6 months I have done more intense business development than I have over the last 12 years – since before I started the PhD! While it has been stressful, I have had the time to do new projects and reassess the business.
  2. No more hairdressers! I’d never been brave enough to try a box dye as I remember my mum’s hair dye disasters! But needs must, and I love it! I love saving so much money and time (I hate going to the hairdresser) and I love that I will be able to do this on extended travel trips now too.


Just travel in Australia then….Yes I can and I do and I will. We have seen heaps of Australia, Broome is one of my fav places and I have been a number of times.  But for me, the travel we do in Australia is not the same as going overseas and here’s why.


If you run your own business, it is very hard to disconnect. Especially when you don’t have employees. When we are overseas, generally while we are out doing things during the day, everyone in Oz is asleep and there are no emails or phone calls.  They all happen while I am asleep, then I deal with them briefly in batch when I wake up. But I can go about the day not needing to check or deal with work issues.


I get bored easily which is why I read a lot and work a lot. I have tried to find hobbies over the years, but nothing has endured. One of the things I love about travel is it is so stimulating and interesting. The more different to my normal life the better. When I travel in Australia, it’s the same currency, food, people… yawn, yawn, yawn. Yes slight differences, but not enough to blow my mind in any way. There’s no unknown, no excitement of crazy different things to see or experience like you find in another country. It is so interesting seeing how other people live such different lives. Plus we have seen quite a bit of Australia. There are still a few places in Oz I’d be interested in going, but they are a week here and there, not like spending in month in say Turkey. Plus there so many incredible and iconic things to see and do (and eat) in other countries from man-made things like Coliseum to natural things like Niagara Falls.


Having grown up in small little towns and having a Forester father who took us camping all the time, yeah I’m done with that. Camping is not for me. If you are a city slicker who never experienced this much then yes it would be different and stimulating. If you are someone who loves the whole camping and tents and being out isolated in the bush, then good for you, go for it. We are all different. I love being in nature definitely, but I want to go back to somewhere flash at night with a nice hot bath and a good restaurant meal. I find tents and bush toilets and cooking over a campfire messy and tedious and uncomfortable.


I prefer to travel rather than holiday. If I want downtime, I would rather have that at home and sleep in my own bed. I don’t want to go away on a holiday and do nothing. I don’t want to go away to lie on a beach as I can walk to an amazing beach at home in 10 minutes. I would rather travel than go on a holiday. I’m not into going to other locations and lazing around, if I go to other locations I want to be stimulated to see and do interesting things. I want to find out all about the local and regional food and have adventures.

So yes while Covid is still on we will do some small trips in Australia, but this is why it doesn’t float my boat like going overseas does.

NOTE: This blog has evolved over time. Originally set up for a Masters of Education subject (and you will see a list of pages along the top that relate to some of the subjects), then it became a diary of what the PhD process was like (not all of the entries show up on the menu so here is where they start). After the PhD was finished the focus changed to looking at how we can improve the current educational system, particularly the experience of students in Year 11 and 12. This is part of a long term project I want to do and I was capturing thoughts and ideas along the way.

COVID: When Covid started I quickly realised this was a unique moment in history and I wanted to capture my thoughts (and all the memes which give a real insight into general feel during this time (I’m a chronicler, can’t help it). Who knows what the blog will become after this (hopefully) ends. This blog is really for me – unless I get things out of my head and capture them and wrote them down I feel like my head will explode.




Sigh. We were doing just so well. Vaccine being rolled out in the UK, coming to us next year. No community transmission cases across Australia for ages. It was all starting to feel normal again. Then slam, a week out from Xmas a new cluster erupts in Sydney.

So it turns out that even though we put returned overseas travellers into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days, we just rely on overseas flight crew to do the right thing. So now we have found that they are not all doing the right thing, we are going to change the rules (a bit after the horse has bolted sadly). They have not yet found the sources of the outbreak, but DNA testing has shown it is a US strain, possibly from flight crew who a week or so prior had been found not to be staying in their hotels as they were supposed to.

So then an older couple in Avalon was found to be positive. But they got tested and then instead of quarantining till they got their results – they went to beaches and cafes and shops and restaurants! So selfish!!! So that sparked a new cluster with the numbers rising to 17 and then to 28.

All of a sudden the Xmas period is in disarray for many people. Gladys asks the northern beaches people, all 250K of them from the spit bridge to palm beach to stay home for 3 days. It’s not an order, but a request. Beaches are shut, many shops and restaurants shut down.

Unfortunately on the northern beaches many people think the rules don’t apply to them and still go about their business.

But lots of people do and the traffic drops off considerably past our place just on the other side of the Spit bridge. All of those who haven’t done their Xmas shopping are a bit stressed. Everyone is hoping they will be able to get out to do their Xmas food shopping, although I can’t see things getting under control that quickly.

Of course the great toilet paper rush started again.

There are joke calls to lift the spit bridge and cut off the northern beaches – unfortunately some people don’t realise that articles like this are satire: The Rest Of Australia Tells Sydney’s Northern Beaches To Keep That Fucking Bridge Up — The Betoota Advocate

Queues for testing are hours long. Lots of pop up clinics open on the northern beaches.

Next the different states all start to put in restrictions and most states are refusing entry or requiring 14 days quarantine to people from the northern beaches. So families who thought they were able to get together for Xmas – won’t be. There is a massive rush to get in or out before restrictions some in place that night.  WA of course takes a hard line so people who were on a plane to Perth discover that while they are in the air things have changed and they need to get tested and quarantine.

Coronavirus Australia: State-by-state guide to remaining COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Christmas and New Year (9news.com.au)

My family pre-Xmas gathering at Manly dam is cancelled and as most of the family lives on the northern beaches we probably won’t be able to get together. It has certainly meant a disappointing Xmas for many people.

Many northern beaches people would love people to stay away forever:


We all wait each day for the 11am press conference to find out what will happen for Xmas this year. We know the borders are all closing, but can we see family in Sydney?

The cases continue to pop up – not huge amounts but 9 or 7 a day. The city is divided into zones with different rules. There are rules for before Xmas, then different rules for Dec 24.25.26 and then we go back to the previous rules. It’s all a bit confusing. But really the rule should be:

I actually think Gladys strikes a good balance between compassion and restraint. Basically for 3 days, those north of Narrabeen bridge (the red zone) cannot have any visitors from outside the zone, but if someone in Avalon is on tehir own they can go to the neighbours for lunch. The other part of the northern beaches, well they still aren’t allowed to leave the area, but people outside the area can come and see them within those 3 days.

I do like this version too:

And then these:

But the reality is this:

Of course not everyone does the right thing


New Years eve will likely be restricted too

And now we have a new strain to worry about



Things are getting under control in Australia. The Victorian lockdown is over. SA had a blip, but the pizza guy ended up having lied so it only lasted a few days. Looks like all the borders may finally be down in Oz by Dec although WA may be requiring some quarantine. NSW and VIC have had bugger all locally transmitted cases, but we are still getting lots of cases in hotel quarantine of returned travellers. That’s because overseas is a real mess still. Heaps of cases still in Europe and USA. A vaccine is looking promising, maybe in the first half of next year. Qantas is saying they will require people to have a vaccine to get on an international flight. Fair enough, I don’t want the anti-vaxxers on the plane with me anyway. Much less people wearing masks, less social distancing although businesses are supposed to be enforcing it. Some restaurants are more thorough than others. One more month to go in this year.





This article from the washington post is a good summary:

Australia has almost eliminated the coronavirus — by putting faith in science


November 5, 2020 at 8:16 p.m. GMT+11

SYDNEY — The Sydney Opera House has reopened. Almost 40,000 spectators attended the city’s rugby league grand final. Workers are being urged to return to their offices.

Australia has become a pandemic success story.

The nation of 26 million is close to eliminating community transmission of the coronavirus, having defeated a second wave just as infections surge again in Europe and the United States.

No new cases were reported on the island continent Thursday, and only seven since Saturday, besides travelers in hotel quarantine. Eighteen patients are hospitalized with covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. One is in an intensive care unit. Melbourne, the main hotbed of Australia’s outbreak that recently emerged from lockdown, has not reported a case since Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, in the United States, 52,049 people are hospitalized and 10,445 are in an ICU, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer effort to document the pandemic. America’s daily new cases topped 100,000 on Wednesday, and its death toll exceeds 234,000, a staggering figure even accounting for its greater population than Australia, which has recorded 907 deaths.

“I never thought we would ­really get to zero, which is amazing,” said Sharon Lewin, the ­Melbourne-based director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, which provided forecasts in February that formed the basis of the Australian government’s response. “I’ve been going out nonstop, booking restaurants, shopping, getting my nails done and my hair cut.”

Australia’s coronavirus ‘dictator’ enforces a drastic lockdown. He’s still popular.

As North America, Europe, India, Brazil and other regions and countries struggle to bring tens of thousands of daily infections under control, Australia provides a real-time road map for democracies to manage the pandemic. Its experience, along with New Zealand’s, also shows that success in containing the virus isn’t limited to East Asian states (Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan) or those with authoritarian leaders (China, Vietnam).

Several practical measures contributed to Australia’s success, experts say. The country chose to quickly and tightly seal its borders, a step some others, notably in Europe, did not take. Health officials rapidly built up the manpower to track down and isolate outbreaks. And unlike the U.S. approach, all of Australia’s states either shut their domestic borders or severely limited movement for interstate and, in some cases, intra­state travelers.

Perhaps most important, though, leaders from across the ideological spectrum persuaded Australians to take the pandemic seriously early on and prepared them to give up civil liberties they had never lost before, even during two world wars.

“We told the public: ‘This is serious; we want your cooperation,’ ” said Marylouise McLaws, a Sydney-based epidemiologist at the University of New South Wales and a World Health Organization adviser.

A lack of partisan rancor increased the effectiveness of the message, McLaws said in an interview.

The conservative prime minister, Scott Morrison, formed a national cabinet with state leaders — known as premiers — from all parties to coordinate decisions. Political conflict was largely suspended, at least initially, and many Australians saw their politicians working together to avert a health crisis.

“Regardless of who you vote for, most Australians would agree their leaders have a real care for their constituents and a following of science,” McLaws said. “I think that helped dramatically.”

Heeding expert advice

Australians’ willingness to conform — especially in Melbourne, where residents endured a lengthy state-ordered lockdown — reflects political attitudes that differ from those in parts of the United States. In a nation where compulsory voting produces conventionally center-left or center-right political leaders, governments tend to be regarded as the solution to society’s problems rather than the cause.

Australia’s national response was led by Health Minister Greg Hunt, a former McKinsey & Co. management consultant and a Yale University graduate. Hunt and Morrison worked with the state premiers, who hold responsibility for on-the-ground health policy, to develop a common approach to the pandemic.

The government closed Australia’s borders to travelers from China on Feb. 1, the same day as the Trump administration in the United States. But unlike the Trump administration, which has criticized its primary infectious-disease adviser, Anthony S. Fauci, Hunt relied heavily on health experts from the start.

“In January and February, we were focused on containing the risk of a catastrophic outbreak,” Hunt said in an interview. “We had a clear strategic plan, which was the combination of containment and capacity-building.”

The secret to Australia’s success in beating the coronavirus? Being an island helps.

“We closed the border and concentrated on testing, tracing and social distancing,” he added. “We built up our capacity to fight the virus in primary and aged care and hospitals. We invested in ventilators, and vaccine and treatment research.”

Hunt’s department oversaw the purchase of huge amounts of protective equipment and clothing, including masks, which became mandatory on Aug. 2 in the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located.

After a sick doctor in his 70s treated more than 70 people in the city before being diagnosed, Hunt accelerated a 10-year plan to phase in video consultations with physicians. Within 10 days, almost anyone in Australia could see a doctor over the Internet under Australia’s highly subsidized health-care system, including psychiatrists.

Australia plans free vaccines if trial succeeds

When private hospitals said they were in danger of going broke because non-urgent surgery had been canceled, the government stepped in with emergency funding, securing beds that could be used for coronavirus patients.

In private, Hunt swapped ­practical stories with his wife, Paula Hunt, a former infectious-
diseases nurse who kept a 1995 bestseller by U.S. science journalist Laurie Garrett, “The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance,” on her bedside table, he said.


“It’s valuable to have a very strong sounding board,” he said.

Not without hiccups

The coordination was not always smooth, and lapses did occur. Federal officials were uncomfortable with Melbourne’s extreme lockdown and felt the state border closures went too far. Hunt, Morrison and federal health advisers tried to criticize the rules without undermining overall confidence in the response.

While opinion polls show strong support for the tough measures, many people have been badly affected. Australia entered its first recession in 29 years, small businesses have closed, and reports of depression are up. On Tuesday, an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne turned violent. Police arrested 404 people.

Melbourne lifts one of world’s longest lockdowns after 111 days

And for a time, it appeared Australia’s early success was imperiled, after lax security at hotels in Melbourne that were housing returned travelers led to a second outbreak in July. By August, more than 700 cases a day were diagnosed. It looked like Australia could lose control of the virus.

Almost all public life in Melbourne ended. After 111 days of lockdown, the number of average daily cases fell below five. On Oct. 28, state officials allowed residents to leave their homes for any reason.

Australia currently bans its citizens and residents from overseas travel, a decision that has been particularly tough on its 7.5 million immigrants.

On Oct. 16, Australia opened its border to New Zealand, which, despite limited outbreaks, never experienced a full second wave. The government is awaiting results of four vaccine trials in which it has invested.

Most Australians will have access to a vaccine by the middle of next year, Hunt said, a major step toward allowing them to travel.




It is hard to keep track of what has been happening. More of the same I guess. The federation is still fractured with states not letting in other states. Will WA ever open its borders? And QLD is also anti the rest of Oz. Sports things have moved to QLD due to the number of cases in Melbourne. It feels like Melbourne has been in lockdown forever. How are all those shops and restaurants possibly going to survive? NSW is doing ok, a few cases popping up now and then. People still wearing masks – but less and less people I feel. I don’t even know what our current restrictions are right now. Talk of a vaccine seems to have dropped out of the news. Overseas travel seems to be off the cards for next year, and who knows about the year after. Europe and USA  (and other parts of the world) don’t seem to be getting things under control.

We are now at 44 million cases across the world, over a million deaths, 10 million active cases.


France has registered a record 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, following a record 45,422 on Saturday, the health ministry said, as a second wave of cases surges through Europe.

The new cases took the total to 1,138,507, with France now ahead of Argentina and Spain to register the world’s fifth highest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.

In the past three days, France has registered over 139,000 new cases, which is more than the 132,000 cases registered during the two-month lockdown from mid-March to mid-May.

The health ministry said that 116 people had died from coronavirus infection over the past 24 hours, compared to from 137 on Saturday, taking the total to 34,761.

The number of people who tested positive during massive testing under way in the whole country increased to 17%, from 16% on Saturday and around 7% a month ago.

Like many other European countries, including neighbours Britain, Spain and Italy, France has seen a second wave hit in recent weeks.

The head of the Paris region health authority, Aurelien Rousseau, said on BFM television that the circulation of the virus in the region was accelerating and that the situation in French hospitals was becoming more and more tense.

The health ministry reported no hospital data on Sunday, but on Saturday the number of people in hospital with coronavirus rose by 652 to 15,660 and the number of people in intensive care by 59 to 2,500, compared to a peak of 7,148 during the lockdown in the spring.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a new state of emergency on Sunday in an effort to curb soaring coronavirus infections, imposing local night-time curfews and banning travel between regions in some cases.

The measures go into force from Sunday night and will require all regions except the Canary Islands to impose a night-time curfew and limit the number of people allowed to meet to six.

“We are living in an extreme situation … it is the most serious health crisis in the last century,” he told a news conference following a cabinet meeting.

Catalonia was one of the first regions on Sunday to use the new legislation to impose a curfew, which will take effect at 10pm. Establishments open to the public will have to close at 9pm.

Police were patrolling the city before the curfew took effect and locals welcomed the new rule.

Other regions that announced curfews from Sunday night included Cantabria and La Rioja.

Spain imposed one of the toughest lockdowns early on in the pandemic and then relaxed curbs over the summer.

The state of emergency will need parliamentary approval to last beyond 15 days. Sanchez asked for parliament to approve its extension up to May 9.


Oh yeah, and Trump got COVID. 


Ten days after he was diagnosed with having contracted the coronavirus, President Donald Trump was back out on the campaign trail, holding a rally Monday evening in Sanford, Florida.

“I went through it, now they say I’m immune. I just feel so powerful. I’ll walk into that audience… I’ll kiss everyone in that audience,” he told the crowd on Monday.

He didn’t. But experts say they are worried less about whether he is contagious and more about the risk for the crowd gathered at the rally.

Thousands packed the tarmac at the Orlando Sanford International Airport. They had waited for hours with no physical distancing and few wearing masks.

Experts fear the rally could become another superspreader event.

In fact, because of the extent to which the state has taken its reopening, some experts are concerned that Florida is on its way to becoming a COVID-19 hot spot again.

Reuters reports that the Sunshine State recorded more than 18,000 new COVID-19 cases this past week, a 13 percent rise from the week before. The state has more than 730,000 cases since the pandemic began.

“Florida is ripe for another large outbreak,” Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN.


Despite making progress after a difficult summer, most of the US is heading in the wrong direction again as the nation closes in on 200,000 COVID-19 deaths.
In 31 states, the number of new COVID-19 cases has increased by at least 10 per cent this past week compared to the previous week, according to data Sunday from Johns Hopkins University.
Only four states — Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana and Michigan — have had decreases of more than 10 per cent. Fifteen states are holding steady, including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington state.
And the test positivity rate — the percentage of new test results that are positive — is rising in 25 states, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
This is exactly what doctors feared would happen in the weeks following Labor Day, said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
“A couple of weeks ago, as we went in to Labor Day, we were talking about exactly this — and our worry that coming out of Labor Day, as we’ve seen after Memorial Day and July Fourth, we’d see an increase,” he said.
“And unfortunately, we’re walking into the fall, where weather gets colder. We’re going to spend more time indoors. So this is not where we want to be as a country right now.”
Utah set a new record high of 1,117 cases on Friday, Gov. Gary Herbert said Saturday. Mr Herbert extended Utah’s state of emergency until October 20.
Wisconsin also reported a record number of new cases — 2,533 on Friday. Health officials urged people to stay home, keep at least 1.5 metres distance from those outside their household, and wear masks in public.
Nationwide, more than 6.7 million people have been infected with coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. As of 3:45 p.m. ET Sunday, more than 199,400 have died.


COVID continues to be our focus this year
Things are still not great in Victoria. They are into Week 2 of their latest 6 week lock-down.

NSW is having some cases pop us (particularly Sydney and now Newcastle) but we are hoping with more people wearing masks and choosing to restrict going out, we won’t go back into lockdown and our cases won’t spike.

But QLD has decided they don’t want visitors anymore.


Well the rollercoaster continues.

There is still a lot of concern over mask wearing

It has also been a time when ‘Karen’s have taking a beating:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_(pejorative)

WA still wants nothing to do with us over east – especially as we are now in the second wave.

Especially now that things are getting a bit crazy in Victoria.

And the country was up in arms about this: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/health-safety/coronavirus-calls-for-harsher-penalties-for-teenagers-who-allegedly-failed-to-quarantine-in-queensland/news-story/53f45ab21470ac642bc57ac6b16ace03

Not only because they spread the virus to QLD which had been doing well, and they lied, and they wouldn’t cooperate – but also because of the way the media treated it and identified them.

So now Victoria has gone into some hard core lockdown rules. I would not want to be a restaurant in Melbourne – I think I would just pack up now.





I am not sure if it is like this in the rest of the world, but it is still crazy times in Australia.

State against state, mate against mate. WA has locked out us folks ‘from the east’ for some time as they have had no cases and so don’t want us anywhere near them. Truth be told, they are like the Basque region of Oz, if they could put up a big wall or form their own country they so would. Covid just gave them a genuine excuse to kick us all out. SA has been shut for some time too I think, but as Daniel Andrews said, who would want to holiday in SA ha ha. Not true I like SA! QLD has had it’s borders shut for some time, decided to open them half way through the NSW July school holidays resulting in long queues as people nicked off for a holiday. QLDers now worrying that their infection rates will spoke. Just when this was going on, VIC suddenly has a huge spike in cases. Was it due to the security guards sleeping with the folks in hotel quarantine? Large groups of people getting together for religious celebrations? Those pesky overseas travellers returning all who seem to have brought back a case of Coronavirus as a souvenir? Who knows. QLD promptly shut it’s borders to VIC. One guy tried to cross the border into QLD in a mate’s car boot, only to have the cops open it at the border check and say ‘hello buddy’. And of course refuse them entry and give them a 4K fine. A bus load of Victorians also got fined for trying to sneak into QLD. A guy from Vic rode his motorbike to QLD to get tyres for his Harley Davidson lied to get a pass to get into QLD and then boasted about it on Facebook – then got fined. We had to go to QLD for a funeral, you had to print the passes out then leave them on the windscreen the whole time.

It was two massive housing commission blocks in Victoria were the first to go back down into lockdown. This was followed soon after by most of Melbourne going back into lockdown for 6 weeks.


I feel very sorry for all the restaurants and bars who were open just a few weeks before being shut down again – after restocking fridges etc. So many of these restaurants won’t survive.

This whole thing did to some fabulous memes though:

It also made a mess for the poor folks living on the borders – people in Albury / Wodonga who are used to easily going back and forth finding they are having to sit in long queues for border crossings.

It has also become compulsory for people in Melbourne to wear a mask. Even though the rest of the world has been wearing masks for awhile, Australia hasn’t really embraced it. Mostly as we had medical people standing up on TV and saying there was no benefit to wearing a mask as protection to protect you for others, you only need to wear it if you have a cough. The rhetoric has changed now though, it is compulsory if you you go out in public in Melbourne, and in NSW it is recommended if you are somewhere where you can’t socially distance, like using public transport. Masks sold out in Melbourne pretty fast, and there is a lot of confusion around what sort of masks work and how you can leave them on for. Not to mention the price gouging.

Most of the masks being sold are disposable. apparently after awhile your breath makes it moist and so the mask stops working, you really should be replacing it regularly. But I bet lots of people in Melbourne just put the same one on when they leave the house to avoid the $200 fine even though it is doing nothing for them.

Some people are refusing to wear a mask too.


We were all doing so well.


But from the graphs below it looks like Victoria at least is in the dreaded second wave.



So Victoria is in a bit of a mess:


Here in Sydney we thought the worst of it was over. We all started going out again and doing stuff and eating out. But then a Melbourne guy sparked a cluster in the Sydney’s south west. Which then spread pretty quickly.



Now we are all starting to get a bit nervous again in Sydney and thinking maybe the same thing will happen here in a week or two. Obviously the rest of Australia thinks the same, even Newcastle doesn’t want a bar of us.


So let’s see if our restaurants all shut down and we need to wear masks in public too. Of course it doesn’t help when idiots do things like hold a house party of 60 people in an air bnb in Sydney.

And it doesn’t help that people won’t follow the rules.

Of course this is playing havoc with the economy.

But the government, who has certainly not been shy in handing out money, is extending the jobkeeper scheme past September, but a more nuanced version of it.


The worry now is that people are getting too complacent and not doing all of the social distancing they should be doing. So lots of reminders popping up.


A new milestone. 10 million cases, half a million deaths.



It’s really looking like Australians will not be doing any overseas travel until maybe September 2021.

Victoria has had a big outbreak. Seems people are not following the rules, or that they are not quarantining when returning from home instead going to a big family gathering, or they get tested then hop on a train from Melb to Sydney without waiting for the results or security guards sleep with people quarantined in hotels… yep it’s crazy stuff. Apparently lots of people in quarantine refuse to be tested. WTF?? Why is this allowed?

Borders are starting to open everywhere but no-one wants to let Victorians in! NSW people will be allowed in QLD for the 2nd week of the July school holidays – why the Premier didn’t let tourism have the whole 2 weeks holiday who knows. You have to fill in a declaration form and are stopped at the border to check. WA holding form and not letting anyone from ‘over east’ in. 

The rules are really hard to keep up with – things changing all the time.


The Black Lives Matter protests and the repercussions from this have also dominated June and into July.

There were lots of protests, lots of tearing down statues. I personally think if a statue should be removed it should be done in an orderly way through the correct channels, or at least try that first before putting a rope around it dragging it through the streets and checking it in a river.

It has also meant that movies like Gone With The Wind were suddenly banned, then allowed to be shown with a 4 minute intro explaining the problems in it. Lots of TV shows pulled.

Then lots of products were encouraged to change their names. Colonial Beer. The Dixie Chicks became the Chicks. Lollies were next.

Things are not going well overseas, UK and USA the worst with highest deaths per million of population.


Australia is not popular with China right now after calling for an investigation into where the virus originated.


Last month China lashed out at Scott Morrison as deserving ‘a slap in the face’ for trying to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on the communist state, warning any push for an independent inquiry into the virus’ origins will spark a travel and trade boycott.


Global Times editor Hu Xijin also reportedly shared a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo comparing Australia to chewing gum. “After the epidemic, we need to have more risk awareness when doing business with Australia and also when we send our children to study there,” he wrote. “Australia is always there, making trouble. It is a bit like chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes. Sometimes you have to find a stone to rub it off.”

Interstate borders are still closed.

Things have gone from Remote Learning and plans for a gradual few days a week gradual return of kids, to everyone is going back right now!

However we have been told to expect that cases will crop up. Within a few days of the kids going back to school Riverview had to shut down for a few day then Waverly and Moriah had a case too.

While some places are going all out to make sure people social distance – like this park in Berlin:

However may people are just ignoring the rules, not social distancing and doing their own thing. So lots of fines:

Here’s the latest stats:

USA now over 100,000 deaths. Still no work on the horizon for us though. We were the first to lose work and I think we will be the last to get back. No way anny large groups will be allowed for some time, especially in schools. We put in a brave face but it can be tough at times.

Some other points:

– There are still lots of dodgy cures circulating for the gullible: https://www.australia.gov.au/covid-19-mythbusting

– From June 1st we are allowed to do travel within the state: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-19/holidays-within-nsw-allowed-as-coronavirus-restrictions-eased/12263914

– Restaurants can have up to 50 people provided they have the space to socially distance: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-23/nsw-coronavirus-restrictions-to-ease-in-restaurants-june-1/12276082


Corona was overshadowed late May and early June by the killing of George Floyd: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_George_Floyd

More info coming out and more stimulus.


We have all been encouraged to download the COVIDSafe App, I think we might be up to 5 million people now.

“The COVIDSafe app helps find close contacts of COVID-19 cases. The app helps state and territory health officials to quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The COVIDSafe app speeds up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means you’ll be contacted more quickly if you are at risk. This reduces the chances of you passing on the virus to your family, friends and other people in the community.”

It seems a bit odd that it only racks when you have been in contact with someone for 15 minutes when you consider how contagious it is.

Restrictions are starting to lift a little bit now.  The Federal government introduced their plan to try and get back to normality:

Now each State has to determine what they will allow.

NSW is allowing 5 people to visit a home, and 10 people in a restaurant. For lots of restaurants this means it is not worth opening and they will wait until more people are allowed to be in the restaurant.

Schools are starting to go back, at first mainly Year 12 and only a day a week for other year groups, but schools are being encouraged to get all students back in the classroom as quickly as possible. There is also a push for people to drive instead of taking public transport or take public transport outside of peak hours.

And we are all sooo relieved the NRL is starting up again soon…

We did however have a lovely Flower Moon this month to take our minds off the madness.

I did think this was funny though:




Well we are all getting well and truly over it now. No-one is even panic buying toilet paper anymore.

People are starting to not follow the rules so much anymore. This was at Balmoral Beach! Police making people move on as you are allowed on the beach to exercise but you can’t sit down or sunbake or picnic.

Although this sign on the northern beaches was bizarre.

May 1st was exciting though – two adults are now allowed to go and visit other people in their homes for ‘care’ reasons – basically to keep our mental health up. It may also be to see if we have indeed ‘flattened’ the curve and if we get a spike of cases in a few weeks. Not many new cases being found now, so anyone with any symptoms at all (rather than just people who have come in contact with others or are in a hot spot) are being encouraged to go and get tested. There is talk that if we get good numbers of people downloading the corona safe app (more on that later) restrictions may be eased even further and shops and restaurants MAY open. We will see. Unlikely any international travel this year though.

Let’s hope this is not what happens though:

I haven’t seen one of these for NSW but it is a good graphic of showing what MIGHT happen from here:

We are seeing lots of people who are normally filming in studios having to film at home and struggling with kids and pets:

I’ve always thought we have too many layers of government – every State has different rules at the moment of what you can and can’t do and every State is doing something different with schools.

Covid app schools


And we have had things like this: