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We are all in this together ...except Karen of Bunnings! 

I read with great interest Barry’s article about Daniel Andrews and it got me thinking about the intrusion of bureaucracy in to our lives and how Covid 19 has collateral damage.

And it all started with a visit to my local Pharmacy.

Tonight on my way home I called into the local chemist to purchase the usual monthly  crutch, that eases the high blood pressure that follows me.  What ! Bruce suffering  from stress?  Well Bruce you are the victim of your own makeup ...and at 86, nothing is going to change you now.

Well I came face to face with the effects of Covid 19 and its, collateral damage.  How? Well first of all the story has a thread, that of dementia.  

I mentioned stress and recently I had a battle on my hands when I ran foul of the autocracy of a public hospital  geriatrician who deemed that as a carer for my wife of eleven years, that I was doing a job of three people and that was no longer possible.  My bloody-mindedness, my obstinacy, clashed with the ‘establishment’, to a point where I asked to get rid of the ‘bulldust’ and tell me that if I moved to exercise the Enduring Power of Attorney, would the head geriatrician move to over-ride it.  The answer was equally blunt;  “ If I had to yes, but I would prefer not to’.

That gave me a way to relieve the hospital of not only my wife, but the ‘belligerent old man’, who was  seen to be ‘intransgient’.   I accepted the push for three weeks respite, as a precursor to permanent residency .   The fear was that the idea of ‘permanent residency’, in a Nursing home , could well place her even further out of reach, that the public system threatened.Well after two weeks in respite my wife came home and after three weeks  we went out for dinner and enjoyed a day out.  All of the fears that were spun in the hospital conference were no more than fodder to fulfil their push to remove a patient from hospital to nursing home.

So this finds me in the local chemist, that butts into the local Medical clinic that I have attended for nearly forty years.  The doors to the clinic/pharmacy are open and a voice asks how I am.  I ask the avid Collingwood devotee,”how her mother was faring”. 

 download 2020 07 30T114533.926

The clinician is a youngish 60, blond and damned efficient.  We have known each other for years ..and her Mum and two brothers are residents in Melbourne. The two men  are doctors, one a geriatrician and the other in control of ADF men on a border control.   

But Mum ....The pain was obvious.  You see the Clinician’s Mum, who has dementia  is a recent resident to a nursing home in Melbourne ... and that anxiety  and masked pain I saw tonight.  Doctors the two brothers maybe, but even they have not been able to see their Mother. 

Even establishing her whereabouts was a difficulty to ascertain.  I tried to put myself in the daughter’s position ..two thousand kilometres away, hearing the grim news that is pounded out day after day, and the only contact since last Mother’s Day in May, the only contact being to call her Mum daily.


Then to come home and watch as the Premier  Dan Andrews said on Channel TEN,   ‘I would not have my Mum in one of these places’,  compounded the agony of those who faced the reality of the real impact of Covid 19.

Perhaps Premier Andrews might have chosen his words with more care.       

“Andrews was advised by the Secretary of the Federal Department of Health, Brendan Murphy,to move elderly residents to hospital LAST WEEK but he didn’t. Now he tries to blame the Fed Govt for a 2nd wave caused by his govt’s appalling handling of quarantine.” Tim Smith MP

When people like Andrews keep winning , ordinary people are losing

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