Flat White

They’ll be able to squeeze pizza under the door when I’m back home self isolating, won’t they?

17 March 2020

5:04 PM

17 March 2020

5:04 PM

I write this in the Singapore Airlines lounge at Heathrow. My flight doesn’t leave for another three hours, but these are, to put it mildly, uncertain times: my daughter, who flew out from London to Washington yesterday, texted me from her gate to warn me that in their determination to check the export of coronavirus across the Atlantic, United have augmented the airport’s normally stringent security checks with their own compulsory hand sanitation protocol and the application of thermometers to foreheads.

Since then, official fears have ramped up so quickly that I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d been subjected to a Supermax-visitor-style full body search when I checked in half an hour ago. I’d like to think it was only my business class fast-track status which saved me from such indignity, but judging from the number of celebs and pollies who’ve been infected, Corvid 19 is an equal opportunity blight, and who knows what emergency legislation Scomo will have rushed through parliament by the time I land in Sydney. 


I already know I will have to stay indoors for my first two weeks home, and that some states are threatening to fine people who flout the new regulations, as well as encouraging their neighbours to dob them in – a measure which puts a disturbing new complexion on the many recent comparisons the press have made, in Britain, at least, to regulations put in place by European governments during WWII.

But one can’t help wondering how else the self-isolation rules can be policed, and while I’m happy enough to comply myself, I have no idea how I am supposed to get from Mascot to Kirribilli without getting within a metre of another human being. Perhaps special trains will have been laid on – yet more worrying WWII echoes – or perhaps, by the time I touch down, as well as stamping passports immigration officers will also be expected to stamp the foreheads of all international arrivals with a dated, coronavirus-shaped symbol, using an ink which takes two weeks to wash or wear off. Apart from making it easy to identify potential carriers, this would also make all non-farming male hat-wearers in Australia the objects of suspicion and distrust, which has, let’s face it, long been the case.

But it’s an ill-wind, as they say, and while sales of Corona beer may have plummeted in recent weeks, and as markets around the world crash, I can’t help wishing I had a few shares in Yum! Brands, the corporation which owns, amongst other things, Pizza Hut. What other kind of home delivery fast food can be slid under a door? 

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