13th February 2015

Thankfully today the temperature returned to ‘normal’.  A cool 35oC, which compared to the last few days of 40-something felt positively chilly.  At least I will be able to sleep this evening and in my own bed.

We went to visit Marion this afternoon.  They are keeping her in one more night for observation.  She’ll be able to go home in the morning.  When we got there she was sitting up in bed with a cup of tea chatting to her daughter, who had caught the first available plane.  She was going to stay for a week to take care of her mother.  Marion looked much better and her colour had returned.  Her daughter looked exhausted and relieved.

After I had taken Mum home, I arrived at my place to the very smelly contents of my fridge.  With the power being off nearly everything needed to be thrown away.  I seriously contemplated breaking into my Ebola isolation rations for dinner.  In the end I decided I couldn’t be bothered cooking and opted for Thai take away instead.

While I waited for my dinner to turn I watched the news.  BIG mistake.  It was full of reports of people dying of heatstroke and dehydration.  Most were elderly.  It seems many had been frightened from seeking shelter in the cooling centres by the false rumours that the centres were treating Ebola patients.

It was then that the events of the last few days over took me and I started to sob uncontrollably.  I cried with relief that everyone I loved was still alive and well.  I cried for the dead and dying.  I cried for all the victims of Ebola in West Africa who stories were curiously absent from the news.  I cried for the missed date with Richard.  I cried because I felt so infinitely small and that nothing I could do here would fix what was going on the the world.  I cried for me.

After dinner I went straight to bed and slept like the dead.

12th February 2015

Today I took mum around to her friend’s place to make sure she was OK.

She wasn’t.

Mum had been calling her since yesterday morning and getting more and more worried each time Marion didn’t answer.  Marion didn’t go out much as she was living on a pension and her children lived away so Mum was confident she was at home.  When we got to Marion’s unit she didn’t answer the door.  After several minutes of knocking we decided to call the fire brigade.  I’m so glad we did.

We found her collapsed on the floor in the lounge with heatstroke.  Thankfully she was still alive.

Once we were inside the fire brigade called the ambulance for us.  While we waited for the paramedics to turn up we managed to rouse Marion and move her to the couch so she was more comfortable.

When the ambulance arrived they treated her for dehydration and prepared to transport her to the hospital.  Despite Mum’s protests about being Marion’s friend Mum wasn’t allowed to ride with her up to the hospital, so we followed in my car.

We stayed at the hospital until we knew she was going to be OK, which was fantastic because they had air conditioning.  While I was not pleased for the reason to be there, I was enormously grateful to be out of the heat.

I took Mum home later that afternoon and stayed with her and Dad.  After dinner, she rang all her other friends to make sure they were OK, that they were drinking enough water and encouraged them to go to the cooling centres.

At 9pm when it got too hot at their place – there was no sea breeze – we went to one of the centres.  There was almost no one there except for the staff.  I made up two “beds” for Mum & Dad with their own linens.  Well, it might not be the best accommodation in the world but it was cool and it was quiet, save for the hum of the generators outside.

11th February 2015

The mayor elected to build cooling centres overnight.  Thank goodness.

Several have been ‘erected’ across the city.  The army have been called in and they have commandeered school halls across Sydney and have installed army cots and generator run air conditioning units.

Mum has been quite worried about her friend Marion.  She lives on her own in a small flat and typically doesn’t use her air conditioner as she is living on a pension and is very frugal.  She has also been without power and Mum hasn’t heard from her in a couple of days.  We’re going pop round tomorrow so Mum can check she’s OK.  Then I’ll take her and Mum to a cooling centre so they can get some rest.

Mum is now worried though that she might get Ebola from the over crowded centres.

I’ve created a monster.  First she won’t even consider the possibility now she is paranoid! LOL.

I have assured her that we can take our own linen and we can even put surgical gloves into our bags, just in case.

10th February 2015

The inevitable happened today.  We had power outages.  Unfortunately for me that meant I couldn’t do any work at home and my air conditioning stopped.  I went back into the office for the afternoon to get out of the heat.  I’m really glad that I went to Mum and Dads’ last night to make sure they had plenty of water and talked to them about what they could do to stay cool.

Mum wasn’t working today so took herself off to a movie in the heat of the day.  She had a lovely day to herself – said it felt like she was ‘wagging’ school.

The city are considering building cooling centres for the more vulnerable people to go to during the day.  If this heat continues for much longer they are definitely going to need to.

9th February 2015

I’m glad I worked from home today and went to Mum and Dad’s in the evening.  They still live in the house that they brought before they had us and it has no air-conditioning.  We’ve been telling them for years to get ducted heating and a wall mounted unit.  But Dad is a stalwart and believes that in the winter all you need to is put on an extra layer and in the summer they have ceiling fans.  Sometimes I hear his dad, my grandfather, come right on out of his mouth; “You kids have it too easy these days, when I was a boy…”

Thankfully they live close to the water so in the evening they get a sea breeze.

No one in Sydney has lost power.  Yet.

Today was the second day in the 40’s and the forecast is for several more.  It’s not so much of a case of if, but when they will happen.  We were lucky last night that it was cooler.  Tonight I don’t think we will get off so lightly.  The weather forecast on the news was for the overnight temperature to be in the 30’s.  So nothing will have a chance to cool down, which will certainly mean power outages, train delays and lots of emergency call outs.

In preparation my parents and I filled up lots of bottles of water and put them in the fridge.  Even if the power does goes out they will have a good supply of bottled water to drink.  Lucky both of them still work, well Dad does, Mum is semi-retired and only works a few days a week.  So I told her to  go to a movie or hang out in a mall on the days she is not working this week to keep cool.  Dad, works in an air-conditioned office so he’ll be OK as long as he can get to work.

I am not looking forward to several nights of 30 degree heat, I don’t cope well without  a decent sleep.  I really don’t want to be grumpy when I go for coffee with Richard.

8th February 2015

I worked from home today.  I ended up going to mum and dad’s to check in on them after yesterday’s recording breaking temperature,  47oC 

I knew it was hot yesterday; I didn’t realise it was that hot.  I must have been distracted ; )

According to the news, emergency services were inundated with calls.  The Royal Prince Albert and Sydney Hospital both were full of dehydration and heat stroke cases.  They even had to hook up refrigerated trucks outside the Royal Prince Albert to contend with the extra load.

Then of course, the scaremongering started.  People on social media were insisting that the trucks at the hospitals were being used to treat Ebola victims.  Sometime I have to shake my head in disbelief at the intelligence (or lack thereof) of some people.  I understand that people get scared and anxious, and the media does a really good job of creating that fear.  But come on.  We haven’t even had a reported case here! Be logical people

I think I’ll work from home for the next couple of days so I can keep an eye on my parents and make sure they keep cool and hydrated.