24 March 2020
My Australian Family
The Café across the road had a few stools placed well away from each other. It was a sad sight. Coogee Beach is empty. Long time ago when the little daughter of a friend, to whom Coogee beach was ours – wanted to be taken to our place her parents had said that the beach would be locked at that time. Now looking at the beach – it felt as if we had locked the gates of our beach to outsiders. We would not have needed to so close the gates, if we had treated each other as relatives. To me this is the deepest lesson from this Coronavirus experience.
A relative in law said about the father – that he would not listen – and went to the doctor’s as scheduled even though they the children had ordered not to go. I identify with that father as if he were a real relative. As per that identity – I feel that he was more self-sufficient than his child who was ‘showing’ affection. I therefore said to that junior – that my children would not dare to ‘tell’ me and for that matter not even my husband would. I went on to say that it was this kind of ‘attitude’ through which parents are made dependent that Coronavirus was winning. Often weak-minded parents lose their dignity as seniors by giving in to such children.
During this Coronavirus fear we the elders are ‘classified’ as the ‘vulnerable’. As I keep saying to those who are ready to listen to me – where was all this ‘caring’ when I was about to give up on myself at the age of 48 due to what I then thought was workplace problems? My self-imposed social isolation began then. Now I am 70 and the structure that has supported me is mine as per my truth. Whoever did not find it in themselves to share in my pain over the 22 years through -my openly known problems – are not my relatives. They coexist and socially are a group from whom I need to distance myself.
At family level – our government is not asking us to distance ourselves from each other. The reason is that in any Sovereign Unit – we hold the solution to anything perceived by us as a problem. During the Sri Lankan war – when suicide bombers were used by rebel leadership – we as a community did not oppose it. Likewise, the Government did not recognize the animalistic behavior of some sections of its armed forces. Instead, it got brainwashed by them.
I was happy to note that at least a few leading members of the Tamil Diaspora identify with my thinking in such matters. This was confirmed by Victor who forwarded me the interview with Dr Pavithra Vengatagopalan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2k7wXblsFo&feature=youtu.be, who has done Research in Coronavirus family. While emphasising the need for personal hygiene so that the virus would not breed, the lady observed that we have not found a vaccine that prevents Dengue. Last year – when I went to Sri Lanka in August our relative in Colombo said that a member of the family living there was seriously affected by Dengue. I did not change my plans but I did take as many precautions as I could to protect myself. My root base is my belief. I focused more strongly in praying. I note that our Australian Parliamentarians also did likewise during this emergency.
I believe that our Prime Minister is managing this very well and was happy to hear our son also say likewise. To me, every citizen has the duty to add her/his support unconditionally through aspects where s/he is self governing. Another professional was critical about the schools not being asked to shut down. I said to me there was no question about individual thought but identify with the positive aspects. In regards to schooling, I identified with it through my own grandchildren who stay at home from today. Like the PM, I also felt that this would help working parents.
My heart cries for those who lost jobs – starting with those in Coogee who are my immediate family. I believe that by feeling for them – and sharing in their pain – my mind connects to theirs. Amazingly – many of the measures taken by the PM on behalf of the nation – are exactly what I have been doing at my level and at the level of my family. Last week I went across the road to George’s hairdressing saloon – to activate my appreciation of George working at an age when most others of that age, known to me have retired and are indulging in hobbies. When I heard on the news that hairdressers were not required to shutdown – I felt truly connected to the government led by Mr Scott Morrison and that my sacrifices have gone home and my prayers have been heard to strengthen Australia – my family. To the extent we therefore take care of our elderly – we have already beaten the Coronavirus mind to mind.