Sunday 1st March – Halim’s Indian Taj


I spent a quiet morning at home by myself.


I drove down to Algester to pick up Bronwen, who had got back from her canyoning adventure. She was very dirty so we drove home to shower.

Ned’s hat after Holi Ned’s hat after Holi Ned’s hat after Holi

Halim’s Indian Taj

After cleaning Bronwen, we drove over to Maz’s place to get Maz and Tess, and then drove down to Halim’s Indian Taj for a curry dinner to celebrate Maz and Tess winning their auction yesterday.

Monday 2nd March – Chocolate


I spent a quiet day at home trying to break chocolate along the lines the manufacturer thoughtfully put in place for precisely that purpose.

Chocolate that refuses to break along its lines

Tuesday 3rd March – Sick & Shopping

Coronavirus Queensland

10 cases: The latest is a 20-year-old UQ student from China who lives in Toowong, and had spent at least 14 days in Dubai before re-entering Australia.

“Our understanding is that he has not attended campus at all and so that means the risk of person-to-person transmission is very low,” Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said.

The first 8 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.


I woke up with a headache, which isn’t normal for me. Bronwen and I then drove to the shops to buy some supplies—we were running low on a few things such as toilet paper—but it turned out that people were panic buying most of the things we had wanted to buy—there was no toilet paper at ALDI or Woolworths, and Coles had a crate of toilet paper they didn’t bother unpacking and just set out at the front of the store for their customers to fight over. There were also almost no painkillers, no hand disinfectant and almost no handwash, no rice, very few baked beans, and so forth. We ended up going to ALDI, Coles, Woolworths, two chemists, and ALDI again, just to buy the things we wanted (though still couldn’t buy any rice)

Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Hand sanitiser out of order A boot-full of shopping


By the evening, after rushing around trying to do shopping for half the morning, I was feeling quite sick. My headache had turned into a full-blown head-cold with blocked and running nose and all the works.

Wednesday 4th March – Sick

Coronavirus Queensland

11 cases: A man, 26, from Logan, south of Brisbane, who returned from Iran is put into isolation in the PA hospital.


I stayed home sick. I watched lots of JAG.

Thursday 5th March – Sick


I stayed home sick.

Because I’d been to the Holi celebrations, and had water and powder thrown at my face by a huge amount of random strangers, I figured there was a very slim chance I could have caught coronavirus, and I didn’t want to infect anyone else by not doing the right thing, so I called the coronavirus hotline to check. They got me to call a nurse, who asked many questions and then said she wanted me to see a doctor within 12 hours. This wasn’t quite possible, but I made an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow.

Friday 6th March – Coronavirus


I drove to the doctor, where I was given a mask and made to sit and wait for 40 minutes. For some reason the flu decided now would be a good time for me to sweat a lot, so I sat in the corner wearing my face mask, dripping sweat, imagining everyone staring at me, until the doctor finally called me. The doctor listened to my chest, decided I wasn’t dying, and sent me off to be tested for the coronavirus.

Ned waiting to see the doctor

QML Pathology

I called the closest coronavirus testing place, but the earliest they could see me was 2 PM on Monday, so I called the second-closest place, and they didn’t take appointments and could see me in 15 minutes, so I drove to QML in Carina. I had to wait a few minutes while someone else was tested, but it didn’t take too long. It is quite wasteful—the lady used an entire body-suit of protective gear just to test me. The test itself was a swab from each nostril. I hadn’t had nostril swabs before, and was expecting them to be taken slowly and carefully from inside my nostrils. I was quite wrong. The lady inserted a long swabby thing straight into my nose, right through it, and into the back of my head. She did it so fast that it was in and out before I realised what was happening. It felt like a little fire in my nose. Then, as I was sitting there in shock, she did the other nostril. Overall, much better than the anticipation of it happening, though I’m amazed at just how fast and deep the swab goes.


I then drove home and spent the rest of the day being lazy and sick.

Saturday 7th March – Flu


I spent the day at home relaxing and recovering from my flu.

Sunday 8th March – Negative for Coronavirus

Coronavirus Queensland

15 cases: Including a 38-year-old Gympie woman who returned from London via Dubai.


I spent the day at home, watching TV and relaxing. I phoned the doctor to check my results, and was told that I can only get the results by seeing a doctor, but that they were negative pending further testing.

Monday 9th March – Shopping


I drove down to the supermarket to buy some milk. There’s still very limited toilet paper.

Supermarkets are limiting purchase amounts


I spent the rest of the day at home.

Tuesday 10th March – Home

Coronavirus Queensland

18 cases: A 42-year-old Sunshine Coast woman who is the partner of the Gympie woman, a 46-year-old Brisbane woman who had travelled to Austria and France, a 42-year-old Brisbane man who travelled to Spain, Italy and France all test positive. Ten patients in total remain in hospital.


I spent a quiet day at home, avoiding the scary outdoors and its coronaviruses.

Wednesday 11th March – Home

Coronavirus Queensland

20 cases: Including a 32-year-old Gold Coast woman who travelled to the US and a 31-year-old Gold Coast man who was in close contact with her. Queensland Health confirms it is doing contact tracing at Brisbane nightclub Fridays and UQ amid concerns visitors came into close contact with a 22-year-old university student who has coronavirus.


I had a quiet day at home, walking down to the service station to buy some milk in the evening.

Thursday 12th March – Halim’s Indian Taj

Coronavirus Queensland

US actor Tom Hanks and singer wife Rita Wilson test positive on the Gold Coast, where Hanks is filming an Elvis biopic. His social media post brings worldwide attention to the spread of COVID-19. The Federal Government bans gatherings of more than 500 people. Australians are told not to go overseas unless essential.


Bronwen needed to spend the night at her parents’ place so she could let some air-conditioning servicemen into her property early in the morning, so we decided we’d drop past ALDI on the way to Maz’s place, go out to dinner, and then spend the night at Bronwen’s parents’ place.

So, Bronwen and I drove to Stones Corner ALDI—which is on the way—only to find that it was unexpectedly closed, with a little note saying it was closed for unforeseen circumstances. This was a bit annoying as we hadn’t foreseen the circumstances either, so we drove to Ashgrove ALDI—which is sort of nearly on the way if you drive a bit out of the way—only to find that it was closed as well.

ALDI closed unexpectedly

Halim’s Indian Taj

Having given up on ALDI we drove to Maz’s place and then down to Halim’s Indian Taj, where we had a delicious curry dinner. I think the restaurant is being badly affected by the coronavirus—there were very few people dining.

After dinner we drove back to Maz’s place, and then on to Bronwen’s parents’ place, where we spent the night.

Friday 13th March – ALDI

Coronavirus Queensland

35 cases: Including Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who returned from a trip to the US and the White House.

A 77-year-old Sunshine Coast woman becomes the state’s first death. She died after flying to Sydney. Authorities say she was likely infected from contact with her daughter who returned from San Francisco in the US.

All cases are concentrated in South East Queensland except for one in Kingaroy and one in Rockhampton.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young warns up to one in four people will be infected in next six months.

Queensland Health stops detailing patient travel histories and says anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days and has fever and respiratory symptoms should call a GP.


After Bronwen let air-conditioning servicemen into her property, and then had a work conference call, we drove home—via ALDI, which was open today and despite almost everyone carrying a bag of toilet rolls, seemed to have normal stock levels of everything, including toilet rolls.


I renewed my Exchange certificate. Everything seems to be working, but who knows what unexpected things have secretly gone wrong.


Bronwen and I spent a quiet evening at home, trying not to take part in any pandemics.

Saturday 14th March – Panic Shopping

Coronavirus Queensland

Queensland’s biggest health service toughens criteria for COVID-19 testing twice in a day amid shortage of testing kits as the state records its single highest-day jump in cases so far.

Panic Shopping

Bronwen and I decided that we should go do some panic shopping. We drove to ALDI first, which seemed to have everything in stock and looked quite normal, though it was very busy. The only thing I noticed it didn’t have in stock was hand wash and hand sanitiser.

After ALDI we drove to Coles and Woolworths, and they were both chaos. The shelves were full of empty boxes and many things were either out of stock, or only had a very few items left.

However, after posting about this on Facebook, a friend sent me some photos of the same ALDI a few hours later, and it was full of empty shelves.

Another boot-full of food


I drove Bronwen twenty minutes or so to Algester so she could get a lift down to the Gold Coast with a friend and attend Joni’s birthday party. This seemed like a fairly bad idea to me, what with the impending viral pandemic and all, so I stayed home.


I ended up staying up all night working on editing some photos and adding some journal articles to my website. Bronwen got back fairly late and went straight to bed, but I stayed up until 7 AM.

Sunday 15th March – Brisbane Airport

Coronavirus Queensland

There are now 55 cases in Queensland, among them: a 69-year-old Townsville man who travelled in New Zealand before learning he had tested positive.


I slept in after not getting to bed until 7 AM.


I drove Bronwen to the airport so she could fly to a conference in Sydney. I stopped at the Airport Woolworths on the way home, but it was very busy and it occurred to me it’s probably the sort of place scary foreigners with their foreign coronaviruses would go, so I left without buying anything and stopped at Coles Barracks on the way home instead.

Coles have introduced purchase limits Coles have cancelled “change of mind” returns Amazingly, there was some rice at Coles

Monday 16th March – Maz’s & The Airport

Coronavirus Queensland

69 cases: Including Federal senator Susan McDonald in Townsville. The RSL cancels all ANZAC Day services. All jury trials suspended indefinitely, police suspend roadside drink and drug driving tests. UQ pauses lectures for a week after three more students test positive.


I had a quiet day at home.


I drove to the airport to pick up Bronwen, who was flying back from her terribly-ill-time conference in Sydney, and then to Maz’s to pick up network cable testers, and then to Bronwen’s property to test the upstairs tenants’ network. It turns out it’s been wired for phone, not internet—but they have used cat5 cables, so rewiring for internet should be possible.

Tuesday 17th March – Shopping

Coronavirus Queensland

78 cases: Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad says the virus could cost the state economy more than $10 billion over two years. The State Government announces it will offer $500 million interest-free loans to local businesses.


I went shopping at Coles and Woolworths—there are quite a lot of empty shelves now.

Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Empty shelves at supermarkets Woolworths now has a dedicated elderly person shopping hour Empty shelves at supermarkets Doctors and pathology clinics are warning against Coronavirus Doctors and pathology clinics are warning against Coronavirus


The rest of the day was spent working from home.

Wednesday 18th March – Home


I spent the day at home—something that’s going to be increasingly common in these pandemic-ridden days.

Mt Gravatt

I walked up Mt Gravatt for some exercise.

Thursday 19th March – Home

Coronavirus Queensland

Australia bans all arrivals by non-citizens and non-residents. Queensland passes laws to allow postponing council elections, ministers to pass new legislation via video-conferencing, greater powers for health officials to force people into isolation and $13,000 fines for anyone who flouts their orders.


I spent the day at home.

Friday 20th March – Voting

Coronavirus Queensland

184 cases: A ban on travel into remote Indigenous communities under federal biosecurity laws is put in place. School NAPLAN tests are cancelled. The State Coroner adjourns all inquests until after July.


I went shopping in the morning.

More product limits Product limits are getting severe Empty shelves at supermarkets Product limits are getting severe Empty shelves at supermarkets The shopping centre is providing hand sanitiser The shopping centre has put signs up warning about coronavirus


Bronwen voted at the local pre-polling booth in the afternoon. Despite some precautions for the coronavirus crisis, the lady inside took Bronwen’s piece of paper, looked at it, and then handed it back to her (and presumably did the same for everyone else), and Bronwen did not see any hand sanitiser anywhere.

How to vote cards are banned and replaced with boards Pre-polling booth at Mt Gravatt Pre-polling booth at Mt Gravatt Pre-polling booth at Mt Gravatt Pre-polling booth at Mt Gravatt

Mt Gravatt

I went for a walk up Mt Gravatt.

Saturday 21st March – Sore Back

Coronavirus Queensland

221 cases: There were 37 more cases added overnight — one of those included an after-school care worker in Helensvale, who went to work with symptoms.

Sore Back

At around midday I stretched my arms above my head, like I normally do from time to time, and immediately had a sharp back pain.

Sunday 22nd March – Toohey Forest

Coronavirus Queensland

259 cases: After 38 more people test positive to coronavirus. The Prime Minister announces a $66 billion coronavirus stimulus package to keep businesses afloat and workers employed.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces $17 million in funding for University of Queensland researchers to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine.

Gold Coast theme parks run by Village Roadshow, such as Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild, will temporarily close.

Following a national cabinet meeting between state, territory and federal leaders, the Prime Minister criticises the public’s failure to practise social distancing and announces closure of non-essential indoor venues.


Bronwen and I drove to Coles, Woolworths and ALDI—and then a suspiciously cheap BP on the way home for suspiciously cheap fuel.

Woolworths has put social distancing markers on the floor


Bronwen and I went for a 9km walk through Toohey Forest, half in the dark.

Sunset from the lookout in Toohey Forest


I stayed up late working, because I’d been slack and not done the work earlier in the weekend.