Weekly Wrap 531: Looking south from a quiet city towards the growing pandemic

This week of Monday 26 July to Sunday 2 August 2020 had a strange feeling to it. I got some things done. I feel a lot better both physically and mentally having spent another three nights down in Sydney, where there was both warmth and humanity. But the city was still quiet, and things continue to be bad down in Victoria.

Today the Victorian premier Dan Andrews announced so-called “stage four restrictions”, which include a curfew for Melbourne from 8pm to 5am for the next six weeks. The latest numbers kinda show why.

Daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, Australia, as at 1 August 2020. (Source: ABC News.)

I’m recording a podcast tomorrow so I’ll say more about my responses then. For now, I’ll just mention that the niggling fears are returning.


Podcasts, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse

None, though I’ve writted a segment for the next Well May We Say podcast.


A restoration from the opening months of the First World War in 1914. This autochrome was taken in France 106 years ago by Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud, showing Alpine infantry soldiers at their riverside bivouac. (This is original colour and hasn’t been colourised). (Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud/Stuart Humphryes)
  • Mr @StuartHumphryes on Twitter is a photo restorer who posts some amazing material such as the image above.
  • “Cabramatta” is an autobiographical interactive comic by Matt Huynh, a Sydney-born, New York–based visual artist and storyteller, about growing up in a community of Vietnam War refugees resettled in Australia’s heroin capital, as it was once known. I remember visiting Cabramatta back then. I was offered heroin for sale twce before I’d even left the railway station.
  • A beta version of the Australian Government Style Manual is out. It’s the offspring of the much-loved Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers, 6th Edition, last updated in 2002. This new version is a product of the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). I encourage any and all writing professionals to read it and comment upon it.
  • My secret guilty pleasure, or at least one of my secret guilty pleasures that I’m prepared to disclose here, is British panel game shows. Some of them, anyway. Recently I’ve been getting into Richard Osman’s House of Games, because the somewhat warped gameplay suits my sensibilities. I’ve managed to find all three series so far on YouTube — and if those playlists get dumped for copyright violation I’m sure some other hero will do the needful. Some of the questions are a bit too White English People, but the gameplay makes up for that.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday will mark 20 weeks of the Quarantimes for me. I’ll continue to be based at Bunjaree Cottages at Wentworth Falls. With the surge of new cases in Victoria and the start of what looks like a rise in NSW too, I don’t think I’ll be heading down to Sydney this week.

On Monday I’ll record a podcast segment for Well May We Say, as well as prepare an episode of The 9pm Edict, all while doing the laundry. Multitasking! The Edict will be recorded and posted on Tuesday evening.

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On Thursday I’ll dip into the Lowy Institute’s discussion The UAE in a turbulent world: In conversation with UAE Foreign Minister Dr Anwar Gargash, as well as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) panel Strategic Vision: Future intelligence landscape.

On Friday I’ll dip into the United States Studies Centre (USSC) panel discussion US Politics, a review from Australia with Prof Simon Jackman, CEO USSC, and Prof Gordon Flake, CEO Perth USAsia Centre. They’re doing these discussions once a month.

On Saturday I’ll be the guest on the podcast Covert Contact, talking about Australia’s digital surveillance laws. I’ve been on the pod twice before, on 9 October 2017 and 30 October 2017.

I will of course be writing for ZDNet in between all those things.

Further Ahead

I’ve added something to the list!

[Photo: Oxford Street, Sydney, looking east from Taylor Square, photographed on 31 July 2020. This is one of a series of photos (Threadreader, Internet Archive) I took while counting vacant commercial premises in the now-decaying part of the city. In this 220-metre section alone there were 15 vacant shops on the south side of the street. This block has been run down for a while, it must be said, but it’s very bleak right now.]