Catastrophe

At the end of 2019, much of eastern Australia had been in drought for three years. Then a huge portion of it burned down. It was a fire season of epic proportions, with huge swathes of land completely burnt out. Smoke blanketed huge portions of NSW and Victoria, and some days, all you saw or smelled was smoke.

Then the pandemic began. COVID-19 began to spread around the world. Australia has done rather well, compared to many other countries. At this time, our deaths sit at 909, and our cases at 29,196. As I type, we have 146 active cases, all but three in hotel quarantine. Strict lockdowns, closed borders, and a population who has, on the large said: “Oh, all right then, if it’ll help someone else, then I’ll follow the rules,” has put us in this situation. Vaccination of the population has now begun, but only slowly. It will ramp up once we start producing our own Astra Zeneca vaccines.

Then the mice started. We’ve had a pretty good year for rain after all that heat and fire. Our farmers are producing the best crops they’ve had for years. But with more rain, and more feed, come mice. We’ve only had a few at our place, and due to our three indoor cats, the two we’ve had inside, met with furry misfortune. Farmers I know, however, have been inundated. Some areas of town have heaps. And of course, mousetraps and baits are now in short supply. There’s a thriving conversation on the ‘One Day Closer to Rain, Drought support page, about how to make your own traps and baits.

And this week, flooding began. Locations that this time last year were burning down or desperately dry, are currently inundated with water. Rivers are rising, and for one young couple, their house floated downstream on their wedding day – while they were stuck on either side of a flooded river.

It seems that we’re lurching from one disaster to the next.

Fortunately most people seem to be retaining their sense of humour.

I’ve been watching the news while writing this. IT’s all floods, floods, floods, and weather warnings. You see, this system has been primarily coastal, and the flooding is primarily coastal. I live about 100km inland. We’ve had some rain, but our local dam is still not nearly full enough. But…tomorrow another system comes in from the west. Hopefully we’ll get just enough water to top off the water table and fill our local dams.

And you never know, maybe it’ll drown all the mice…

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