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I saw a photo of a frozen ceiling fan in Texas and it made me reflect on a time in South Korea, over 20 years ago. It is all very well to be sitting in a warm home in Queensland and think " that's pretty awful " but, to actually be there, is entirely different.

I was teaching English in Seoul and the whole school had been laid low by a very bad flu. Teachers and students were falling like flies and I, alas, joined them. I could not work so I went home to my apartment to ride it out. I had paid extra to live alone: probably, as it transpired, a very bad mistake. Because, as I got sicker and sicker, I could not get out for food or replenish my bottled water supplies. I just lay in bed, feeling like the dark winter of Joe Biden's nightmare was about to come true.

My Korean was not that flash. I had no friends, as I had only started at that particular school.  After two days of lying in bed and feeling pretty bloody awful, my heat went off. It was minus 28 degrees fahreneit. 

The windows started to form ice and yes, the ceiling fan formed ice and the temperature plummeted and I lay there wondering how I could get out of this mess.


I ran out of food and I did not have a telephone. No one came. No one called and no one was knocking on my door to offer a hot pot roast or a helping hand. I was utterly alone.

As I lay there in a feverish sweat and hungry, thirsty and feeling pretty pissed off, I realised that it was all up to me. 

I needed to get HOME.

To this day, I do not know how I did it, but I managed to get out of bed and walk downstairs and make my way to a PC Bang. ( Internet cafe ).

I did a search for a travel agent who could bring me home to Queensland asap. 

A young man from Buderim in Queensland answered my plea and got me on a flight, leaving the next morning. I was to travel via Ho Chi Min City with a layover of 5 hours. I would then fly to Sydney and then, a few hours later  catch a flight to Brisbane and get a shuttle to my parent's home where I would finally be " HOME. "

I paid the money and staggered back through the snow to survive the night and, God willing, come HOME.

At 6 am I made my way out my door and down the stairs and along the road and caught a bus that, two hours later, took me to Incheon Airport.

I coughed and sputtered, sweated and moaned before catching a flight to Vietnam. 

The 5 hour stopover turned into 14 hours and I dribbled and sneezed, coughed and sweated and people came up to me and gave me water and food and held my hand and told me that it would be OK. I was coming home. One couple from Sydney, had been in Vietnam working on a volunteer project ( the husband was a Vet ) and they " nursed me " until we landed in Sydney.

Unfortunately, the Ansett Airline strike was on. 

I had to wait 9 hours to get back to Brisbane.

Another session of willpower kicking in. 

I finally made it to Brissie and made the last shuttle bus that night. About midnight, I arrived at my parent's home. Young Redhead standing, ready to take charge.

The driver helped me off the bus and said to Redhead " I thought she'd die before I got her here."

I can still hear Redhead saying " Not while I am in charge. "

I had double pneumonia. 

What can we learn from this tale of frozen fans, familial isolation and willpower?

That NOTHING has changed when it comes to bad flu bugs - it is just the way that Governments have reacted that has!

Bad bugs have been with us for decades.

I came home and didn't infect the world and the world did not treat me as a leper.

I was an Aussie gal coming home and my fellow Aussies helped me get here.

So can someone tell me why a really bad bug back 20 years ago was nothing - but this one is causing us to destroy our economy?

43,000 Australians are " frozen "  overseas while foreigners fly in. Unable to get a flight because the airlines keep cancelling their bookings and putting the ticket price up. There is something very wrong when we see the global mismanagement of this virus. 

It's almost like it has nothing to do with the virus .....




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