Why I decided to stay in Australia, with its darkest moment yet to come
Yesterday I needed to make the hard decision, whether I should leave Australia or not. Better leave, while there are still flights? Better leave, while there is another country which did not close its borders yet? Better flee to a country with a better health system? Better rescue myself and go to a country which keeps the virus in check? Ironically, Hong Kong would be the much better choice now than Australia. Looking around it is obvious that Australia will face the same faith as Italy and Germany. But if I decide to stay, when will I be able to go back to Germany again?
My personal deadline to fly out was Sunday. I decided this on Wednesday based on the data and estimated that I am not allowed to enter Singapore or Hong Kong any more after this Sunday without going into quarantine. Although still at 385, infections rose exponentially and it was foreseeable that all countries will soon require for all people coming from Australia going into a 14 day quarantine. In case there is still an airline, that allows people from Australia to enter the plane.
On the other side, I planed to travel until the end of Apirl. Is there any reason not to do it? Maybe I get a better medical treatment, if I might need it, in another country. Maybe I get infected here, because new infections go through the roof. Am I putting my health at risk?! I decided to stay. Things are bad at the moment, but there is still a day after tomorrow and we continue with our lives, as long as we are responsible, do the reasonable thing, protect ourselves and care for one another.
Thinking about it more, it turns out, deciding to leave, would be the same reasoning like stockpiling toilet paper. The world is not coming to an end!
Am I crazy? With all that what is happening, I continue with my travels? I am not. I am here now and it is most likely more risky to catch the virus when I do two long haul flights, than staying and keeping the distiance right now.
Unfotunately, I needed to do some shopping.
Sitting on the tram in Melbourne, there was a guy sitting accross me, chewing on his dirty fingernails. I am the shy guy, otherwise I would have shooted: “You stupid idiot!”. Instead, I said nothing. Should I have said something? Most people I see in the city, did not get the message. I cannot talk to everybody. How should I say it?! Is it polite to remind people on there body hygiene or on their behavior? At the end, I blamed myself not to have said something. Not at least having it tried. If one that is infected, infects at least three others, how about the figure of a (maybe) not infected talking to at least 10 others, to prevent them from beeing infected?
On the way back in the tram, a big family entered. A mum with three girls and a son. They sat down and started munching on their fries and burgers. WITH THEIR FINGERS! I could not hold back and tried my luck: “Sorry, awww, sorry, may I ask you a question?” - “Sure!” - “Did you wash your hands before starting eating?”. The mum immediatelly shot out: “Yes!!!” and I responded: “Very good!”. I did not go all the way into a discussion, whether they are sure that they did not touch anything contaminated between washing and entering the tram. That would be too much for everybody and especially me. I played with my phone and was observing what happens. Interestingly, the joyfull munching came to an end after a few more bites.
When entering into the accomodation, the neighbor taking the same lift up, approached me, because he was irritated about me wearing a face mask: “Do you know that wearing face masks does only make sense for people that are infected?”, I answered: “How do you know that I am not infected? I don’t test it every day!”. A fruitful discussion was arising, with a typical argument I hear quite often here in Autralia: “The government is not doing enough!”. I got a bit angry and said: “Why do we need the government, when everybody can do the reasonable thing?”. Blaming and waiting does not help anything.
My decision: Speaking with people about their body hygiene and protective behavior is the right thing to do, simply because its affecting my personal health and everyone elses. My life is in the hands of you guys, Australiens! We are all in this together! Can you please do better than Germany?!
It turns out, that a stubborn and logically thinking German is actually at a place, where that line of thiniking seems to be needed the most!