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Jan 14, 2022Liked by TJ Dunlop

When I saw the subject line I assumed this was going to be the story this this week of thé baguette industrial complex fighting back against the scandal of 25c baguettes ….

The shitshow with the RATs etc has added a layer of anger and despair to everything I don’t think we had before. And also the gap between before and now - 50 cases a day used to be an emergency now we have 60,000. I didn’t know anyone who had it in the first two years but now I know multiple people. This gap is probably not as big as in France between their previous worst and now.

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I haven't seen them as cheap as 25c, but the Lidl supermarket near us has them for 30c, and a range of other pastries that are incredibly cheap (and delicious). We tend to use a nearby J. Multari place. They are a bakery chain in the area, but high quality, and not really expensive. They also do torte au blette, a local slice thing, and we've become a bit addicted. Same here with suddenly knowing lots of people with it, including people all over my timeline. Quite the metric.

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Jan 15, 2022Liked by TJ Dunlop

Excellent piece again Tim. Your Menton pictures are causing me quite some reflection - must have passed through a good 3 or 4 dozen times between Genoa and Cannes, and never stopped off. Will rectify upon return!

We've been absolutely blessed to have a season of Cocteau films here at the Cinematheque, like being injected with that extraordinary imagination. Cannot wait to get back to France and dig in again.

With regard to your closing sentences, it will indeed be some kind of experience returning here. And making an assessment on media choices. As you're well aware, various publishers posted their flags for a fixed position on COVID strategies early on. And there's been little variation - and it's been two bloody years - which to be fair, no-one expected.I've been totally puzzled by the endless images of empty supermarket shelves There's abundant supply of everything where I shop. But last weekend, Nine media ran an interesting piece on supply chains. Turns out the independents rely on an entirely different chain to the corporates. Quelle surprise? Little cracks, schisms and variations all over the place.

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Looking forward to hearing of your travels when you get back here, Simon. And I just found out on FB from a friend that Katharine Mansfield also lived and worked in Menton and that the NZ Govt provides a fellowship there every year. Interesting what you say about supermarkets: the situation is clearly very mixed, and I got an email from Woolies (as an online customer at home) explaining why there were likely to run short of things. Whatever else, I think it might be wise to bring a few RATs back with us!

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Jan 15, 2022Liked by TJ Dunlop

Australia is now a tale of many cities - if you are in Perth its another country from Sydney and Melbourne. At the beginning of the pandemic we were all love and community but 2 years in, road rage, hoarding, fear and isolation have exposed the reality that Australians are not the fearless, adaptable matey people that Morrisson and Howard mythologise with ANZAC but almost the opposite. State identity has not been this high since the Menzies era. The national cabinet has not delivered unity or openness. Morrisson is no Hughes or Curtin.

In Victoria there is resignation to living with COVID but clearly we are trained to live with it like we did in lockdown as shops are closed, lots of cafes have returned to takeaway, many are back working from home. Possibly this will change in February-March when we hope this wave from xmas-new year subsides. Maybe living with COVID will begin to emerge because so many people have had it, we just can't face another lockdown and once the 5-11 year olds are vaccinated we will be as good as we can get.

Bring masks, bring RATS and bring your rose coloured glasses because with an election in May, the Murdoch media and the Morrisson Govt are determined that its all good, we are living with COVID and as the PM says, taking wickets - its a huge success!

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Jan 14, 2022Liked by TJ Dunlop

I write now as a post Covid person which has changed my perspective. It is disorienting to have had this finally, but also something of a relief, and in NSW they are saying that when this wave subsides, up to 50% of the pop will have had it. I’m not sure about that but I’d say 25% for sure, and that’s millions of people, the vast majority double vaxxed and coming through unscathed. I know of course there could be néw dangerous variants and one can catch it again. I like the sound of the orderly French approach and I think it’s possible, with the imminent arrival of millions of RATs here, we will come through this (NSW hospitals are doing better than best case modelling - in all of this assessment, there seems not enough acknowledgment of the role of vaccines, though they said yesterday that 50% of ICU Covid patients are unvaccinated, they are only 5% of the population .) I haven’t seen an age breakdown of cases but would guess it is weighted to under 40s and they do seem to take it in their stride. So I’m not sure that the negative sentiment of the over 50s who are horrified by case numbers will be the dominant sentiment in the end.

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Jan 14, 2022Liked by TJ Dunlop

My point perhaps is (I’m still struggling to make sense of what I see and hear as I talk to others who are post Covid including son’s many friends) that as people get Covid and recover from it, especially the under 40s, they do accept that we are living with it and see it as not a big deal. Covid is also now endemic in NSW aged care and those patients are largely surviving too - very dependent on whether they’ve had boosters and all of that is of course reflective of the aged care system snd quality of individual residences. The 101 year old in my family along with her whole ward has just survived Covid and although a big stress on mostly Nepalese staff, they performed brilliantly, so that’s one place which had good systems in place.

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Glad you're ok, and I think you are right, this will increasingly be people's experience. I don't see that we have much choice now, but to go through it, but to me, that's why we need the support for hospitals etc, the general infrastructure so that we "live with it" as safely as possible.

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