All over the world, a lot of people are having incredibly shit experiences with worst global event since World War 2. People are sick, dying, unemployed, suffering from extreme social distancing and wondering what happens next. MMT is no different. Europe’s death toll is slowly abating and has been overtaken by the USA. At least here in Australia and in our next door neighbour New Zealand we have been spared the worst.
In MMT’s small part of the world, he’s been deeply concerned, seemingly struck down by the common flu after his last ride on Good Friday. Stupidly, MMT rode in the wind and wet for nearly three hours and by Sunday afternoon was feeling pretty average. His youngest daughter has a much milder version of the same thing. Given the asbence of a few key symptoms its seems unlikely that either of us have COVID-19. Daughter No.2 has had a couple of trips to the ER with breathing difficulties attributed to Croup. However next week, once the worst of this is over, MMT plans on visiting his GP and having a chat.
So last blog MMT shamelessly stole a couple of graphs documenting the infection rate in Victoria and in Australia overall. The latest version of the graphs spell out how effective Australia has been contact tracing, isolating oversea visitors or returning Australians and controlling cluster outbreaks. If the Ruby Princess cruiseship debacle hadn’t occurred it could have been better.
This is Victoria’s:
This is Australia’s:
The curves in both graphs have experienced the required flattening. The cost of which is likley to paid for by generations of Australias, present and future.
So to tie back to were MMT started, MMT has been revisiting the music of his youth via a social media platform, that he refuses to name on principle. One of those albums was Document No.5, which contained the song and lyric, ‘Its the end of the world and I feel fine’. MMT is not sure about the ‘fine’ part yet.
It’s been nearly 4 weeks since MMT put fingers to keyboard to write a blog and the world has irreparably changed in that time. The SARS COV-2 virus has taken the lives of over 40,000 people worldwide. Life as we know it has stopped. We are confined in our homes due to stage 3 restrictions. A very large portion of us will be without employment. When the health crisis passes, all of us will be facing a very uncertain economic future.
Through the selfish lense of a cyclist, MMT is horrified by the images and statistics coming from Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Its difficult to see how any of the remaining grand tours or monuments will be run. It beggars belief that the ASO group still think that it may be possible to conduct the 2020 Tour de France without crowds. It seems unlikely that any team based outside of France would attend, given restrictions on international movements.
It seems that professional cycling in Europe and quite possibly the Olympics in Japan are about to take a massive ‘haircut’. Unless you have have been living a cave in the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania, you would know that a global pandemic is taking place. The so-called coronavirus Covid-19 is cutting a swath through China, Iran, South Korea and weirdly Italy.
Of these, its Italy that MMT is most disheartened by. The classics season was just about to start in Italy and country’s government has hit the ‘panic’ button. It has started implementing drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus. According to cyclingnews.com, it appears almost certain that men’s and women’s Strade Bianche (March 7), Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17), Milan-San Remo (March 8) and the Tour of Sicily (April 1-4), will all be cancelled.
This would be an unmitigated disaster for the races’ organiser, RCS Sport. MMT wonders whether RCS will survive these loss of high profile events this year. Closer to home, Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott team have announced that they were withdrawing from all races until the 22 March. A number of teams are already quarantined in Abu Dhabi UAE after four riders tested positive for the virus.
Here in Melbourne, there have been 6 reported cases and, fortunately to this time, no fatalities. As MMT has cycled and driven about Melbourne it does seem to be significantly quieter than usual. Overall, Australia has been relatively unscathed with 52 confirmed cases and 2 deaths. Quite frankly this is becoming quite grim, lets hope that this virus doesn’t get completely off the chain like Swine flu did in 2009/10.
So with that in mind MMT was delighted to see a little levity about this horrible situation by Will Dyson in today’s Age. Whilst its amusing it has a serious message, that all Melburians need to take to heart.
So until next time, ride safe and exercise good hand hygiene
MMT has been overwhelmed by really crappy May. Knocked over by the early flu season, MMT has been struggling with illness and just juggling all the balls that life, work, a pregnant wife and three year old can throw in the air. So there has been no time for blogging and a lot less cycling happening. To top it all off, the Melbourne weather has turned nasty on the back of an old fashioned Antarctic blast…life moves on.
So on top of the early flu season and nasty weather, a recent article that appeared in the local Australian press, made MMT wonder whether his days as a cyclist are numbered. The primary factor in MMT’s growing sense of fragile morality and dread, lay in a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
What did this report contain that so rattled MMT? The answer being statistics. That hardly sounds lethal but a recent study has shown conclusively that more MAMILs (ie male cyclists over the age of 45) are finding themselves in the back of an ambulance and in hospital, than ever. Check this out this direct steal from the Sydney Morning Herald on the 8th May 2019.
“The rise of the MAMIL — middle-aged men in Lycra — has led to soaring hospitalisations and a doubling in the number of deaths for cyclists aged over 45.”
“A new report from the AIHW looked at injury and death rates for cyclists from 1999/2000 to 2015/2016. It found that:
there was an average of almost 10,000 cyclist hospitalisations a year, with the most recent figures showing three quarters were men.
The number of cyclists aged 45 and over taken to hospital grew by nearly 500 per cent from 728 to 4120, more than a third of all cases.”
“The number of people aged 45 and over killed while riding a bike doubled from 41 to 81 deaths.”
FTW….MMT is wondering whether he needs to bump up his hospital and life insurance. MAMILs may not be a endangered species, it is certainly one that’s being threatened by injury.
Until next time, please take care out there in this horrendous weather