Weekly Wrap 522: And now America burns…

Ten weeks of COVID-19 lockdown. In the week of Monday 25 to Sunday 31 May 2020 we heard that some restrictions will be lifted in NSW, and the United States descended into chaos. This photo of Sydney Harbour Bridge is an attempt to cheer me up. It has failed.

I personally think Australia is lifting the COVID-19 restrictions too soon but I’m not qualified to have an actual opinion so please ignore me. I just have a bad feeling about it.

I wrote about my despair for international students in Australia last week, and I’ve hinted at other emotional reactions in the His Plague Diary series of podcasts.

Much of each episode has been fuelled by the sheer insanity that is America’s response to the coronavirus. To see that incompetence amplified in the handling of race riots across the nation — it’s more than I can process right now. I’ll have to come back to it another time, if I can think of anything new to say.

I’m finding it a lot easier to talk about all this craziness in podcasts than to write about the cybers and the other things that are usually on my agenda. This week’s list of “achievements” reflects that. It’s a bit thin.


Two brief episodes of the Edict document me getting a COVID-19 test and then receiving the results.

This brief taxi journey to the hospital in Katoomba and back, I’ve just realised, was the only time I’d been out of the house all week. No wonder I’m depressed.

  • “The 9pm His Plague Diary 10”, being The 9pm Edict episode 106 recorded on Tuesday. It’s also on Spreaker and SoundCloud, as well as Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, and Spotify.
  • “The 9pm His Plague Diary 11”, being The 9pm Edict episode 107 recorded on Thursday. It’s also on Spreaker and SoundCloud, as well as all the rest.

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Articles, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse


The Week Ahead

The isolation continues at Bunjaree Cottages at Wentworth Falls, though I’m scheduled to take a day trip down to Sydney. It’ll be interesting to see whether much changes under the newly-relaxed rules.

There will be another episode of The 9pm Edict late in the week. Part of me wants to start moving away from the His Plague Diary format, but that damn virus is still dominating all of my planning so… hey I dunno. I’ll see how it goes.

Update 5 June 2020: I’ll be recording on Sunday, and it will definitely range more widely than COVID-19.

Update 5 June 2020: On Friday I’ll drop into the Lowy Institute discussion The end of Hong Kong as we know it?. It looks brilliant. It’s also free via Zoom. I’ll watch the replay.

The end of the week also sees the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. I don’t think it’ll be much different from any other recent weekend.

Further Ahead

The following Thursday I’ll probably drop into the panel discussion Telum Talks… Journalism in the era of COVID-19, and where we go from here.

Past that, there’s still almost nothing scheduled for certain. These conference dates are all tentative.

[Photo: Sydney Harbour Bridge silhouetted against the afternoon sky during my last trip down to Sydney on 21 May 2020. It’s from last week not this week, but there’s only so many times I can publish images of me making soup.]