26 September 2023

Cutting out

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Sad news from the Australian Antarctic Division of the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment this week that an international meeting of scientists working on the frozen continent has been cancelled due to the omnipresent Coronavirus pandemic.

Planned for Hobart, Tasmania, in July, the cancellation has left a deep wound in the city’s tourism timetable as it promised to run for two weeks and attract more than 1,000 scientists and operations experts to Tassie from every corner of the globe.

Had the organisers taken more notice of the organisation’s nametag however they may have been less surprised it ended in pain.

The group is the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research, a name that cheerily abbreviates to the scabby anagram: SCAR!

The vets and the virus

Staying with the all-embracing Coronavirus now, Victoria’s excellent Chief Veterinary Officer has taken the opportunity of the crisis to advise home-workers how best to treat the family pet while the pestiferous pandemic was performing its planetary pandemonium.

Pointing out there was no evidence animals were affected by COVID-19, the wise vet advised that keeping pet animals well fed, toiletted as usual and well medicated if sick was the way to go, unless the owner her- or his-self was recovering from the viscious virus

“People who were unable to delegate care of their animals while recovering from COVID-19 should minimise contact, avoid kissing, being licked by, sharing food or sleeping with the animals,” the Chief VO said.

As a pet lover ourself, PS-sssst! has never thought of kissing, sharing food or sleeping with our animals, presumably in the misguided belief that such intimacy would be enough to make us sick in the first place.

But then again we have met some people …….


To an extra-special free giveaway this week with the redoubtable Rama Gaind securing not one, but two personally signed copies of the acclaimed practical handbook The Languages of Leadership by Wendy Born.

The rare autographed books will find new homes with two readers who managed to identify ‘You” as the person responsible for managing relationships positively, effectively and productively and who also managed to squeeze out of the PS News Barrel of Booty first.

And those lucky readers are Donata L from the Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety, and Gwen T, formerly from the Queensland Public Service.

Congratulations to Donata and Gwen and thanks to everyone who took part. The prize books will be winging it to their new owners shortly.

In the meantime Rama has another giveaway or two on the go to try our luck on with the DVD Arctic Justice and book The Gift of Presence and then watch this space to find out who’s a winner.

Good luck to all.

Rama’s bug bug

And while Rama has our attention, she’s asked PS-sssst! to share with all our readers the ups and downs of running competitions in the shadow of the Coronavirus, when despite the very best intentions of giveawayers (her) and giveawayees (the generous DVD and book publishers who support PS News), that Corona-gremlins can pop up any time to come between PS News prizewinners and their prizes.

“This is a type of disclaimer” claimed the usually unclaimable Rama.

“When we’ve been promised 5 copies of a DVD, for example, due to the Covid-19 emergency there may be a chance we may not get the product.”

A sad possibility but true!

But on the bright side, it hasn’t happened yet.

On the even brighter side, most of us would rather win a prize and have to wait for it (or a substitute) to arrive than win the ‘prize’ of a deadly virus infection on time and get the chance to fight it off.

“My fingers are crossed” the finger-crossing Rama admitted!

Sitting duty!

And finally, at this time of crisis when the entire nation’s way of life has been understandably upended, PS-sssst! wonders what’s happened to our various Parliaments whose primary role is to protect the rights and freedoms of our population, particularly in times such as this.

While in no way questioning the wisdom or judgement of the brilliant medical experts directing the nation’s behaviour to defeat the deadly threat, the fact that a month ago an Australian was free to walk out of his or her home and down their street unchallenged, yet today they face a $1,000 fine for doing the same thing, it’s not unreasonable to expect that parliament would at least debate such a drastic change – along with others – that have the power to strike at the very heart of our freedoms!

Undemocratic dictatorships around the world have come to life on the tailcoats of good intentions slackly accepted as necessary by the populace.

We should be seeing the Act, hearing the debates and allowing our representatives to vote for or against it on our behalf.

Maybe then, PS-sssst! will stop tramping up and down his street, pretending to be free when he’s not!

Till next week…..

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