Perhaps it’s whole new world…

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Country life has suddenly become fashionable again. Those who can are fleeing the cities to their families and country cousins. Families are being reunited on a scale that surpasses Christmas and Easter. There is a lot of adapting to be done on all fronts.

Perhaps it’s the kind of tree change that we have all craved. It might even become permanent as we discover or rediscover the joys of simple values and a straightforward way of life devoid of traffic snarl-ups, noisy building sites, the daily scramble for school, sports and cultural commitments; the unbridled competition to be better, richer, more-instagrammable than everyone else. Have we at last got our lives – or a part of them – back? The very same lives that have been borrowed from us by social media. After the initial boredom shock, we might all find how liberating it is. Free at last to use the internet and social media on our own terms, rather than for it to use us.

It will be tough for many though and one wonders at the wisdom of the NSW Government allowing domestic violence prisoners out on parole – the very same government that let the Coronavirus “out on parole” from the Ruby Princess cruise ship a week or so ago.

–        The stories of busloads of foreigners raiding local supermarkets and butcher shops will doubtless become folklore. But the gall of these people to deny country folk – many of whom shop only once a week anyway – access to necessities when they are further from supply chains than their city cousins, defies common decency.

–        My local postmistress informs me that the police turned away a busload of raiders from a Wangaratta supermarket the other day. The manager at Tocumwal IGA did the same – without calling the police.

–        Speaking of which, whenever I have shopped at my local IGA, I have not yet found the empty shelves portrayed elsewhere. I am told this is because IGA do not rely on the “just in time” computerised restocking process that the larger supermarkets use and are still able to telephone central warehousing to fill orders.

–        The aforementioned postmistress says a local farm had to close its farm gate egg sales as raiders were pinching them. Greed and fear do strange things to us.

–        An elderly woman was hospitalised having been knocked to the ground in a supermarket car park for her pack of loo paper.

–        But there is some upside to this current crisis: we are no longer being bored witless by climate change, gender identity and how “woke” we all are. In fact woke seems to have gone to sleep – perhaps permanently. After all, these issues are all very well in their peculiar ways, but you can’t eat them, blow your nose with them or wipe your derriere with them.

How are you surviving this new, surreal world we now find ourselves in?

Edwina McFarland,

Lake Mokoan.