Minimize Off From the World Once more, Australia Now Finds Silver Linings
Michael Brand, the museum’s director who previously ran the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, said it pointed out how the pandemic was making people more thoughtful users of time and space.
Perhaps fewer options and more planning will “free our minds,” he said.
Technology, he added, will save Australia from completely withdrawing into itself. He said he had visited museum collections online while also using the time gained by lack of travel to explore new areas – such as Nordic crime novels.
Ms. Harper, who published a new novel last month called “The Survivors,” said she was also encouraged by an above-average audience for her online readings.
“There are so many people there who would never come to a personal book event,” she said.
Some surprising companies are also adapting. Frank Theodore, a fishmonger at the Sydney Fish Market, updated his Get Fish website after a dreary April, stating that total sales for that month were up compared to last October.
And yet the virtual has its limits. Ms. Harper’s parents cannot use Zoom to hug their grandchildren. Mr. Brand has started to post photos of past trips on Instagram with the phrase “Museums I missed during the pandemic”.
Social norms are also under pressure. Mr. Siggins, a chatty ex-bartender, recently ordered a cocktail delivered to his Melbourne home from a local bar and met an acquaintance at the door. He said it felt like an awkward date.
“It’s such a strange interaction,” he said, “because you can’t just tell them to come in and have a beer, and you just aren’t in the office responding to conversations, even facial expressions.”