Generation Covid

Crafting history and collective memory

Featured in

  • Published 20210202
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-56-6
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

APRIL IS MY favourite time of year in Melbourne. The weather is comparatively stable and the days warm, richly complementing the autumn colours. In 2020 there was even more time to enjoy them than usual, and the late summer rains seemed to have deepened the autumn hues. Or perhaps the unfolding pandemic sharpened my vision. The skies were clear, absent of planes and the usual April smog, and the sounds of nature were no longer buried by the constant cacophony of industrialised cities. As I took the opportunity to breathe and look up, the rapid unravelling of the world as I knew it created its own kind of vertigo.

‘Unprecedented’ quickly became the word of the year. In Australia it had already had a good workout with the megafires that engulfed the country during our ‘savage summer’.[1] The smoke from that ecological catastrophe had only just begun to clear when a coronavirus started to ravage the world. If climate change was already playing havoc with our sense of time – a projected future of environmental Armageddon pressing ever closer – the COVID-­19 pandemic, itself a symptom of ecological breakdown, further upended our temporal realities.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes is professor of history at La Trobe University and director of the Centre for the Study of the Inland. She is the author...

More from this edition

Create, destroy, reset

IntroductionClick here to listen to Editor Ashley Hay read her introduction ‘Create, destroy, reset’. WE’RE TERRAFORMING, MY son and me. We’ve done this in the real world before, tree...


FictionTHEY WENT TO a broker. Working their way through the maze of the air market felt beyond them, if they wanted to get the...

Gifts across space and time

EssayA speak/listen trade will always include things that have never been thought or said before as well as the word gifts I wish to give. When things like this appear in a trade, don’t worry – it doesn’t mean I am making things up or holding information back. I’m not ripping you off! It is a sign there is respect in the speak/listen relationship. It is proof the relationship is alive, growing, and we are learning together. This happens a lot when people meet to talk about culture and cultural things.

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.