Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

A Parable for this Time of Corona

Despite our advanced individualistic civilisation, we are more connected and closer to nature than we have hitherto liked to admit.

Yesterday, my housemates finally caught the mouse who had been treating their room in Casa Mangini as a personal food court. Being humane and from overseas, (he is from France and she is from Austria) they are foreign to our ways. So, they decided to relocate their prisoner in a land far away. They were planning to go shopping in an adjacent suburb anyway and dropped the felon off close to their destination. Lisa did it all the time with field mice on the family farm back home. Little did they realise they had condemned the rascal to death.

Disregarding the different skill sets of house and field mice along with our rodent housemate’s ignorance of, or even interest in, frequent flier points they were happy to relocate the miscreant to the other side of his world. They reasoned that mice were mice and being feral all the great outdoors was a home away from home. Mickey or Minnie would easily fit in.

Older hands at the casa were not so sanguine. They reasoned there may be lions and/or tigers in that land on the other side of the mouse world. Whilst for Mickey or Minnie, it was a case of “here be dragons.” And then there were the locals. Walt's alter-ego knew family safety was a paramount concern of their cousins, be they agrarian or otherwise. And even though Mickey or Minnie looked similar, a grey house mouse is a mouse of a very different colour.

Our EU backpackers were dismayed by these revelations. Their embarrassment was complete when the realisation dawned that Micky or Minnie’s cousins were Australian. For the whole world knows how expendable Australians regard foreigners in general and refugees in particular.

And as I contemplated the coronavirus riots in supermarkets and our flirting with a M.S. St. Louis moment off the coast of Western Australia it dawned on me that we are starting to treat each other in the same manner. As we are forced to endure this script read through our current crisis affords us, it is with bated breath that we anticipate the full production. With its multitude of bells and whistles preparing for the next crescendo, the climate crisis’ has its advanced publicity well in hand.

For while, as far as we know, the Coronavirus is life threatening, the climate crisis is species threatening. And how we react to the first is a pretty good indicator of how we will react to the second when sharing becomes mandatory for survival.

Despite the obvious negative social and economic impacts separation is the best way to share at this time. So, please, just stay the at home. Hell, even go play on Facebook if you must, and help it morph into something more than an electronic billboard.