Melanie and Matthew

Melanie Cooper in conversation with
Matthew Cooper

Matthew is my brother but we live in very different worlds. I’m in New Zealand, he’s in the States. Our ideology and political views have diverged over the years and are almost diametrically opposed. He’s suspicious of Covid and the global response. He didn’t protest but he sympathises with the people who did.

Note 1: March-May

We’re talking and messaging more than we have in years. My brother has been following the advice to stay home, which means he’s in a bubble of one and getting bored and a little frustrated with the quarantine orders. It doesn’t help that the advice where he is seems so inconsistent: in Santa Monica they’re meant to stay home but for his friend in nearby Orange County, life is continuing as normal. Getting out for a walk each day was helping so he was gutted when beach walks were ruled out. Coronavirus has exacerbated work difficulties for him too. He’s an entertainment lawyer but limited work opportunities in recent years have seen him take on part-time work at a library. On a group call all the part-timers were informed they were being ‘let go’ with a week’s pay. Now he’s taken on work at a supermarket for money and to get out of the house. He’s worried quarantine rules are chipping away at civil liberties and that the pandemic has been overhyped. 

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