The most dangerous thing I do

Michael BalsonUpper Wilsons Creek

I’ve just spent a week at home in bed with a Coronavirus. Not that Coronavirus!… just one of hundreds of other flu viruses that have been going around the world forever.

I’ve had some bad ones where my body ached so much I could barely get up for a pee. But somehow, life went on.

But hey, I’ve climbed vertical rock escarpments un-roped, fallen backwards from extension ladders, survived storms at sea in small boats, been hit by lightning on Sydney Harbour, ducked gunshots in Algeria, weathered blizzards in the Atlas Mountains, and spent decades surfing in Byron’s shark-infested waters.

But by far the most dangerous thing I do regularly is drive my car, missing oncoming traffic by less than a metre, with closing speeds of over 200km an hour! Now that’s really wild, and most of us do it every day.

Authorities are scaring the bejesus out of us, and shutting down the world, putting millions of people out of work, costing trillions in lost business activity, all because of some middle-order flu virus! And after all this disruption, does COVID-19 just go away? Or does it become just another coronavirus?

Anyway, I got a phone call from a dear friend who thought that I might have COVID-19 and who didn’t want to see me until I was clear. So I dragged myself out and drove to the fever clinic at Lismore Base Hospital.

A nurse came out in full protective clothing, I told her symptoms began a few days after picking up two ill friends who had flown in from India via Singapore.

The nurse told me that because I did not fly myself, I was considered ‘low-risk’ and did not qualify for a swab. She didn’t seem too concerned, so why should I be? And that was that.

So what happens when the COVID-19 global recession is just a distant memory, and the real elephant walks back into the room? Let’s hope world leaders take on global warming with the same passion and commitment they have shown for COVID-19! This panic reminds us again that fear can be very persuasive.

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