5th of August 2020

Does the frustration of COVID restrictions, not being able to do what we please when we please, really get on your goat, it does mine.

Although there are things I would clearly like to be doing or choose to do, the frustrations of the restrictions are not so much that I want to do something tomorrow or next week, it is that I cannot, that pushes my buttons.

Loss of these liberties highlights just how precious that right is, and how jealously we must guard it, and I am defiantly not advocating civil disobedience or non-compliance as these restrictions are our only COVID weapon.

Level four COVID restrictions have, however, spawned a new phenomenon, Coviditis Syndrome. This is the syndrome we, who have complied with all the rules thus far, are coming down with, in ever-increasing and alarming numbers. If we compiled a graph showing the expediential growth of this syndrome, it would make the COVID infection graph look like a doddle.

Just like the graph showing infection rates of COVID, the Coviditis graph will be just as meaningless. Impressive testing numbers are an illusion that something is being done, but of course, we know that although not initially told to self-isolate between the test and the result, when a person tests positive that’s it. Go and self-isolate, and we will test you again in fourteen days to see if you are clear.

There is no treatment; there is no support, there is not even a dedicated web site where victims of the disease can consult with an expert for advice, just incarceration and that is something we all now must endure for what seems like an indefinite period. Uncannily similar to the flu.

Just what is Coviditis Syndrome,

The symptoms do vary, but they are relatively easy to identify.

  • Are you frustrated, bored, uneasy, or worried?
  • Are you putting on weight?
  • Are you cleaning your house or your car more often than normal?
  • Are you trying to mow dormant lawns frequently and unnecessarily?
  • Are you conniving on how you can go down the shops without breaking the rules?
  • Have you achieved the nirvana of all homeowners, all the jobs are done? Now have you started on jobs that didn’t need to be done?
  • You know the date but occasionally forget which day it is?
  • You open the wardrobe door to pine about when you may be able to wear those good clothes again.
  • Your ‘daggies’ are looking more and more shabby from excessive wear, but you don’t care.
  • Makeup is lasting months instead of weeks, same for shaving supplies.
  • Do you wander to Dan Murphys before the grocery shop, the obverse of your normal discipline of food before grog?
  • Your fuel bill has dropped dramatically, and your car service frequency has declined.
  • Your dog has an anxiety attack if they only think you have gone out.
  • Your cat couldn’t care less unless it is dinner time, and if you have neither dog nor cat that is sad.
  • Wine o’clock had moved from 5 pm to 12md but to avoid breaching the curfew we have been forced to 9 am.


If a number of these symptoms apply to you, then you have Coviditis Syndrome, but there is a bit of a lining to this syndrome, but not sure if it is silver.


What you are experiencing in part is institutionalization.

At another time, I had experience working with prisoners serving their time.

With that experience, I saw that the majority of prisoners were totally institutionalized.  The prisoners knew the date and how long they had to serve but had little idea of what day of the week it was at that was irrelevant to their enforced servitude where every day was the same.

But unlike us, they get remissions for good behaviour, we just get punished for others misbehaviour, and our sentence increased.

As we enter this beige existence of level four, it is worth reflecting on the sentencing of our criminals.

The loss of our liberty is one hell of a punishment, and the amount of ‘Time’ we get is somewhat irrelevant; days, weeks months become a blur.

Same for Prisoners, so it matters little, no matter what the crime, whether they received two years or five, the sentence is served in a sort of catatonic state of institutionalization with time irrelevant.

Crooks do not add up risk factors before a crime, no matter how inane their rationale, they do not believe they will get caught. The potential length of a sentence is not the deterrent proffered, but a stretch in jail maybe.

As we as a society continue to punish offenders with lettuce leaf justice (diversionary alternatives), we wonder why we have to put up with so much crime.

Long, or even maximum jail sentences for chronic repeat offenders are appropriate in cases which may not do much for them, but will keep the rest of us much safer.

For the rest, very much shorter sentences but a far greater tendency for courts to favour jail time for miscreants. A couple of weeks in jail, and we all know how long a couple of weeks are in lockdown, will be more likely to correct behaviour rather than a slap with a wet lettuce leaf.

At the very least, it will create a hiatus in their anti-social lifestyle something diversionary programs cannot do.

Food for thought.