Let's all calm down to a panic.
Last week I penned a story about the coronavirus, and while it was quite well-read, it copped a lot of abuse on Facebook.
All's fair in love and war though, and Facebook is the place to climb in and to let rip. The thing is, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has now gotten decidedly worse than this time last week, and maybe, just maybe, we all need to smarten up our games instead of ridiculing this thing.
For starters, the fact that I mentioned G-Land might be called off was met with two QS events being shelved. Currently listed as 'tentative' on the WSL website, both the Krui Open and the Central Japan Pro are not going to happen.
The loss of the Krui Pro is a bummer. Perfect Indonesian left-handers, with a collective of other good waves around the corner. If you remember last year, Medina arrived for the event, the waves were absolutely firing, and Lucas Silveira beat Mitch Coleborn in the final after Coleborn beat Gabby in the quarters.
How good does it get? It gets pretty fucking good down there in South Sumatra. The Mandiri Beach Club is to go-to surf camp in the area. Check their digs here and this is what you can expect to surf.
Before you actually start accusing us of fear-mongering and of jumping on the paranoia bandwagon, check out the facts. The actual COVID-19 numbers are looking far from encouraging this week.
One week ago, it looked like this:
Global - 82,171
Italy - 665
Australia - 23
Indonesia - 0
This week we have:
Global - 95,411
Italy - 3089
Australia - 52
Indonesia – 2
Italy is in trouble, a word from medical specialists on the ground is that Australian and Indonesian numbers are set to start moving north very quickly, and there is apparently some serious fudging of figures from the Indonesian government in a bid to keep tourism gliding.
Maybe Indonesia is not taking it all too seriously, but other people are.
Google has called off I/O 2020, their most significant event of the year. The London Book Fair is off. The summer Olympics are going to be dropped (they are set to take place in Japan), and the Chinese Grand Prix has been called off.
Maria Carey, Khalid, Stormzy, Green Day and Avril Lavigne have all aborted their music tours. The list of cancellations goes on for a few pages. They have even canceled filming The Amazing Race and Mission Impossible: 7, which is probably a good thing anyway. BA and Ryanair have scrapped hundreds of flights, and Japan has revoked their upcoming Tsunami Anniversary Ceremony. Even the Honolulu Festival has been scrapped completely.
In Australia, the government has issued guidelines for self-isolation, as it starts re-modeling plans from 'benign' to 'worst-case' scenario with the possibility of millions infected. The hospitals in Australia are geared up for an outbreak. If you’re in the know, you would have also noticed that there are suddenly gaps opening up on boat charters and at land camps, as surfers around the world start hesitating.
Maybe those comments and replies to last week's column don't look so funny anymore.
What is funny though, is the fact that in Australia there has been an absolute stampede on toilet paper, with everyone amassing as much bog roll as they possibly can. It's totally inexplicable, and the rest of the world is looking on, in bemusement and sometimes in bewilderment as middle-age men, often in wife-beaters, fight for their share of bathroom tissues.
There is no shortage, and there's not going to be a shortage, yet in Australia, the masses have fixated on poo tickets as their way of preparing for doomsday. No one knows why. It's a countrywide case of, 'he's panic-buying crap paper, so I better start panicking and do the same.'
There has been a knife drawn over toilet paper, as well as a full-blown stampede. As a result, Woolies has been forced to slap a '4-pack maximum' ruling on its sale of bathroom tissues.
A knife was drawn, by a woman, over shit paper.
That’s the really scary stuff right there.