Generation Covid

Crafting history and collective memory

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  • 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.

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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...

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