Mar 312020

My parents never mentioned Spanish Flu, even though that virus killed more people worldwide than World War 1. Now here we are in another historical time and I am keen to keep a personal journal.

March 15th, Monday. Loved the U3A talk Professor Louis Roller gave at the Living and Learning Centre, Eltham. The topic was ‘You and your Medicine’, part of the 2020 Speaker’s Program. Jo Osbourne and I decided to attend, even though that afternoon we had our regular U3A Class ‘First Nations’. At the end of the talk, we had a window of 15 minutes in which to drive over to Diamond Creek, Senior Citizens Hall. A quick dash and we walked into the class, only to find that all U3A classes were to be cancelled as of midnight. What a shock! Only classes in the open air (bowling, walking) could continue, but how? We all sat around and discussed the next 2 weeks of term. A walk though Wattle Glen was suggested, as no-one wanted the term to end before Easter. I was already thinking ahead, that our Painting and Drawing Class could be en plein air in Wingrove Park; plenty of room to spread out and the forecast was for 29 degrees. Rather like Van Gogh and Gauguin, setting out with their easels along the canals in Provence.

March 16th, Tuesday. Surprised to have a breakfast call cancelling my Life Memoirs Class. What am I going to do with my 1,000 word story this week? Also a surprising phone call from my daughter Helen in Perth, to say that her proposed Easter trip would probably be off; Qantas cancelling many of their scheduled flights.

March 17th. Our weekly ramble with the Diamond Valley Bushwalkers is cancelled. Does the fresh air count for nothing? In this wonderful sunny autumn weather, surely we can be more flexible. It seems to me that civilisation has suddenly turned upside down.

March 20. Hurrah for ‘Tuning into Opera’. Our tutors Lyn and Tom Richards have come up with a plan on their blog. Now social distancing makes it impossible to meet, we can download the fine production of the Ring Cycle by Opera North, Leeds. The New York Met also promises to stream free some of their outstanding productions. Lyn has already worked out the days and times the operas commence (we are 15 hours ahead). Things are looking up.

March 24th. Over this last weekend I find we are at Stage 1 and we now have a National Cabinet. Japan has postponed the Tokyo Olympic Games. I am delighted to receive an invitation to a Life Memoir meeting this week. It appears that our leader Serena Sweeney has mastered Zoom. I will get to read my story after all, virtually. What fun, I have never conferenced a meeting on computer before. So this is the future, I am in awe of our resourceful seniors and it’s only taken a week to change!