Blindsided: a conversation overheard in a socially-distanced Adelaide meeting room

Artwok by Kate Birrell


– It says here you’re seeking an exemption from our COVID-19 quarantine rules as it relates to interstate travel Let’s just do a quick risk assessment, shall we? So you’re planning on going on one interstate trip?


No, we plan on going on frequent interstate trips


– Er, right… but just a small number of people, yes?


Yes, just 22 employees and their support staff. Wouldn’t be more than 50 people travelling together by air and bus and sharing changing and ablution facilities.


– But you’ll be minimising contact with others while you’re interstate?


Absolutely! Except for the bit where we have repeated physical contact with 22 other people, while puffing and sweaty, for two hours while handing around a piece of polished leather that has been touched by everyone there since it was last sanitised. But we will totally avoid shaking anyone’s hand and will stand at least two metres away from anyone holding a microphone.


– Hmmm, will there be some form of protective equipment?


Without a doubt! Every employee wears a mouth guard while the tall employees will often wear shin pads and thigh pads. Some even wear a helmet.


– Other than that?


Tank top and shorts.


– And, you’re planning on doing this once a week with the same group of people?


Oh, no, it’s a different group of people each week. And our employees also practise all of these activities several times a week.


– So the total number of different people from interstate your staff will have contact with in such a fashion…


Couldn’t be much more than 350 people.


– Look, to be honest, in the current environment this seems like a really high risk activity when it involves interstate travel. Now, you are aware of the reasons for the requirements here in SA that anyone travelling into the State must self-quarantine for 14 days. This is particularly important when coming in from areas with higher infection rates and hot spots like Victoria and NSW?


Sure, but we thought we’d qualify for an exemption.


– Why on earth did you think that?


Well, we wash our hands regularly and we’re really important.


– Oh, you’re providing an essential service?




– In what way is it essential?


Have you seen free to air TV in the last few weeks?


– No.


I rest my case.


– I’m sorry I just can’t see any reason why we would exempt you from our highly effective and well publicised quarantine arrangements.


I am shocked, you’ve just completely blindsided me! You just wait until the media hears about this outrage!


– No worries, I’m sure it will be a measured and balanced response. Thanks for your time today.




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About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Spot on, Dave – the farce laid bare and the stunning simplicity (stupidity) exposed. Rock on, CMOs!

  2. The traditionalist in me would love for there to be no AFL in 2020 and the reduced SANFL to enjoy prominence, increased crowds (if safe) and massive media coverage. Oh, and a heap of AFL coin to pay all involved. The local AFL footballers could sit in the stands at Glenelg, Norwood and Unley etc and cheer on their local heroes!

  3. John Butler says

    Clarke and Dawe areas there, DB. :)

  4. Rulebook says

    Absolutely brilliant,Dave to say you nailed it is a massive understatement

  5. E.regnans says

    All too believable, D Brown. Well played.

    “Essential to whom?” would be a fair question.
    Essential to the armada of footy media who sweep all of this along with barely a query (even with encouragement?)
    Essential to the ladeasy and betbrokes of the world?

    Probably not so essential to hospital staff and future patients.

    In the immortal words of Obelix: *these humans are crazy*

  6. Terrific stuff DB. I would love to see no AFL this year and all AFL players lining up for their home WAFL; SANFL; VFL etc clubs. Getting rid of those AFL affiliated local clubs might be one of the few good things to come from CV19.
    I’m keeping my powder dry until the abomination of “Hub-ble bubble; AFL in trouble” eventuates. No footy in the clean states of SA/WA but AFL played in the higher risk city of Melbourne would be an astonishing non-sequitur. But is exactly what I expect from VFL (Australia).
    Eagles in Queensland for 3 months would just about finish off my fading interest in the big business code.

  7. This is excellent stuff, Browny.
    And it is funny, because it is so true!
    I can just picture John Clarke and Brian Dawe doing this skit.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    If the season does go ahead, Col Hutchinson had better order in a few thousand asterisks. If he’s healthy enough.

  9. Dave Brown says

    Thanks for the read and comments, folks. It’s a fairly easy target when this is all so pointlessly stupid and has further sped up the emotional distancing between myself and the AFL. Local footy training starts up again next week – think I’ll keep my money there

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant areas there Dave, well played!

  11. Jim Kesselschmidt says

    Loved it. Life imitates Art or is it the other way round.

  12. Great stuff, Dave, very entertaining and others have summed it up better than I. Peter B. in particular re no footy in SA/WA and heaps in good old Vic. According to The Age, 21 new cases just today in Victoria, zero in SA. Seems mostly the betting companies and media want the circus to start. If you want an asterisk next to a premiership, bigger than North Adelaide in 2018 even, then this will be the year. Odds on they get some players test positive and will be under pressure to abandon the whole show. As an old boss of mine used to say “you’re just looking for a rug big enough to sweep it under”.

    I feel very sorry for the country clubs and whole leagues who look like losing a whole season, social glue evaporating with nary a sniff. My AFL interest has been waning for some time, not much heart beat left now, plus no Port in SANFL. Woe is me.

    End of rant!

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