It’s interesting to read that Sydney is still the main point of arrival for overseas visitors. So more people come through this city as they return to this country. And the chance of them having covid is increasing as numbers increase overseas.
The latest cases come from transport workers, who caught covid at work, driving o/s people.
Clusters then spread out from there, mostly into families and work networks.
I get quite upset when i read comments about the ‘thoughtless selfishness’ of infected people in the community. We know workplaces and extended family gatherings are key points for transmission. Being angry and nasty with people doing risky, low status work, who then spend time with (and often caring for) their families is… well, it’s poor form. Particularly from people who have the choice to work from home, self-isolate, and so on.
I don’t feel right about being nasty to infected people, who have, after all, contracted covid, and know they have infected their friends and family.
This type of angry fear leads to the authoritarian actions of police, which result in violence towards people of colour, the homeless, the disempowered. And it’s worth remembering that for wealthy people fines are just an inexpensive ticket. For the poor and disenfranchised fines mean incarceration, children and dependants left homeless, and time in the dangers of prison.
If you feel super angry about rising case numbers in NSW, that’s ok. When we’re frightened, we often get angry. If you’ve just come out of lockdown, you’re probably still dealing with the distress and tension of that experience. And being angry at people who seem to be triggering that happening again makes sense.
But you can’t change other people’s behaviour. You can only change how you respond to it. Be kinder to yourself. Stop looking at case numbers. Call a friend and tell them you love them. Go watch dogs play in the park. Have a swim. You’re doing a good job, and you deserve a break.
If you can, please donate to Sisters Inside.
2020 hasn’t been so bad for me. I started it very ill in Stockholm, but I got to see Swedish friends away from the hothouse of dance events. During the year I missed my overseas friends very, very much*, but I also spent good times walking, eating, and playing in parks with visitors and locals. I didn’t dance once, but I rediscovered yoga, I went running, kicked a soccer ball, and rediscovered my colour pencils. Ironically, my mental and physical health were at an all time high this year, and I discovered my natural hair colour. The two aren’t necessarily related. I learnt the basics of carpentry, moved on with an advanced pattern drafting course, spent my first whole winter in six years in one time zone, and, perhaps most excitingly, I discovered foamcore.
If I could have one thing this year, it would be a kinder government, who chose to care for citizens and strangers instead of hurting them. If I could have two things this year, I’d add the chance to see and touch my friends again. I miss you all so much.
But most of all, this year I hope for happiness and good health, for every one of us.
If you are feeling a bit worried about the covid cases, Sydney, NSW Health on fb has the most up to date info. Our new local case numbers are low, and all are from known sources. It’s ok. ❤️👍🏼
Tip: don’t monitor it in real time. It will stress you out.
Tip2: melbourne people, maybe check the attached image.
Tip3: everyone: blaming people or getting angry will just make you feel awful. Just wash your hands, send love to friends, and do what _you_ can.
Tip4: Sydney, you rock at tight social timetables. Use that super power to avoid crowds and keep track of your movements.
Tip5: Sydney, no one can accessorise like you bitches. Mask up, peace fabulously out.
NSW Health fb updates:
They are super quickly tracing where infected people have been, and when, posting new lists of places every few hours. Following it in real time will freak you out.
The nsw health posts generally have 3 lists of places:
1. Urgent ones. If you were at these places at these times, get a test and isolate yourself immediately.
2. Less urgent, but still SRS. If you were at these places at these times, get a test and isolate immediately.
3. ‘Casual contact’. If you were at these places at these times, watch for symptoms and test if you have them.
So your jobs are as per usual:
1. Watch for symptoms. These vary as we learn more about covid, so refresh your knowledge regularly.
2. If you have symptoms, get a test.
Testing is the contact tracing super power. Testing is FREE and needs no appointment. Test early, test often.
3. Stay 1.5m away from people. Wash your hands PROPERLY. Wear a mask indoors. Your basic covid fighting super powers. You are SO good at this already.
check your diary and the lists of venues. Know where you were at.
avoid crowded indoor getherings in public places. Bars, supermarkets, public transport.
if you can’t (going to work, at work, essential shopping), do no.3 jobs above.
I’m thinking of this as ‘be alert, not alarmed.’
Not full-on self isolation, but no indoor restaurants, crowded shops, etc. i’m being strict about hand washing and not touching my face. I wear a mask indoors, mostly so i can help ‘normalise’ mask wearing, and help the people panicking feel safer.
And because the tracing is including my neighbourhood now, i’m also keeping track of the places/shops i visit, so i can help with tracing if nec.
Keep being excellent, frens ❤️
After yesterday’s extra fun set for Tracktown Swing’s zoom party (fun), I’m feeling interested in jazz again. Overhearing Andrew’s interest in Sid Catlett’s drumming, I’ve been digging through the Catlett in my own collection.
I can’t remember listening to this song ‘How High the Moon’ by Al Casey and his Sextet (1945) before. The band has a pretty impressive line up:
Al Casey And His Sextet
Gerald Wilson (trumpeter), Willie Smith (alto sax), Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax), Horace Henderson (piano), Al Casey (guitar) John Simmons (bass), Sid Catlett (drums).
Every time I listen to a band like this I have to look up the personnel. Thank goodness for google. This isn’t Willie The Lion Smith, it’s another one. And I always forget what Horace Henderson played. I often forget he’s Fletcher Henderson’s brother too.
Things I noticed:
– There’s a bit in an Illinois Jacquet solo (at about 0.45) where the first few notes sound just like his famous part in Flying Home (with Hamp). I’m assuming it’s Jacquet. I have no clue tbh.
– The guitar is extra nice. I’m digging guitar in these sorts of swinging jazz songs atm, not as rhythm, but as soloists.
– The drumming _is_ nice.
Anyhoo, this is a nice song.
Here is Sid looking a bit over it.
It’s ok, mate, 2020 is nearly over.
There are a few recordings by Benny Goodman’s big band in 1941 that are off the charts HOT. Like, the best, tightest band, and they really swing.
I’ve just discovered that Sid Catlett was the drummer in the band for a few months in 1941, which explains a few things.
These recordings include Pound Ridge, The Count, a few others, an ROLL EM.
I really like this. I feel like this might be something I’d like to see Rikard dancing too.
It’s got some of the gun musicians from that song in the OP, and you can hear the musicians shouting and calling out.
‘Henderson Romp’ (1945)
Big Sid Catlett’s Band
Joe Guy, Ben Bull Moose Jackson, Hubert Bumps Myers, Illinois Jacquet, Horace Henderson, Al Casey, John Simmons, Sid Catlett.
I think I might be really into Al Casey.
And Sid Catlett is playing in this recording of ‘Madame Dynamite’ by Eddie Condon’s band in 1933. It’s worth noting that this is a mixed race band. The connection is, of course, Chicago.
Catlett also played in bands led by Teddy Wilson, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Hot Lips Page, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins…
Basically, he was the shit.
I’m doing some prep for my set with Track Town Swing tomorrow, and I’m starting with songs I never DJ, but adore.
I do love this song, and Bing Crosby’s voice… sigh. The band features Bix, Trumbauer, and Eddie Lang, among others. 1932 in Chicago.
I can honestly say that i have not been to the Northern beaches recently. Maybe ever.
I don’t know how, exactly, but this online encyclopaeda of the Spanish Flu pandemic in the US (1918) might be useful.*
Information is organised in a range of ways, but you can do a search for ‘dance halls’ and see newspaper articles about public dances being closed because PANDEMIC.
*I just have this niggley feeling that this historic example could be useful/interesting in the contemporary context…
Now we’re opening up in Sydney, I’m seeing an (understandable) impatience to ‘return to normal dancing’ that has some problems. People pushing to social dance in public bars, talk that normalises dancing, misreading public health guidelines in ways that support their POV. After all, to _have_ social dancing, individuals need dance partners. As many as possible.
A consequence of this public talk has been an increasing ‘normalising’ of the idea that it’s fine to ‘return to normal’ dancing. If enough people are talking about whether the band is playing at x venue, or what time doors open at y venue, the more marginalised questions like ‘is it _safe_ to dance at all?’ become.
A big challenge for fb group moderators has been dealing with these complex social and medical issues while themselves under covid stress. It’s hard to parse the govt’s covidsafe info and public health restrictions, it’s even harder to do that _and_ juggle your own worries about safety, the increasing frustrations and arguments of other people, _and_ a year of shitty stress. Tensions are high, and there’s no clear model for handling these issues.
Or is there?
This is a fascinating article about the role of internet discussion boards in the gay community during the AIDS crisis. There’s a chunk about how these were moderated to prevent the spread of misinformation, and to encourage collaboration.
Can we social dance YET?!
I am not an epidemiologist or the boss of covid. BUT. I have been keeping an eye out.
The rules have changed (as of Monday 7th Dec), and yes, we can dance! But still:
It totally sucks, but not as much as dying of covid or killing your nanna with the rona! Be strong, my friends – it won’t be long now, as long as we DON’T have an outbreak!
The rules are:
DANCE FLOORS (nightclubs, venues, etc)
1 person per 4 square metres
maximum of 50 people on indoor dance floors, or 500 people outdoors.
1 person per 2 square metres IF there are more than 25 people in the venue (no density rules for <25 people)
kiddies count as people!
But can we touch one other person who is our ONLY dance partner and also in our bubble, with NO partner swapping?
The NSW gov rules say NO TOUCHY for public events, but it's not entirely clear.
Note RE this photo: it’s 4m SQUARE metres per ibis, not 4m between each bin chicken.
So if 3 ibis want to dance, the dance floor/bin must be 12 square metres!