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Panicking’s perfectly normal Don’t call me Covid, sounds so clinical Trust them to make Australian border control is a joke Canberra green again? Expect a fever, but no snuffles PAUL COSTIGAN AND we’ve been here before…


MARCH 26, 2020


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VIRUS CRISIS / the need to panic

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Panic buying, it’s all perfectly rational to Dr Dirk By Danielle

NOHRA “PANIC buyers” responding to the coronavirus pandemic have been condemned by politicians and media outlets across the nation, but a Canberra behavioural insight specialist says it’s not as ridiculous as people think. “It’s quite rational,” says Dr Dirk Van Rooy, who works as a behavioural insight specialist at ThinkPlace and a senior lecturer at ANU. “There is a difference between disaster preparation and what we refer to as ‘panic buying’. Disaster preparation would be rational. Stocking up on supplies for 14 days when you’re not sure what will happen is rational. “Fear for a virus outbreak is also quite rational. “This is a very complicated issue, there is a lot of uncertainty and even the experts don’t know the answers at this point.” Dirk believes the term “panic buying” is misleading, and instead, he says what Australians are seeing are psychological mechanisms fuelled by fear. When people are fuelled by fear or anxiety, their brains evaluate threats in a different way, according to Dirk, who says a lot of decision making relies on emotions. “It usually works quite well to rely on emotions and mental shortcuts but it becomes problematic when there is heightened fear and anxiety,” he says. A lot of this has to do with the human ability to perceive risks, and Dirk says: “We’re not very good at risk perceptions.” “We find it very difficult to process representations of risks because they tend to be represented with statistics or ambiguous words,” he says. Then, when there’s ambiguity, Dirk says people respond by stocking up on items such as toilet paper as a psychological mechanism to deal with this uncertainty. “It’s a way of measuring control over the situation,” he says. “It’s not necessarily driven by need.” Dirk compares it with retail therapy, saying that people use retail therapy as a coping

When it matters

mechanism. Their desire to buy things, again, isn’t driven by a need, he says. “People feel the need to do something big. Handwashing might seem too trivial so a dramatic response is recognised, leading people to throw money at things,” he says. “That is, in itself, the behaviour that reduces the anxiety even though it doesn’t result in protection.” But, as Dirk says, this fear response doesn’t protect people from the virus and also has an impact on the economy. “What people tend to do in these circumstances is become very conservative. They don’t just hoard toilet paper rolls, they also hoard money,” he says. While these fear responses are also rational, Dirk says there are ways to reduce this fear, such as reading proper information sources that are validated by experts, and ways for the Federal Government and other governments to reduce it, too. “There’s some research that provides some key principles for governments on how to communicate,” he says. “One principle governments can put in place to manage anxiety is to be transparent, so show people the work that’s being done behind the scenes. “Another way is being clear, simple and precise.” And, another principle, according to Dirk, is public trust. “People are far more willing to adopt the recommendations from governments when they feel like governments are being honest,” he says. “Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a problem here because a lot of people lost trust in him during the bushfires.” Dirk, who can’t see the Federal government coming back from this distrust, says the best thing they can do is stay out of the process and use medical experts and other experts to explain new measures. Another reason why the community is seeing more of a divide, compared to when the community came together during the bushfires, is because the virus is invisible. “There’s a key difference with the bushfire crisis,” he says. “In general Australians are more familiar with bushfires, even though we might have underestimated the extent of them. The nature of the threat is also different. There’s less of a

Dr Dirk Van Rooy… “What people tend to do in these circumstances is become very conservative. They don’t just hoard toilet paper rolls, they also hoard money.” threat to the whole system. “Things like viruses or cancer give us a lot of dread because they’re invisible. They creep up on you. Bushfires are a lot more visible.” The more dread there is, Dirk says there will be more fear, and also a herd mentality response. “If everyone is running for the lifeboats, you’re going to do the same,” he says. “But buying out of fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fear of scarcity can actually create scarcity, so panic buying can create real scarcity. “If people are fighting over hand sanitiser, people will want it, and that will create a shortage. It’s a snowball effect.”

We’re not too proud to ask for your help LET’S not mince words. This paper is looking gloomily into the dark tunnel of the coronavirus pandemic and can see no light ahead. We feel for all our advertisers, everyone in fact, who are having parallel experiences. The tough times have started and no amount of government assistance can cushion everyone along the indefinite, bumpy road to recovery. But we are determinedly here for the long run and it is our duty, as a serious and conscientious independent voice in Canberra, to continue to publish in paper and on the internet. Especially so, beyond the coronavirus catastrophe, in this critical election year in the ACT. To do this, we’ve never needed more help from our advertisers and our readers in maintaining our constant output of reliable news and views. We care about our staff and vulnerable colleagues are working from home. Doubtless, more will follow. We urge readers to support the advertisers who support us. Please review who’s advertising and reward them for helping to keep a free, community news resource afloat. And if you can help, we’re not too proud to ask for it. Donations via our website ( will help keep credible local news and information in your hands. Knowledge is power, please subscribe to some.

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Please don’t call me Covid, it sounds so clinical WHILE making worldwide public appearances, no-one has come face to face with the coronavirus... until now. In this exclusive interview with “Seven Days”, the coronavirus has expressed dismay at the world-wide social distancing and border closing. Speaking through a Chinese interpreter, the virus was pleased with how things were going in Europe and the havoc it was causing Donald Trump’s America. Question: We’re not sure what to call you – Covid? Answer: No, I hate that, it’s too clinical and coronavirus is a mouthful. CV will do. You know, as in curriculum vitae, the things lots of you are going to be reaching for soon enough. Q: Okay, CV. We know you’re running rampant around the world, cutting a swathe through Wuhan in China and brutally punishing the Italians, so what have you got planned for Australia? A: Well, I thought giving Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton a dose was a bit of a laugh, but I’m not thrilled with PM Scott Morrison’s latest decision to close the borders, the bars and the cafes. I’m not a fan of social distancing, though urging Australians overseas to come home is a big opportunity for me to get a few more runs on the board Down Under. Q: I was talking on radio [“CityNews Sunday Roast”, 2CC, 10am-noon] the other week to a very successful local comedian called Chris Ryan. She’s not fussed about

you and had independently cancelled her sell-out show “I Thought it Would Be Nice” days before you managed to get the Comedy Festival canned. I asked her if it was too soon to make fun of you. She said, for her, it was, but the time would come. You worried we’ll get the last laugh? A: Not at all, you’re at least 18 months away from a vaccine. I can cover a lot of ground in that time if you lot would stop washing your bloody hands all the time and paying attention to the government. Come on, give me a break. Throw a party, I’ll be there!

Q: Our Chief Minister Andrew Barr says: “Until a vaccine is developed, this is our new way of life and it is so important now that we respond calmly and that the measures we put in place are sustainable.” A: Good luck with that one, Andy. I saw your lot at the supermarkets. You’re all so smart and clever, mouthing nationalistic nonsense about how Australians stand together, yet you break out into biffo over a toilet roll! Q: You’re making history in Canberra forcing the ACT government to declare a public health emergency.

A: Yes, I wasn’t expecting that this soon, I mean I’ve only infected a few people in your town, though getting into that woman on poor old Murray’s charabanc from Sydney airport was a masterstroke, you’d have to agree; a whole busload of inconvenienced people for the price of one. And what was with that Art Not Apart festival? They were hellbent with their comms guy Michael Liu popping out a taunting press release spouting that “if ScoMo is still going to the footy, then we are definitely still going to celebrate the arts”. The PM cancelled, but they didn’t. And when he wrote: “It was clear from the PM’s press conference that it remains a low-risk activity to attend public events, and healthy event-goers are encouraged to stick to their plans this weekend”, I couldn’t resist. That gave you a scare, didn’t it? Q: What about the schools? A: Ah, so much debate. It really doesn’t matter the wugwats [the interpreter struggled with this, I think the word is rugrats] will be on holiday for weeks over Easter. Perfect timing. Q: There have been more than 2500 people tested in the ACT for COVID-19 and comparatively few confirmed cases. You can’t be happy with that. A: No worries. It will get bigger. As winter draws in I’ll be in the company of all the other viruses that beset your community. Be sure not to get that flu shot!

Q: It’s election year in the ACT, you planning to be around for the October poll? A: I’m going to do my darndest if you don’t flatten that infection curve. But with Labor having got you lot into debt by three billion, going on four billion dollars, the budget’s shot and the state of your tram-trashed health system is terrible. Even I’m feeling sorry for you trying to cope with the economic and health overloads I’m dumping on you. Q: You’ve closed Canberra Theatre, cinemas, music festivals – heaven knows how the Folk Festival and the International Music Festival will struggle back – and sent the city into a virtual hibernation. Proud of yourself? A: Absolutely. It isn’t all bad, people will be spending intimate time together. I heard a joke about what do you call the progeny of the self-isolation generation? The Quarantinees! I have to get going, I still have a lot to do. Q: Thank you CV, we hope we don’t see you anytime soon.

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VIRUS CRISIS / keep cups banned

Ben’s frantic to keep his cafes clear By Danielle

NOHRA CAFES across the Canberra region are rejecting keep cups in a response to the coronavirus pandemic, and La Sable Patisserie owner Ben Turner thinks they were possibly the first to lead this hygiene precaution. La Sable Patisserie, which has two shops in Mitchell, stopped taking keep cups mid-March and other cafes across the region, such as Coffee Guru in Crace, have since followed. “We’ve gone over the top,” says Ben, who is an asthmatic and falls into a higher risk group in the face of COVID-19. Even before the federal government announcement, made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday (March 22), restricting cafes and restaurants to take-away only, Ben had stopped accepting keep cups, stopped self-serve cutlery, water and sugar sachets. “I looked at everything. Sugar went. How many people come in and play with the sugar?” says Ben whose gloved and hygiene-focused staff will put sugar into takeaway coffees for customers now, instead of the cafe’s previous self-serve format.

La Sable Patisserie owner Ben Turner… “We have to work to survive, we’re all in the same position.”  Photo: Danielle Nohra Ben says most customers have been understanding but there are a few that have said he’s gone over the top with it. “We just don’t know where the keep cups have been, and a majority of the keep cups are unwashed,” he says. “People will bring them in and ask us to rinse them.”

But other than that Ben says everyone’s been really good, and customers have even been using the hand sanitiser dispenser he put at the entrance of the cafes. “Everyone’s been really good, sanitising when they walk in and when they leave,” he says. “We’ve been sanitising anything

that might be touched, every half hour. “Our priority is our staff and our customers to stop the spread [of the coronavirus] and to protect them, too. “We’re trying to focus on things we can change. The coronavirus is out of our hands but we’re thinking about what we can do to grow and adapt to what’s happening and move forward.” Businesses are working during an unprecedented time, and Ben says they will take every measure they can to keep going. “We have to work to survive, we’re all in the same position,” he says. The thing that concerns Ben the most is the unknown but he says he has plans in place if things get worse. Following Mr Morrison’s announcement, Ben and the staff have removed tables and chairs so they can follow the takeaway-only measures. “And if it gets really out of control, we’ll be offering online delivery on the north side, in the Gungahlin area,” he says. But for now, Ben says they’ll stay open for takeaway with heightened hygiene measures in place. The kitchen’s the same, according to Ben, who says all of the staff are wearing gloves and sanitising as often as possible. “We’re also encouraging people to pay by card. We’re still taking cash but we encourage card payments,” he says.

Libraries’ programs go, still open for borrowers ALL ACT public libraries remain open despite their programs of events having been suspended until further notice. Libraries ACT is exploring how to deliver some programs online. It says the decision has been made for the safety of staff and the community due to social distancing recommendations during many of the events. It also follows the Council of Australian Government’s recommendation limiting all non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 or more people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Court pauses hearings THE ACT Magistrates Court has paused all non-essential final court hearings until April 3, says acting chief magistrate and chief coroner Glenn Theakston. During that period, Mr Theakston says the court will continue hearing other matters, including final hearings for defendants who are in custody and applications for protection orders. “Anyone required to self-isolate in accordance with government policy should not attend the Magistrates Court building,” he says. “This includes those on bail or subject to summonses, subpoenas or other compulsory processes. Individuals in these circumstances must contact the registry in advance. “They will receive advice about how their matters are to proceed. For example, they may be required to appear by audio visual link or by telephone, or their matter may be adjourned to another date.”

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Because self-isolation shouldn’t lead to social isolation. 6  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020


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VIRUS CRISIS / politics

Border control is a joke as co-ordination falters INSTEAD of maintaining the front foot, as happened at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, our governments have been playing catch up. Better co-ordination between all jurisdictions and heeding lessons from our own past epidemics and from the most successful governments internationally is desperately needed. Singapore and Taiwan had early infections. However, through a combination of very rigorous border controls, restrictions on international travel, strictly isolating anyone who had or might have had COVID-19, and vigorously pursuing those who had contacts with an infected person, they have managed to control the spread much more effectively than most. They have also encouraged social distancing and good hand hygiene. Australia’s border control for this virus has been a joke. The cruise ships that landed in Sydney allowing thousands of potentially exposed people to pour into that city is just one example. As an island nation, Australia has significant advantage over many other countries – such as those in Europe. The Tasmanian Premier under-

Australia’s border control for this virus has been a joke. The cruise ships that landed in Sydney allowing thousands of potentially exposed people to pour into that city is just one example. stood this advantage and was early in applying significant travel restrictions into that state. His action was followed by SA, NT and eventually (in a very soft version) in the ACT. However, national co-ordination was poor. The focus of the Australian approach to COVID-19 has prioritised economics. Lip service was paid to health. Universities were allowed to accept international students from COVID-19 countries, ongoing trade was facilitated and every opportunity remained for business to keep trading. For quite some time the government of #scottycomelately was on the back foot as economics trumped health issues. The wake-up call came with the crash of the stock market and the need for the first stimulus package. A secondary focus was to protect hospitals from being overwhelmed by “flattening the curve”. This was an important tactic, but not one to supersede the other options. Another

failure of successive Australian governments has been the constant cuts in spending on preventive health. Outcomes from preventive health go beyond the following election. Contact tracing is an important element of any effective response to an occurrence of seriously infectious disease. Australia has seen plenty of examples at the small scale, such with measles outbreaks. Epidemiologists deployed by public health officials of our states and territories have demonstrated their competency again and again. However, COVID-19 is overwhelming public health resources. This is not surprising considering constant attacks on preventive health. Australia’s spending on prevention in health has been constantly declining. The Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Medical Association and many others have been calling for increased spending in the area of prevention.


Compare Canadian spending at between five and six per cent of the health budget to Australia’s expenditure at a meagre 1.7 per cent. Even with increased expenditure in prevention, there was never going to be enough public health professionals to pursue contact tracing. It was clear very early that COVID-19 was going to need a cross-departmental approach. Police officers, for example, could well have been deployed in the early stages of contact tracing and to ensure isolation or quarantine. Instead we are on the back foot. Calling a “National Cabinet” to address the constant tensions between the federal government, on the one hand, and the states and territories on the other, was an excellent approach. However, this also demonstrates failure of past action on the part of successive governments. National co-ordination was recognised as a problem with swine flu and SARS (a previous coronavirus). The calls for establishment of an Australian Centre for Disease Control by prominent Australians and NGOs for more

than a decade have been rejected by governments. Failure of national co-ordination has been demonstrated by state press releases pre-empting national cabinet decisions such as closing borders, school closures, and declarations of states of emergency. Largely consistent messaging is finally being achieved. The challenge for now is how much can we depend on citizens doing the right thing compared to how much coercion will be brought to bear? Michael Moore is a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and an independent minister for health. He has been a political columnist with “CityNews” since 2006. He is the Immediate Past President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

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COVID-19 / everything you wanted to know but were too scared to ask

Expect a fever, a dry cough but not a stuffy nose Coronavirus: how long does it take to get sick? How infectious is it? Will you always have a fever? SANJAYA SENANAYAKE explains the COVID-19 basics YOU’RE probably inundated with news and messages about coronavirus at the moment. But how do you know if you’re consuming evidence-based information or just speculation and myth? There’s still a lot we don’t know but here’s what the evidence tells us so far about the coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

How does it spread? COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets generated via coughing and sneezing. This means it can spread during close contact between an infected and uninfected person, when it’s inhaled, or enters the body via the eyes, mouth or nose. Infection can also occur when an uninfected person touches a contaminated surface.

What are the symptoms? COVID-19 causes similar symptoms to the flu. Fever is the most common symptom, occurring in almost 88 per cent of cases, while a dry cough is the next most common, affecting almost 68 per cent of those with the virus. Data from 55,000 cases in

China also show other symptoms can include: fatigue (in 38 per cent of cases), producing sputum or phlegm (33 per cent), shortness of breath (19 per cent), sore throat (14 per cent), headache (14 per cent). Unlike other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, COVID-19 is hardly ever associated with a stuffy nose. This is seen in just 5 per cent of cases. Diarrhoea is also uncommon, affecting only 4% with the virus.

Can I be infected if I don’t have a fever? Yes, you can still have coronavirus if you don’t have a fever. This occurs in about 12 per cent of cases.

How long does it take to get sick? The incubation is the period from when you’re infected to when you become sick. For COVID-19, the range is 1-14 days, with an average incubation period of 5-6 days.

How sick do people usually get? Most people who get sick (80 per cent) have a mild illness that rarely involves needing to go to hospital. They recover after about two weeks.

But just over 20 per cent of people sick with COVID-19 will need to be hospitalised for severe difficulties with breathing. Of the 20 per cent who need to be hospitalised, 6 per cent become critically ill with either respiratory failure (where you can’t get enough oxygen from your lungs into your blood), septic shock, and/or multiple organ failure. These people are likely to require admission to an intensive care unit. It appears to take about one week to become severely ill after getting symptoms.

How often do people die of it? The case fatality rate refers to the number of deaths among those who have tested positive for coronavirus. Globally, the case fatality rate today stands at 4 per cent. But this rate varies country to country and even within countries. These variations may partially be explained by whether hospitals have been overwhelmed or not. The case fatality rate in Wuhan was 5.8 per cent (although one model says it may be lower at 1.4 per cent). In the rest of China, it was at 0.7 per cent. Similarly, in Europe, Italy’s case fatality rate is 8.3 per cent, greatly surpassing that of Germany’s 0.2 per cent. However, the case fatality rate only includes people who are tested and

confirmed as having the virus. Some modelling estimates suggest that if you calculated the number of deaths from the total number of cases (those confirmed with tests and those that went undetected) the proportion of people who die from coronavirus might be more like 1 per cent.

Who is most at risk of dying? People aged over 60 years with underlying health problems are at highest risk of severe disease and death. For people aged 60-69, 3.6 per cent of those who are infected will die from COVID-19. This rises to 8 per cent for 70-79 year olds and 14.8 per cent for those over 80. Among people under 50 years, just 0.2-0.4 per cent will die from the disease and this rises to 1.3 per cent for 50-59 year olds.

How infectious is it compared with flu? COVID-19 and influenza are probably fairly similarly infections. A single ill person with COVID-19 can infect more people than a single ill person with influenza. COVID-19 has a higher “reproduction number” of 2-2.5. This means one person will infect, on average, 2 to 2.5 people. Seasonal influenza has a reproduction number of about 1.28, meaning one person will infect, on average,

between one and two people. But this is balanced by influenza’s ability to infect more quickly. It takes, on average, three days to become sick with the flu, but you can still transmit it before symptoms emerge. It takes five to six days to become sick with COVID-19. We still don’t know if you can be infectious before getting coronavirus symptoms, but it doesn’t seem to be a major driver of transmission.

So influenza can spread faster? The case fatality rate of COVID-19 is higher than that of seasonal influenza (4 per cent versus 0.1 per cent), although as noted above, the true fatality rate of COVID-19 is still not clear.

Can you be reinfected? It’s too early to know if someone infected with COVID-19 can get it again. On the basis of what we understand about other coronaviruses, it is likely that infection will give you long-term immunity. But it’s unclear whether that will mean one year, two years or lifelong immunity. Sanjaya Senanayake is an associate professor of medicine and an infectious diseases physician at the ANU. This article was originally published at

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Right now, our kids are safe at school AS our community rides the waves of COVID 19 uncertainty, concern and panic, a lot of worry out there has been directed to whether schools should be open or closed. The announcement by the ACT government of “pupil-free days” to the Easter break gave parents of school-age children one working day’s notice to work out what the heck they should do with the kids at home until the end of the school holidays. At least we have a moment of certainty rather than the will they/ won’t they debate of the past two weeks. Some parents in my circle had already opted to keep their children home. I am in the camp that so long as school is as safe a place as any for children and teachers, I want my kids to keep their routine and learning… keep calm and carry on, that sort of thing. The reality of this announcement is hitting hard. I’ve done the maths – there are a lot of pupil free days leading into the two weeks of scheduled school holidays. Families now face a total of five weeks – with no travel, no group outings, and restricted activities. We all know that it is far from a holiday with jobs in uncertainty and any movement outside the home a possible health risk. Mums are sharing their homeschooling strategies online, including templates of daily schedules of home-

a seven week-long school shutdown, only to be now told that their kids’ school will remain closed indefinitely. As we face into five weeks of closure, how would our local families and workforce cope with longer or indefinite closures of schools, with based activities, plans for bushwalks, “Since it is very likely that schools the looming threat of job insecurity crafts, baking, gardening that sort of and childcare would close, I started and standowns? It feels like this new thing. It does sound rather lovely, a to worry about who would take care dimension of pressure to the already move to more simpler times, at least of the kids. Two kids 9 and 3. I am a intense juggle that working parents for now, perhaps. single parent and have no grandparexperience, would be enough to Except the idea of homeschooling ents here. My job can’t work from create incredible emotional and them, farming them off to grandhome. Any mums in the same shoes financial stress. And what about parents (who are in the higher-risk and any suggestions?” single parents and those working in category) or chucking in work are The suggestions ranged from ask- the health sector who we despernot great or viable options to me and ing one of the childcare educators ately need to remain at work? many of the parents in my orbit. to be a nanny for your kids, using We need to consider when the But adapt we must. Women will casual workers or uni students schools would be opened again. What inevitably come out of this worst who are out of work to babysit, and are the future ideal conditions? off as we take on the burden of splitting the care between yourself The reality is that these families primary caring for both children and and another parent. are facing a very long time of homepotentially older vulnerable parents, The ideas are well-meant, but the schooling. And the overseas schools while feeling insecure in our jobs and ramifications of early childhood shut-down experience is a good lesbusiness in these uncertain times. educators being privately contracted son for Canberra to remember. Once We need to keep working for many to mind your children, brings trouclosed… which reasons and good luck to my fellow bling issues of quasi, unregulated brave government mums who are trying hard to keep family day care scenarios being official will the plates spinning while working created, and this brings with it it’s reopen the from home, just like I am right now, own safety issues for our kids. schools and keeping an eye on the kids and frantiExpat relatives who are living in risk getting it cally typing away at my laptop with Vietnam have already experienced wrong? “Bluey” in the background on TV. One anonymous poster on the popular “Canberra Mums” Facebook group wrote last week, pre-empting the school closure announcement:

Women will inevitably come out of this worst off as we take on the burden of primary caring for children and potentially older vulnerable parents, while feeling insecure in our jobs.

NEWS Government steps up financial help IN a bid to support a suffering local economy, the ACT government will funnel $137 million to aid arts, clubs, health, businesses and ratepayers. In what Chief Minister Andrew Barr calls the “first phase” of the government’s economic response, the funding will target low-income households and small and medium businesses in the industry sectors. It will include rebates of $150 on residential rates as well as a freeze on some ACT government fees and charges, including the fire and emergency services levy, public transport, vehicle registration and parking fees. In health, Mr Barr says the government will provide resources including funding for respiratory assessment clinics, an increase in inpatient beds and ICU capacity across the territory, maintenance of COVID-19 testing capacity and the purchase of additional medical equipment and supplies. “National and territory income will fall. Our stimulus efforts over the next 12-18 months will reduce the impact and support the eventual recovery, but the short-term economic situation is grim,” Mr Barr warns. “Additional measures will continue to be announced as the government engages with various sectors over the coming weeks.”

Who gets what? More at

CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020  11

VIRUS CRISIS / yesterdays

Whispers of the end of the known world in 1919 “ALL persons travelling from infected areas [are] asked to submit themselves to an inhalation chamber”.

Masks normally the domain of health professionals are donned by the public and proclamations issued on everything from travel restrictions to school closures and the cancellation of public events. Communities disrupted, social cohesion fragmented, economies impacted. Whispers of the end of the known world. No, not COVID19, but the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 (Spanish Flu). When it made landfall in Australia 101 years ago, while government-decreed precautions and restrictions provided challenges to day-to-day life, they largely worked. Along with being one of the last places on earth for it to arrive, the continent would also boast one of the lowest mortality rates. That’s not to suggest misinformation and ill-informed debate weren’t rife. Today we’re witnessing the stockpiling of ‘loo paper and bodysized bags of rice; back then it was wearing red wrist bands, the colour believed to ward it off, and taking laxatives to “flush” out the system. The previously unseen disease worked its way around the globe (the two qualifications of a pandemic) Medical staff and workers in 1919 when NSW implemented some of the strictest forms of health initiatives such as quarantine, the mandatory use of face masks and a ban primarily through the survivors of a on public events.  Photo: State Archives and Records NSW devastating war. be attacked by the disease”, and his was that “pneumonienza” paved the It was late January, 1919, before efforts to source hospital equipment way for such secondary infections. the flu was officially acknowledged and masks, suggesting that “the Red Goulburn recorded its first official as having breached the believed Cross ladies might take up the matter victims on April 17. Forty-two of protected shores of Australia. The its residents would eventually be still new nation of a mere five million, of making and disposing of masks”. This followed an initially lukewarm officially recorded as succumbing, closed its borders from October, 1918, reception by the leading local news including the city’s health inspector, on news the flu had made its presence source, the long-running “QueanbeyJR Biddle. Nonetheless, “The Queanknown in NZ. Ships flying the yellow an Age” (1860), to perceived “overly beyan Age” remained unconvinced as flag of contagion were held at bay, strict” preventative efforts. late as mid-June. though with cases attended to at In February, the paper pontificated “The present weather conditions Fremantle and Manly’s Quarantine that “the unforced conclusion is that are responsible for an epidemic of Station. the epidemic which caused so much colds and catarrhal infections; but Within three months, the illness havoc has spent its force, and that fortunately so far there has been no erroneously named for the Spanish the worst Australia has to face is the symptom of pneumonic influenza in on whom it had wreaked considercontinuance of an influenza which it the neighbourhood of Queanbeyan”. able havoc, had descended on the has been familiar Mere weeks later, the editorial Canberra region. The Canberra Hospital… half of its eight beds were occupied by infected patients. with for years”. tone was vastly changed. Page two The not yet sixThis appeared pronounced that influenza was “now year-old national homes”. Some ignored the requirepublic good, the advice became more alongside an raging” in the town and the Public capital may have ments entirely. sensible – and in our current environadvertisement for Health Department had been twice felt the direct Part of the problem was the ment, bears repeating. free inoculations telegrammed with the request for consequences frequently changing arrangements. “We can refuse to be ‘stampeded’ along with Quean- another four nurses and an additional Restrictions were prematurely less thanks to its by unworthy panic and summon to beyan, depots at doctor to cope. relative georelaxed whenever cases seemed to our aid that courage which is equally Oaks Estate, the Elsewhere around the region, graphic isolation ebb, but the peak wouldn’t occur heroic in endurance as in action… Canberra HospiMichelago intended on using its 300 kilometres until July. Is it not true, at all times and in all tal, Hall, Majura School of Arts building as an emerfrom Sydney and Understandably, most were weary places, that panic is more dangerous Recreation Hall, gency hospital, there were recorded more than double of war deprivations, rationing and than the circumstances which apparTuggeranong instances in Yass, Bungendore and that to Melbourne bad news and the expectations offered ently produce it?”. School and Braidwood, and multiple deaths in – and its lack of little joy: in the same year the Royal Alternatively, if we’re going to Tharwa. Cooma – seven within 48 hours, four population, but Easter Show in Sydney was cancelled, insist on hoarding toilet paper, might Towards the of whom were siblings. the ripple effect so too, the Queanbeyan Show. as well make use of it and give those end of March, At the on-again-off-again, five-yearwas wide. By year’s end, it’s estimated 40 laxatives a try. “rumours of a old “temporary structure” that was The inhalation per cent of the country had been case of pneuthe Canberra Hospital at Acton (now, chamber as a infected, with as many as 15,000 dead. For more on the monic influenza the ANU), half of its eight beds were precautionary Of course, the true figures can never local experience, in Queanbeyan” occupied by infected patients. Return- be known. How much worse though, measure was put anoverallview. Influenza everywhere… the register at were reported ing servicemen were quarantined forward at an might it have been? Queanbeyan Hospital 1919. as “absolutely for 10 days there in specially erected Influenza ComWhile some of the early editorial blog false”. However, isolation tents. Others were apparmittee meeting content put forward by “The Queanthere’d been at least one death in ently “being treated in their own in Queanbeyan on April 4, 1919. Dr beyan Age” was contrary to the wider Patrick Blackall, government medical the Queanbeyan Hospital as early as January 13. Marion Dunlop, 45, of officer, also outlined procedures for inoculation (a hurried concoction that Bungendore, was recorded as having died of “double pneumonia”: what was essentially useless), “arrangewasn’t recognised at that early stage ment for the relief of those who may

12  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020

Rotary Clubs of ACT Emergency Services Community Awards (RESCA) is the only time all Emergency Services personnel, both paid and volunteer, are recognised in a combined awards program. The Awards are open to all, Emergency Service Personnel stationed in ACT, serving in either a paid capacity or Volunteer. Up to 4 Finalists will be selected from each ESA (can be paid or volunteer). 2 overall winners (i.e 1 Paid and 1 Volunteer) will be announced at the Awards Dinner.

To nominate visit

For more information and to nominate visit


‘Boys are always searching for clues for manhood and it is critical that they have good an

Real-world role models shaped by schooldays THE old adage, “it takes a village to raise a child”, has never been truer than in these trying times, says Matthew Hutchison, of Marist College. “For parents looking to prepare their children for their various roles in life, finding that village, whether at home or at school, is absolutely imperative,” says the boys’ school headmaster. “Boys, in particular, need a supportive environment that celebrates them, finds them worthy of interest and provides mentors and leaders as role models. “They are always searching for clues for manhood and it is critical that they have good and diverse examples to emulate.” For more than 50 years Marist College Canberra has partnered with parents to create fine young men, ready for the roles that await them beyond the school gates, says Matthew. “A rich tradition of academic excellence, pastoral care from dedicated teachers and support staff, and a supportive learning environment accompanies boys on their journey from boyhood to manhood,” he says. “Preparing boys for their roles in life takes time, care, and a deep understanding of each individual boy. An old Irish proverb goes, ‘we live in the shelter of each other’. “It’s a splendid image that represents us as a community that deeply cares for the boys in our care, our staff and parent community. Together, we create fine young men.” To learn more about the Marist experience, meet three old boys: Eugene Haigh, 32; Greg Lally, 32; and Gene Schirripa, 25.

EUGENE HAIGH “My relationships with fellow students left a lasting impression on me,” says

14  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020

Robotics, TAS, and hospitality are among the the wide range of courses for boys offered by Marist.

Eugene, director at Pichelmann Custom Building. “Marist breeds a comradery I have rarely recognised elsewhere in society and I remember this sense of mateship being easy to find there. “Marist’s emphasis on community and social aspects of life helped me find my confidence to push through my comfort zones.

“In Year 12, I was put in charge of putting on the industrial arts end-of-year function with two other classmates to showcase everything that had been built that year. I remember being amazed that a student could be given this much freedom over a school event.” Eugene, a self-professed introvert, believes Marist’s emphasis on leadership and social interaction is put to good use

at Pichelmann Custom Building, where he works with clients, subcontractors, and employees to build some of Canberra’s most spectacular homes.

GREG LALLY Greg, a chartered accountant, entrepreneur and charity fundraiser, appreciated the Marist mindset that encourages boys

to create impactful relationships inside the school as well as in the community. “My time at Marist developed the core principles that guide my social and professional interactions and my sense of connectivity with family and community,” he says. Greg wears many hats; apart from his chartered accounting work, his portfolio includes two hospitality venues (XO

advertising feature

nd diverse examples to emulate.’

at Marist College and Morning Glory) and a cosmetics company (Infamous Gentleman). One hat he is proud to wear, though, is that of charity fundraiser; he has helped raise more than $3 million in funds since 2006. “I maintain strong ties to the Canberra business community and various philanthropic causes both locally and nationally,” he says. “I am currently treasurer of Canberra-based charity Raize The Roof as well as being a Canberrabased member of Starlight Children’s Foundation.” This “heart for others” mindset is a treasured part of the Marist philosophy. Headmaster Matthew says: “We not only seek to form young men of genuine values who will not only simply fit into the world, but who will seek to make a difference to it by the quality of the lives they lead. “We want to create the best conditions to allow boys to nourish their spiritual lives and form a relationship with Jesus who we hope will be a great companion on their journey.”

GENE SCHIRRIPA Gene, a solicitor at Snedden, Hall and Gallop, appreciates how Marist builds faith into the fabric of the school. “Faith at Marist is more than about attending mass, as important as that is,” he says. “Youth Ministry, for example, connected me with church and service activities well after school. This is important for ongoing formation, which shouldn’t wind up just because ‘school is over’.” Apart from creating a caring and compassionate environment that inspires boys to commit to their faith, justice and the wellbeing of others,

Marist’s culture of high expectations and quality of teaching challenges boys to be intellectually ambitious and fiercely independent. When Gene was at Marist, he was a member of the Youth Ministry team and the football club, but also participated in debates and mock trials, which he says gave him confidence for a career in law. “My favourite classes put me in good stead for the academic rigours of university,” he says. “The classes were interactive and there was a genuine exchange of ideas between the teacher and students, rather than just a lecture from one end. This created an engaging and encouraging classroom dynamic, raising the standards of the entire class.” Apart from academic activities, this trio of old boys enjoyed sports – soccer for Gene, basketball for Greg, rugby for Eugene – and a range of other activities that enabled them to discover and then pursue their talents and interests in a safe and nurturing environment. “Marist really does cater to everyone equally well,” Eugene says. “Whether they’re athletes, academics, artists, or those who haven’t quite found their purpose yet.” Gene agrees. “Marist strives to celebrate every boy for who they are while trying to ensure they can be the best version of themselves each day.” “In my experience, the Marist environment is a powerful way to set up your kids for a genuinely fulfilling adolescence and young adulthood,” Greg says. “It’s about building foundational relationships between your peers and working together to help each other and help the community.”

Entrepreneur Greg Lally… “My time at Marist developed the core principles that guide my social and professional interactions and my sense of connectivity with family and community.”

Building company director Eugene Haigh… “Marist breeds a comradery I have rarely recognised elsewhere in society and I remember this sense of mateship being easy to find there.”

Solicitor Gene Schirripa… “Faith at Marist is more than about attending mass, as important as that is.”

CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020  15

VIRUS CRISIS / the facts and the fiction

Seven answers to hard coronavirus questions various beverages will help “flush WITH new information on the coronavirus coming out every day, it out” the virus, but the virus does its can be hard to sort out the facts from the myths. Public health and work inside cells. infectious disease experts TRENT YARWOOD, BEN HARRIS-ROXAS, DANIEL REEDERS and KATHRYN SNOW clear some of the confusion... 3. Do blood pressure medicines worsen the illness? 1. I s herd immunity a good strategy? munity around seven to 10 days after Myth. Nobody should stop taking any Herd immunity is not part of the Australian strategy for controlling the outbreak. Some have claimed the Australian government has plans to rely on “herd immunity” to control the outbreak. That’s not the case. The decision not to close schools is based on data from China, which show that there’s no sign of children and young people playing a role in “chains” of transmission. In addition, closing schools, without making similar arrangements for working parents, might lead to children being looked after by grandparents, who we need to protect at all costs from exposure to the virus. Also, this could have a major impact on the health workforce, many of whom have school-aged children. The development of immunity is an important question for the longer term management of COVID-19. Eventually, many people who contract the virus will become immune and this will help control its spread. Clinical experience suggests people with mild illness may develop im-

the onset of symptoms.

2. Can drinking a lot of water, gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar eliminate the virus? What about drinking lemon in hot water, or other home remedies? Myth. Many people have asked what they can do to “boost their immune system” and there’s no shortage of quacks and scam artists happy to answer that question. Hot drinks with lemon and honey, vitamin supplements, foods with garlic and ginger, apple cider vinegar, gargling with salt water… none of these things has any impact on your immune response and won’t eliminate the virus. But if they make you feel calmer and healthier, they can’t hurt (except putting vinegar in your nose – that’s not a good time). Other myths include that the virus can’t survive above 27C (80.6F). We can tell this is wrong with a moment’s thought, since it can function in our bodies at 37.5C. Some have claimed that drinking

medication unless advised to by their doctor. There was recent speculation that some blood-pressure medications that target a protein called ACE2 might worsen the course of infection because the virus also targets that protein. In response, the European Society of Cardiologists had issued a strongly worded statement saying there’s no evidence to support these concerns, and potential for serious harm if people stop taking their blood pressure medication.

4. What about non-steroidal antiinflammatories like ibuprofen? The World Health Organization has urged people who suspect they have COVID-19 to take paracetamol, not ibuprofen. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen also attach to this protein. In France, some doctors noted that a number of patients who were admitted to ICU had been taking these drugs. It is not clear whether these patients had other conditions which put them at higher

risk of being admitted to ICU, or if the NSAIDs were the only risk factor. This is hotly-debated and we can expect to hear more about it.

soap and alcohol break virus particles apart, but in different ways. Hand washing also works because it washes viral particles off our hands.

5. Can the virus stay living on surfaces for nine days?

7. Can coronavirus spread through food?

We don’t have data on COVID-19, although research on this is likely already happening. A review of studies looking at similar viruses such as SARS and MERS found viral particles can last for some time on surfaces — potentially up to nine days. It depends on a number of factors, such as the type of material, the temperature and humidity, and perhaps even how much of the virus was deposited. Alcohol-based products were found to be effective at removing the virus from surfaces. Wiping down surfaces, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face remain the best things you can do.

That depends on if someone coughs on your food, or shares your spoon. Coronavirus spreads via droplet transmission. When someone coughs or sneezes without a mask, droplets of saliva and mucus can fall within a metre or two of the sick person. Most transmission occurs when these droplets make their way into your mouth, nose, or eyes. That’s why hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are so important. Sharing cutlery or glasses with people with coronavirus could pass on the infection, as heard on ABC “7.30”. However, you are unlikely to catch anything from the avocado you pick out of a basket at Woolies as a consolation prize after missing out on toilet paper.

6. Is hand sanitiser not as effective as soap and water? A science-y fun fact has been circulating on Twitter, saying soap is better than alcohol at disrupting the lipid layer that surrounds viral particles. Whether you use alcohol or soap isn’t really important – making sure you wash your hands often and thoroughly definitely is. In fact, both

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@ rascals-treats 16  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020

The authors are infectious diseases physician TRENT YARWOOD, SEaRCH director BEN HARRIS-ROXAS, PhD candidate at the ANU School of Regulation and Global Governance DANIEL REEDERS and epidemiologist KATHRYN SNOW. This article was originally published on The Conversation website (


R U G B Y I TA LI A 9 0 + 1 The history of Italian rugby as seen through its jerseys Up for auction… the sign in the suburbs that brings out worried residents.

Photo: Paul Costigan

Going once, twice… gone completely? AFTER any neighbourhood auction, the conversations usually follow a similar line: will the property be occupied and the garden maintained or will it be up for demolition for yet another large, grey box with the established greenery taken away as rubble? Residents are increasingly worried about how planning rules are varied, are often ignored and the lack of enforcement. There is a lot of patronising spin from the ACT Labor/Greens coalition government. Nothing new there! Most annoying is the constant messaging about how our neighbourhoods need to change because the population is increasing. This is insulting because it is stating the obvious as if residents are not intelligent enough to be aware of what is happening around them daily. People get it! The latest condescending spin is about why we need to update the Territory Plan. The statement starts with: “Canberra’s population is growing by approximately 8000 per year as more people choose to live here. With this growth, 100,000 new homes will need to be built in the next 25 years and most of these will be in existing urban areas.” This not-too-subtle message clearly signals that residents need to get out of the way to allow the Planning Directorate and the developers to do their thing. While residents largely accept the reality that changes are occurring and will continue, it is the ad hoc planning regimes, the low quality of the stuff that appears, the continual loss of greenery and the increasing disregard of the submissions from local communities that has resulted in a complete failure of this government’s capacity to work with residents to enhance rather than degrade the nature of this city. Much of this was covered in the responses to the ISCCs (Inner South Canberra Community Council) survey in late 2019. Not only do people place a high priority on greenery, parks, and streetscapes (if we are to remain the bush capital and address climate change) but many highlighted their desire to be involved in the planning and design of what changes are happening to the neighbourhoods. These wishes are not new and have been documented countless times within submissions. Residents identify with their street, their suburb

15-27 March 2020 East Hotel, Canberra

The Planning Directorate’s ad hoc approach to planning is delivering a degradation of the suburbs rather than enhancement through good design and green infrastructure improvements. and nearby precincts and aspire to have planning consider local master planning as the basis for the overarching territory plan. This will not happen! Instead the ACT’s developer-focused Planning Directorate decided in 2019 against any such residentfocused approach and established one of its notorious “not negotiable” criteria as the basis of its planning review. It’s a top-down approach to planning. Instead of being focused on residents, the planning will now use “District Planning” as its basis. The districts listed are Belconnen, Gungahlin, Molonglo Valley, North Canberra, South Canberra, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Woden Valley. In the inner north, the planning mess that is Civic has been joined with the ad hoc approach to Canberra’s Gateway (Northbourne Avenue) with all of that lumped in with the planning for the inner north’s established suburbs – among which there are clear differences and requirements. While the Woden community has been calling for master planning for the precinct of the commercial centre to the hospital site, this aspiration is ignored in favour of broad planning for the whole of Woden. Many residential groups have called for locally focused master plans – and some have drawn up their own detailed versions – but these will now be ignored. The Planning Directorate’s ad hoc approach to planning is delivering a degradation of the suburbs rather than enhancement through good design and green infrastructure improvements. Nothing about this inept and narrowly focused planning review bodes well for this city. Instead of the planning mechanisms being subject to review, the planning directorate itself is overdue for a thorough and independent review. The leadership and culture of this important arm of government is no longer capable of delivering world-class planning for Canberra as a great place to live.

Supported by :

The exposition, through a careful selection of photographs and memorabilia, will retrace the main milestones events of the history of Italian rugby from the Monarchy era (1929) to the latest Rugby World Cup in Japan (2019). This exhibition will display 18 most significant jerseys and the most iconic shots in the history of Italian rugby.

Embassy of Italy in Australia


CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020  17


advertising feature

Creative ways to entertain kids in a crisis WITH events and business closures across the ACT, in a response to COVID-19, it’s time to get creative these school holidays. This week “CityNews” speaks with outdoor businesses or businesses that are adapting, to keep children entertained in the face of this crisis.

Archive has hours of online content for kids THE National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) is temporarily closed to the public, but it’s always open online, according to a spokesperson. “The doors may be closed at the moment, but people can explore hundreds of items from our collection within the NFSA’s virtual channels,” says the NFSA. This includes hundreds of hours of content available on its website and YouTube channels, with 13 online-only exhibitions, dedicated to Australian icons such as Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Jimmy Barnes, Archie Roach, John Farnham, Graham Kennedy, Annette Kellerman (pictured), Johnny O’Keefe, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and several classic films such as “Storm Boy”, “Priscilla”, “Muriel’s Wedding”, “Strictly Ballroom” and “Picnic at Hanging Rock”. There are also about 164 curated collec-

tions, showcasing video, audio, images, and other rare items from the NFSA collection. “These cover a huge range of topics; we have something for kids, animal lovers, automotive and train enthusiasts, music fans, film buffs, and those interested in seeing how Australia has changed through the decades,” says the NFSA. “We will be adding new content to the website every fortnight, while also sharing content regularly via our social media channels.” The NFSA says it will be reviewing the COVID-19 situation every day, and will notify the public, via and social media, about when and how its public programs will resume. National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton. Call 6248 2000, email or visit

Zoo stays open, but with restrictions THE National Zoo and Aquarium is open and families are still able to come and visit the animals and the playground for a day of adventure, says business manager Russell Jackson. “We have a few restrictions – we have stopped the casual keeper talks, where a keeper talks to groups while feeding the animals,” Russell says. “We also ensure people are safely distanced while queuing, and provide hand sanitiser and signs to remind everyone of the importance of hand washing.” However, there’s always a huge variety of animal encounters and activities available for families over the school holidays, including the “Zoocation” program, which offers a unique experience for primary-aged children, says Russell.

“We have limited the amount of kids, and whenever we’re inside, we will also ensure that there is plenty of space and that the groups are small,” Russell says. “Children will get up close and personal with many of the zoo’s animals, play games, make toys for the animals and will learn something along the way,” says marketing manager Meg de Souza. Russell says that with 220,000sqm of land to roam about in, the zoo is a safe place to come for fun and exciting learning about animals and ways to help conserve the natural world. National Zoo & Aquarium, 999 Lady Denman Drive, Canberra. Visit or call 6287 8400.

What’s that Skip? The National Film and Sound Archive has hundreds of hours of content available on our website including a Skippy online exhibition, and much more! From the 1890s through to today, explore our online resources at home with the kids. Have fun and learn new things together, anytime! Visit our website and start your journey. NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIA 18  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020





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Joanne Madeline Moore

General knowledge crossword No. 726

Your week in the stars – March 30-April 5, 2020

We are a real estate agency with a purpose. While still delivering professional marketing campaigns and achieving the premium price for your property, we have 6 GENUINE points of difference: • Your privacy and confidentiality is very important to us, and your data will never be given to a finance or insurance company; • Our social Impact model ensures 10% of all our profits go to a local homelessness initiatives as guided by Hands Across Canberra who will validate our figures each year; • Our preferred suppliers and trades will equally have a community cause they support; • Our recruitment policy shows any employee or agent must pass the public scrutiny test and have their own cause; • Our Environmentally Conscious Policy shows we are committed to having a positive contribution to climate change with annual audits; and • Gifts to our clients are sourced from indigenous businesses and social enterprise businesses. Selling your home or investment property is an important journey, and you now have an opportunity for this to have a positive social impact on the broader community.

Call Christine on 0405 135 009 or Gillian on 0416 017 072 today for an obligation free appraisal to plan your 2020 sales campaign

mob: 0405 135 009 @christineshawproperties

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 21)

Are you stubbornly sticking to old ways of thinking and antiquated ways of doing, as if you’re on autopilot? This week Jupiter and Pluto explode and undermine your pre-set dinosaur ideas. Yep… it’s time to put aside pre-conceived concepts (that aren’t working) and then examine your current beliefs in a progressive and philosophical new light. As writer (and birthday great) Maya Angelou reminds us: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21)

The Mars-Saturn conjunction (on Tuesday and Wednesday) could delay travel plans, exacerbate a current legal matter or frustrate a financial situation. So proceed with a positive attitude but also plenty of tact and (uncustomary) caution. When Venus shifts into your sign on Friday, it’s time to flirt up a storm or call in a few old favours. When you’re firing on all cylinders, it’s hard for others to resist your natural charisma! On the weekend, don’t be gullible and believe everything you hear.

CANCER (June 22 – July 23)

A complicated financial matter could stall or even go backwards. When it comes to a sensitive relationship problem, the more you try to control others, the more they will push back. So take a good long look at your motives. Perhaps you are on the wrong track? Jupiter and Pluto encourage you to handle interpersonal relations in a more subtle and philosophical way. However some single Crabs will head in the opposite direction and become involved (or embroiled) in a secret love affair.

LEO (July 24 – Aug 23)

People are looking to you for some sound leadership. Leo is a fixed sign, and you can be very bossy, stubborn and set in your beliefs. Aim to be more adaptable and flexible this week, as you focus attention on helping those around you. Hubris, pride and over-confidence often come before a fall, especially when Jupiter pairs up with Pluto on the weekend. So you need to practice being a super humble Cat, otherwise you’ll come a cropper! Being of service to others sees you sparkle and shine.

VIRGO (Aug 24 – Sept 23)

The main prerequisite you need this week is plenty of patience! On Tuesday or Wednesday, expect some delays to your daily routine as Saturn slows things down. You could also be worried and stressed about a health issue. Then Jupiter and Pluto place relationships (of the romantic and platonic variety) under the microscope on the weekend. In your close partnerships, do your best to get the balance right between spontaneity and intensity, between independence and intimacy.

LIBRA (Sept 24 – Oct 23)

Venus transits into your learning and adventure zone on Friday. Education, research, local travel and philosophical conversations are favoured over the next few weeks. Jupiter and Pluto also shine a bright spotlight on an important family matter. But don’t let others drain your energy and disrupt your equilibrium. Be inspired by singer Celine Dion (turning 52 on March 30): “What do you need to stay grounded, in touch, in love, connected and emotionally balanced? Look within yourself.”


4 Who created the comic strip, Ginger Meggs, James ...? (6) 7 Name the capital of Hawaii. (8) 8 What is a more readily known term for a critique? (6) 9 What is a state of affairs in which progress is impossible? (8) 11 To grasp or understand clearly, is to do what? (7) 13 What is an insatiable greed for riches? (7) 15 To be of low character, aims, etc, is to be what? (7) 17 Which term describes the state of being disregarded? (7) 20 What are used to relieve the pain of headache, neuralgia, etc? (8) 23 Name an alternative expression for adolescents. (6) 24 Which term describes that which is meant for a select few? (8) 25 Name a fortified and blended wine of southern Spain (6)

1 Name the site of Vatican City (4) 2 Who became the world’s highest-scoring Test batsman in 1993, Allan ...? (6) 3 Name a style of self-defence, derived from jujitsu. (4) 4 Who, with William Wills, led the expedition that first crossed Australia south to north, Robert O’Hara ... ? (5) 5 What are fictitious prose narratives of considerable length? (6) 6 What are the main longitudinal structural members of ships’ hulls? (5) 9 What colloquially, would we call a member of the St George Illawarra ARL team? (6) 10 Which term describes the list appearing at the beginning or end of a film, showing the names of those involved in its production? (7) 12 Name the large sea ducks that yield eiderdown. (6) 14 What’s another name for a woodlouse? (6) 16 Who wrote “Around the Boree Log”, John ...? (6) 18 What is a point of time distinguished by a particular event or state of affairs? (5) 19 Name an Australian research station established in Antarctica in 1969. (5) 21 Which term designates the main story of a play, etc? (4) 22 What was the given name of the first person to walk on the moon, ... Armstrong? (4)

Sudoku hard No. 263

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 22)

This week prosperity-planet Jupiter links up with your ruler Pluto. So a lucky break could come your way, especially via social media or a connection within your local community. But if you don’t have the confidence and experience to capitalise on this awesome opportunity, then Lady Luck will just pass you by. Plus proceed carefully with all forms of communication. Otherwise you could provoke a negative response from a cranky ex, a hidden enemy or a known frenemy!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 – Dec 21)

Jupiter and Pluto place money matters or self-esteem issues under the microscope. Avoid jumping to hasty conclusions but don’t waste too much time weighing up the pros and cons of a given situation. The current planetary patterns discourage being impulsive and postulating for too long. The best approach is to think things through and then start transforming your ideas into productive projects. So try to get the balance right between fiery enthusiasm and deep reflection.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 20)

The Jupiter/Pluto conjunction (in your sign) boosts your desire for attention and success, which certainly suits your Capricorn drive and ambition. Remember – the only person you can control is yourself! Instead, strive to turbo-charge your personal evolution, as you stretch yourself in challenging new directions. Be inspired by birthday great, writer Emile Zola: “Life is a perpetual renewal of birth and growth.”

AQUARIUS (Jan 21 – Feb 19)

Saturn is currently sauntering through your sign, which can make you feel rather restricted and somewhat self-conscious. Then, when Mars transits into Aquarius on Monday, you’ll feel a strong drive for freedom and independence. It’s definitely a delicate balancing act but being the real, authentic you is the number one priority. So your motto for the moment is from birthday great, writer Maya Angelou: “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

PISCES (Feb 20 – Mar 20)

You won’t feel very sociable on Tuesday so aim to spend some quality time with a special person… you. Friday and Saturday favour creative pursuits and random acts of kindness. Jupiter and Pluto send a powerful message your way on the weekend. When it comes to your peer group and social circle, aim to be more discriminating and don’t waste precious time on negative people who denigrate your dreams. Make sure you fraternise with friends who boost your spirits and lift you higher. Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2020

20  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020

Solution next edition


Solution next edition

Sudoku medium No. 263

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ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

On Monday your ruler Mars rushes into quirky Aquarius, so you’ll feel like stretching your wings and doing adventurous things. Then Mars links up with Saturn on Tuesday and Wednesday, when a project or event is postponed, delayed, disrupted or even cancelled. Which adds up to plenty of frustration! The pressure eases on the weekend, when Jupiter and Pluto resurrect your personal power. But don’t overdo it and end up alienating an authority figure or loved one in the process.


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Advice to keep you healthy in the days ahead IT’S important to stay healthy during the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but with social distancing measures, crowd limits and medicine restrictions, staying healthy might look a little different than normal. This week “CityNews” speaks with passionate health experts, organisations and businesses who have ideas or measures put in place to keep Canberrans moving and healthy.

Sale encourages outdoor movement WITH restrictions on being indoors in large groups, now’s the perfect time to get on a bike, says Cookies Cycles’ owner David Cook. David says he’s offering a 30 per cent off storewide sale on his large range of skateboards, scooters and bikes until April 9, to encourage Canberrans to get back on to two wheels and in the fresh air. And he’ll look after old bikes, too, so if people have bikes that need a service, they can bring them in to be checked over. “We want to help people get outside and on their bikes, as it’s a great way to keep up fitness levels during this health crisis,” says David, who’s been in the industry for 35 years, and opened the shop in September 2015

to cater for the family cyclist. “We’ve got folding electric bikes, low step and flat bar, and kits that you can use to convert your current bike into an electric bike.” He says they also have a large range of parts and accessories for all the products they sell. Cookies Cycles stocks everything from balance bikes and three-wheel scooters for the little ones, up to larger scooters to skateboards, mountain bikes, electric bikes and road bikes, BMX bikes for the racer as well as street and park riders, he says. Cookies Cycles, 227 Flemington Road, Franklin. Call 6242 0338, email or visit

Kristen’s ‘safe’ way of walking NORDIC Walking is the perfect solution to staying active and healthy during this pandemic, says Kristen Pratt of Capital Nordic Walking. “It ticks all the boxes – you’re outside in the fresh air, away from crowds, the only item you have contact with is your own Nordic Walking poles, and you walk a good metre or two apart from others,” says Kristen. “One of the important benefits is that your immune system receives a boost from regular exercise, strengthening your ability to fight infection.” Kristen, who’s an occupational therapist and qualified Nordic walking and fitness instructor, says Australians of all ages and fitness levels, including people with health challenges, are catching on to the fitness regime that has been keeping Scandinavian skiers trim since the 1930s. “More people are taking to the great outdoors

to try their hands (and arms and legs and back and abs!) at Nordic Walking,” she says. “Millions of people globally are enjoying terrific results – including toning more than 90 per cent of the muscles in the body – double that of walking, jogging, and cycling, increased cardiovascular workout, and higher calorie burn. “It also significantly reduces the load and strain on ankle, knee, and hip joints, strengthens core, improves posture, and can ease back and neck pain. “Check out Capital Nordic Walking’s Autumn courses to find one that matches your needs. There’s something for everyone.” Capital Nordic Walking. Email, call 0499 993215, or visit


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Nordic Walking is far more effective than regular walking, jogging, cycling or swimming. Much easier on joints, provides stability, strengthens core and improves posture. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels and health conditions like Parkinson’s, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease. Call Kristen Pratt on 0499 993 215 CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020  21


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This pictorial glance at coronavirus is drawn from an article by Sanjaya Senanayake, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the ANU and republished from 22  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020

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Lanette puts Pilates classes online

“We are looking at implementing telehealth services, and exercise classes online with us are now available,” she says. “We can also arrange appointments with various health practitioners online if someone needs it.” Rebecca says many of their people are immune compromised, which presents an extra risk. “Try to avoid situations where you’re in contact with potentially lots of people, like grocery shopping,” she says. “We suggest ordering groceries online or getting someone to shop for you.”

PEOPLE living with diabetes are urged not to purchase more medicines than they need at this time, according to Natalie Smith, the ACT general manager of Diabetes NSW & ACT. “Those with diabetes are advised to order their National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) products and diabetes medicines as usual. Nothing has Natalie Smith. changed,” says Natalie. The Australian Government has advised there’s no national shortage of NDSS products or insulin or other diabetes-related medicines. “Accessing more NDSS products than usual may affect your annual product limits. There is no need to stockpile,” according to Diabetes NSW & ACT. Across Australia there are in excess of 1.3 million people living with diabetes, with more than 18,000 people living with diabetes in the ACT. These numbers are growing, with about 280 people diagnosed with diabetes every day across Australia, says Diabetes NSW & ACT, which is why the organisation is proud to support the community through raising awareness, screening, support and education. Diabetes NSW & ACT says it’s here to support the community living with diabetes throughout this health emergency. “For additional advice or support, call our helpline on 1300 136588, or contact the NDSS helpline on 1800 637700 or contact our ACT office 6248 4500,” says Natalie.

AS a way to respond to the current coronavirus crisis, owner of Pilates Canberra Lanette Gavran says she has created an online platform for her Pilates students and trainers. “We’re trying to respond in a way that’s appropriate while still keeping people moving,” she says. “Some of our students are at more risk than others, so we’ve created an online platform with pre-recorded classes, so they can still access the content from home.” Lanette, who runs a registered training organisation (RTO) for training other instructors, has a team of 12 teachers who are all passionate about Pilates. “Our Pilates instructors can also hook in with their student in real time, one-on-one or in small groups, and using small props if possible,” she says. Lanette says the studio is still running, and that it’s always been a safe, contained environment with extremely high hygiene standards. “However, we are going the extra mile to ensure that everyone is aware of the current restrictions and protocol around sanitation,” she says. Lanette established Pilates Canberra 25 years ago, and says that Pilates training can help improve strength, flexibility and balance. “It’s important that we keep moving during these unusual times,” she says. “Pilates is a very different way of moving the body, and can help it to move organically, creating new habits that prevent injury.”

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Classes run strong with strict measures in place ARTHRITIS ACT is implementing one-on-one classes and virtual meetings to support people who are isolated during this time, says CEO Rebecca Davey. “We are concerned about people’s mental health, particularly as many of our people are already isolated,” she says. “For people feeling isolated we are happy to meet on a one-to-one basis, or via video conferencing. We are also commencing video conferencing social groups from March 30. Please contact us to receive a link to join these sessions.” Although Australia (and the world) is facing a pandemic, Rebecca says people still have to deal with arthritis and pain, and as coronavirus is likely to be an ongoing situation for a while, they still want to offer support.

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or email 14 Macquarie Street, Barton (part of the Hale Health Club at the Brassey Hotel) CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020  23


Art prize gets a creative solution By Helen Musa

“STRANGE times require creative solutions,” says Gunning artist Margarita Georgiadis as she prepares for the Picture House Art Prize, part of the inaugural Gunning Arts Festival. Georgiadis is co-owner, with her husband of 17 years, actor-artist Max Cullen, of the Picture House Gallery & Bookshop in Gunning, the former Coronation Theatre, on which planned festivities will centre. Undaunted by the coronavirus scare, she says, “our art prize is most definitely still going ahead and we are still accepting submissions. “The general consensus among event organisers is that we will host our arts festival online.” “We want to create something for people who are in self-isolation,” she tells us, explaining that while some smaller events could – though they don’t know yet – go ahead live, most performances are suitable for live-streaming. “The worst-case scenario is that we will have an online art exhibition, which can still be viewed and voted on by the public,” she says.

24  CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020

The Picture House Gallery prize and exhibition, curated by Cullen and Georgiadis and sponsored by Derivan Art Supplies, will give preference to entries that best interpret the festival theme, “Celebrating Nature” and the winner will be announced on May 16. The prize, a Derivan Matisse prize pack of paints valued at $500 and an offer for the winner to stage a solo exhibition at The Picture House Gallery, will be non-acquisitive (meaning the artist can keep it) but all artworks are expected to be for sale. It’s open to artists aged over 18 for works in photography, painting, drawing, printing and multimedia, with a People’s Choice Award for the most popular work. “I know there are many talented artists that live and work in the region… and strongly encourage all artists to apply,” Georgiadis says. Everyone knows Cullen from his popular appearances on TV, his portrayals of Henry Lawson on stage, or as Travis Hudson in “XMen” and Owl Eyes in the Baz Luhrmann film “Gatsby”, but Georgiadis, a respected painter who once told “CityNews” that life with Max was “a zany, Dadaistic experience every day”, is also a creative producer with an eye to the future. The festival has been spearheaded


Leonard’s learning lots in Baltimore By Helen Musa

Margarita Georgiadis and Max Cullen, co-owners of the Picture House Gallery & Bookshop in Gunning. by the Upper Lachlan Shire Council and several Gunning arts practitioners and community cultural groups, including Gunning Focus Group, Dianna Nixon’s Wild Voices Music Theatre, The Picture House Gallery & Bookshop, Creative Gunning, local author Greg Baines and Gunning & District Historical Society. The gala opening concert on April 17, followed by a day of music, drama, art, book reading, and wearable art fashion on April 18, may have to go online but organisers are sure it will still be fun. Gunning Arts Festival, April 17-18. The Picture House Art Prize & Exhibition, weekends from April 18 to May 10. Entries close 5pm on Tuesday, March 31 to

NEWS has arrived from Baltimore, where youthful Canberra conductor Leonard Weiss is doing a two-year master’s course at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Unsurprisingly, his classes have been moved online, but faculty members and guests, he reports, are being generous with their time in online classes and additional individual e-meetings, with plans to study Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”, Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and more symphonies by Beethoven in the coming months. But before measures to contain the coronavirus were in place, the current semester was, Weiss says, “a whirlwind of activities”. In February, for instance, he made his opera debut conducting a full production before a packed house at Peabody of a new work, Kaija Saariaho’s “Émilie”, a collaboration between the new music faculty, director Garnett Bruce and Grammy-award-winning faculty member, soprano Elizabeth Futral. Then he had the opportunity to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in a masterclass with its music director Gianandrea Noseda.

On ordinary weeks he’s been following a busy schedule of classes in German, Alexander Technique and opera coaching, observing the Baltimore Symphony rehearse and progressing through major Conductor Leonard works, such Weiss. as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4, four of Beethoven’s symphonies, Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and symphonies by Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn and Dvořák. It’s impossible to suppress Weiss’s excitement as he recounts his musical experiences so far – masterclasses with Antony Walker, musical director of Pittsburgh Opera and Evans Mirageas from Cincinnati Opera, conducting the world premiere of a colleague’s new piece “The Moon,” observing Aussie conductor Simone Young’s rehearsals with the New York Philharmonic. Virus permitting, he hopes to be back home for a working visit in the middle of this year.


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Thumbs up for spot by the river Before the restaurant closures started, dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON savoured a delightful eating spot before a leisurely walk along by the river. PERCHED on the side of a hill overlooking the Queanbeyan river is a very pretty and peaceful place to enjoy a casual brekkie, light lunch or afternoon tea. The Riverbank of Queanbeyan café is a delightful spot and you can choose from several eating zones – a big sunny deck with great views of the water, a bright enclosed space, a shaded pergola area out the back, or various tables scattered about under mature, large, lush trees offering loads of shade. The menu isn’t super extensive but, as the saying goes, “there’s something for everyone”, including kids and pets (the doggie menu includes poochy pasta and canine chook bits, both $5). One of our party selected

the crunchy cos Caesar salad ($20), perked up with salty bacon bits, a hard-boiled egg, punchy anchovy fillets and Parmesan cheese. The housemade Dijon mustard dressing was tasty and the salad can be made more fulsome with chicken or smoked salmon (extra $4). Two of us were attracted to the beef ragu penne which was a massive serve (we each took some home). The meat was slow-cooked, so super tender and the tomatobased sauce rich and full of flavour. Some of the penne was just slightly overcooked but we were relaxed in a lovely environment and decided it wasn’t the end of the world. We shared a couple of sweets and gave a big thumbs up to the hazelnut torte made with ground hazelnut meal ($8). It wasn’t a mega sugar hit, which we liked. The Portuguese custard tart was


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Portuguese custard tart… creamy! creamy ($6). Other items on the lunch menu include carrot and feta lasagne ($20), chicken and mango salad ($22.50), red Thai pumpkin and chickpea curry ($19.50), fish and chips ($23.50) and steak sandwich ($24.50). For something lighter, sandwiches are $12.50. Shared high tea for two is $49. The Riverbank of Queanbeyan café is vegetarian friendly, with plenty of

vegan and gluten-free options. Staff are super friendly although the service was intermittent. The salad came out waaay before the pasta, for example, which is always awkward for customers. The café is next door to the Queanbeyan Art Society and Gallery with artwork, jewellery, candles and other items displayed for sale inside where you pay. When finished, enjoy a leisurely walk along the river.


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Dianne says goodbye to a beautiful open garden DIANNE Anderson was hoping to open her park-like Red Hill garden in April for the last time, as she and her husband Brian prepare to downsize later this year.

However, in light of the recent government advice in the ACT, and to play its part in slowing the spread of Covid-19, Open Gardens Canberra has made the “difficult” decision to cancel all open gardens for the remainder of the autumn season. “This would have been our final open garden, after sharing it so many times. We’re deeply disappointed, but we’ll consider having a function here before we move in September, if we can. We will miss it here,” she says of the beautiful 4000sqm space, which has often been used for hosting functions, concerts and music events. “We’ve made a lot of changes to the garden since we bought the house in 1997,” she says. “We designed it with events in mind, raising the lower lawns by a metre to create a place for people to gather near the music room.” The lawns are the focus here, with a huge 150,000-litre underground water tank and an automatic watering system installed to keep them looking their best. With tall, shady trees and hedges creating privacy,

Dianne Anderson… “It’s very much like a park within the boundaries, with all its pleasant corners and space to wander, and we can close the gates and not hear much from outside.”

Words: Kathryn Vukovljak Photos: Holly Treadaway the garden does double duty as a personal sanctuary for Dianne and Brian. “It’s very much like a park within the boundaries, with all its pleasant corners and space to wander, and we can close the gates and not hear much from outside,” she says. Inspired by Monet’s garden of perennials in Giverny, there’s an allée of Manchurian pear, and Dianne says every room in the house – which matches the colour palette – looks out to the garden over lush lawns and heartily crowded flowerbeds in mainly blue and white. The colours were chosen so that Brian would be able to appreciate the contrast despite his red-green colourblindness. “I’m mostly working when I’m out here, but it’s relaxing for me to have a day pottering in the garden. It’s my me-time,” Dianne says. “The garden’s well-established now and though the gardeners do the hedges and edges, I still love to get out here and do a bit of work. “It will be hard to leave, but I’ll have more time for music, travelling to visit family and playing bridge.”


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Spirit soars at the sight of crocus AFTER the disasters of the summer, finding a group of bright-yellow autumn crocus on a grey, wet day in a friend’s Yass garden lifted my spirits.

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This group was planted many years ago and the variety name has been long lost, possibly “Mammoth Yellow”. Crocus are extremely hardy, growing naturally in some of the toughest areas on the planet. Native to the Middle East and North Africa and across to Afghanistan, they are subject to baking hot summers to winter snows. These are the autumn crocus usually planted in February for autumn flowering. Although with our recent summer they have been tricked into flowering earlier this autumn. Most of the spring crocus are in the purple/ mauve colour range.


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CYCLAMEN is a similar tough plant originating from the same Mediterranean region as crocus, although particularly abundant in North Italy. Cyclamen hederifolium is possibly the best known and the easiest to grow. Before the rains early in the month, our soil along with every other garden was rock hard. Despite this, the seemingly delicate pink or white flowers have appeared in our garden right on time, although totally devoid of leaves, which come later when the blooms die down in a mass of heart-shaped marble-coloured leaves of light and dark greens, similar to ivy. It makes a perfect ground cover for many months.

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Crocus... give a lift to the autumn garden. debris of leaves, sticks and twigs from summer. NOW’S also the perfect time to consider planting for colour in the winter garden. One plant that’s a perfect performer is polyanthus. In our garden, I don’t dig them up between seasons. I was worried this year when all the leaves died in the extreme heat days. Within days of removing the dead leaves new ones started appearing. If the polyanthus are a few years old, now’s the time to dig them up and divide them. With new plantings or after dividing them, water in with Maxicrop organic liquid seaweed plant fertiliser.

A COUPLE of jobs to do before Easter:

1. Now’s the time to trim evergreen shrubs from

buxus (box) hedging to viburnums. By trimming now, the new growth, which will start immediately with the warm autumn days, will harden off before the arrival of severe frosts. Whereas those delicate new shoots can be severely burnt with frost. 2. Cover fish ponds with fine mesh to catch falling autumn leaves. Allowing them to fall can cause the water to go rancid with the possibility of killing the fish. Maybe it’s a good idea before covering the pond to give the pond a good clean of

OBVIOUSLY floral art would not survive without a ready supply of flowers. Also there are fairly strict rules for competitions. Such rules go back a very long way and here I am drawing from “Vermeer’s Hat” by Timothy Brook. As most readers would be aware, flowers appeared frequently in Dutch paintings. In the 17th century there was increasing interaction between the Dutch and the East, particularly China. Chinese porcelain played an important part also in these pictures. Wen Zhenheng, who died in 1645, was a leading connoisseur. His advice for flowers was to

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Even the magpies think it’s real… Polyanthus... flowering from now until late spring. “avoid vases with rings and never arrange them in pairs”. For displaying flowers he said: “Any more than two stems in a vase and your room will look like a tavern”. He said: “Europeans gaily stuffed flowers en masse in their newly acquired Chinese porcelain, such as the Dutch, who loved to paint them when they were not painting tavern scenes. “Such mass arrangements of flowers, illustrating as utterly tasteless and hopelessly lower class”. Flower arrangers take note!

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Capital Cartridges CityNews March 26-April 1, 2020  27

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NO one is unscathed by current events. So far for "CityNews" we've had to park our social photographer and, in the absence of cinemas, no re...

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