LOUIS BURKE | Culture | CONTACT
With world renowned cities and Melbourne introducing mandatory facemask laws, heated discussions have taken place between pro-mask health and science experts and the anti-mask advocates who may or may not have a shed full of multi level marketing products they never managed to shift.
However, in the nations’ most populous state, New South Wales, where the spill off from Victoria means that COVID-19 cases keep rising – residents are sighing and getting on with it by donning the facemask they brought back in January when everything was on fucking fire.
The 2019-2020 bushfires, colloquially known as the Climate Fires by the people who were there, but also known as the Black Summer fires by the media and politicians who still think coal has a big part to play in our nation’s economic future, burnt an estimated 186,000 square kilometres including 2,779 homes, causing the direct deaths of at least 34 people (plus 417 indirect through smoke inhalation) as well as the deaths of an estimated one billion animals.
During the fires an estimated 306 million tonnes of CO2 was released into the atmosphere, causing widespread smoke to blanket the eastern coast of Australia, leading many don face masks to protect their precious lungs.
“Simpler times” stated Cobargo farmer Keaton Gray (55).
“At least this time we don’t have to palm off handshakes from the Prime Minister and identify our dead cattle by the melted tags on their ears.”
Rummaging through his glove box, Keaton made sure he would have his dual-purpose facemask for his eight hour round trip to a shopping centre that isn’t a pile of ash.
Although masks are not yet mandatory in NSW, survivors like Keaton have a message for those who would rather go without the potentially life saving device.
“If it helps, just imagine that everything is on fire and that you need the mask to protect your lungs from the carcinogenic particles of what was once your home and livelihood.”
“Now that’s what I call a 2fa!”
MORE TO COME.