The travel ban has uncoupled a truth that, until now, has been fundamental to our times


Posted

February 15, 2020 07:08:55

Gabriel Garcia Marquez would understand.

Love in the time of coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it’s now known, is a complicated and heartbreaking thing.

Families separated by travel bans. School kids miles from their mates and their classrooms, shuffling their feet as the academic year starts without them. Grandparents marooned and friends separated.

It’s not just a travel ban, it’s an uncoupling of a truth that has until now been fundamental to our times: that the world is now completely connected.

Not anymore.

In his celebrated novel Love in the Time of Cholera, Marquez wrote:

“It was the time when they loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other mortal trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”

For those who find themselves divided by a contagion we are probable months from solving, here’s to you meeting on the same shore together soon.

This weekend the Chinese language service of our Asia Pacific newsroom documents the personal toll this outbreak is having on families and how they planned to spend their long-distance Valentine’s Day.

Leon Chen interviewed three families divided by the coronavirus outbreak, including Lu Ping, whose husband, Lin Wen works in a Disease control lab in Guangzhou.

This is one for our Chinese language readers: find the article here.

We have a truly confronting piece on Malaysia’s first female sharia state high court judge, who decides whether men can take another wife.

While her work may involve trying to convince reluctant women to agree, she says her heart would be broken if her husband decided to choose another.

And we’ve lost the art of climbing a tree. Our kids don’t know how to do it, and we are reluctant to teach it. Seriously, what has happened to us as a species?

Rock royalty producer, songwriter and composer Nick Lowe is back in Australia after seven years, playing the country from this weekend.

He may have written this for Elvis Costello, but his own version of Peace Love and Understanding is still pretty fine.

If waves are your thing Cyclone Uesi has some drama leftover for you along the east coast. If the valentine you expected didn’t arrive yesterday, then Open Ocean Exploration has you covered (stay with me), tweeting yesterday that while the world can be rough – politics, viruses – the planet is still a pretty amazing place.

Here’s their vision of a female blanket octopus to prove it.

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Move like she does through the challenging waves of life …

… and go well.

Virginia

What to read this weekend

Virginia Trioli is presenter on Mornings on ABC Radio Melbourne and the former co-host of ABC News Breakfast.

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Australia News
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