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Unwrapping the gift of quarantine

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27.03.2020

Stimulating columnist ''Prufrock'' in the online American Conservative challenges us "During his quarantine, Isaac Newton discovered gravity and began to formulate a theory of optics. What will you do with yours?"

How are you planning to spend your quaratine? Picture: Shutterstock

None of us have minds as good as Newton's and few of us during this horror will have quarantines as fortunate as his. He was able to shelter from the Great Plague of London (1664-1666), enjoying social distancing from London and Londoners at his family's farm in bucolic Lincolnshire with abundant time alone to read, to study and, enjoying the meditative company of cows, to think.

Then, too, none of us will be able to emulate Will Shakespeare who nimbly adapted to plague's closure of London's theatres (making the writing and staging of plays redundant) by turning to poetry instead. Working from home in 1592 he produced his sexy narrative poem Venus and Adonis which, published as a kind of paperback, sold like hot cakes (or, to use a better 2020 analogy, sold like rolls of toilet paper).

We're not all Newtons and Shakespeares and yet for those of us blessed with glass-half-full dispositions these times of forced quarantine and distancing do seem a kind........

© Canberra Times