Over the next few days the Covid family continued to keep up-to-date with the constantly changing social distancing rules. Each would gather some information during the day from TV & online news as well as social media, then over the evening meal would share it. Now that they were all home all day they made the evening meal their regular family time together. Jenny was happy about this and disappointed it had not happened before, but of course different working and study hours previously, had meant they were rarely all home at the same time.
Kevin had passed his test for his learner driver’s permit in January but had little time since then to log up any time on the road. He required at least 120 hours of supervised driving time before he could apply for a driving test. He thought that being home all day presented an excellent opportunity for more on-road experience. Jenny and Daniel agreed so Jenny volunteered to take him out a little each day and let him drive when she went shopping.
After dinner Daniel was going to watch a current affairs program on TV and invited Kevin to join him for some father and son time together. The lead item on the show was a story from Victoria, explaining how a learner driver had been given a fine of $1,652 for being out without a valid reason. Her mother, who was teaching her, explained that they had no intention of leaving the car and so could not pose any risks to themselves or others in regard to the virus. This however did not impress the cop who was eager to get his quota filled for the day.
“Hey, that’s a bit rough Dad, they weren’t doing any harm.”
“You’re right son, I think the emphasis should be on the health and safety aspect of the circumstances not the black letter reading of the law.Just the same, I think you and your mum should cancel your plans for tomorrow.”
“I suppose so.” agreed a disappointed Kevin.
“Wait Dad, look what the NSW Police Commissioner is saying.”
“We consider that it would be a reasonable excuse for a person to leave their house to receive driving lessons, either from a driving instructor or a member of their family, given that this is a learning activity that cannot be done from home and is akin to the listed reasonable excuse of travelling to attend an educational institution where you cannot learn from home."
“So I can have my driving lessons after all?”
“That’s fine but I still say they’re interpreting the letter of the law, not the real purpose of it.”
“Excuse me Dad” Kevin said as his phone rang.
“Hi Steve, what’s doin’?”
“Oh bored shitless, how about you come over and we can hang out here. My oldies are both on night shift and Dad’s grog delivery came today. I volunteered to stack it in the bar for him and sometimes I can be clumsy, get my meaning?”
“Sure, but I don’t think I should go out without a valid reason, who knows where the fun police are patrolling at night.”
“Oh don’t be such a wimp, you won’t get caught.”
“I don’t think my oldies will see it that way. I would need a really good reason to convince them and maybe the police.”
“Medical reasons are acceptable, and my Dad’s a doctor.”
“Nice try, but you said he’s working.”
“Yeah, s’pose so. Hey, you said you were having driving lessons. How ‘bout that?”
“Good one, a solo driving lesson, or ask my mum to wait in the car. Which?”
“Bummer! Hey exercise is a good reason, jog over here.”
“That might work and if I said we were going to study together that would give me two excuses.”
“Awesome! You’re smarter than you look.”
“Thanks, I think.”
“OK see you soon.”
“Dad, can I go over to Steve’s to study?”
The following morning, Jenny was preparing breakfast when Kevin came in and asked, “Mum can I have a Panadol, I’ve got a headache?”
“Come her son, let me see if you’ve got a temperature.”
“No, it’s nothing like that. I think I just overdid the study last night and got a bit of brain strain.”
“If you’re sure.”
Kevin downed his headache cure and asked, “Mum, can you take me for another driving lesson today.”
“Sure Kevin, if your headache is better after breakfast”.
“I’m sure it will be.”
“I need to get some fresh veggies so you can drive me to that big fresh market on the other side of town.”
“Great, I haven’t driven to that part of town so it’ll be a good opportunity to try entering and exiting the freeway.”
“Fine, now can you call you your father and Chris for breakfast?”
As Kevin was leaving, Christine entered the kitchen and asked, “Mum, can you drive me to the doctor’s today?”
“Of course, but what’s wrong, nothing serious I hope.”
“I have a brown spot on my left breast and I’m a bit concerned about it. The doctor has asked me to come in so she can do a biopsy.”
“What do you mean; the doctor asked you, have you seen her about this before?”
“Sort of, a few days ago I had a tele-consultation with her and she said she could not make a definite decision without seeing it in the flesh, so to speak.”
“So is that why you were sitting in front of your computer with your top off?” Just then Kevin came down the hallway and paused just out of sight of his mum and sister.
“Of course; what did you think I was doing?”
“Oh never mind for now.”
“I’d like to hear about that” interrupted Kevin.
“What are you doing listening to a private conversation?”
“It’s hardly private, we’re in the kitchen. So what’s this about you sitting naked in front of your computer; tell all.”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I wasn’t naked.”
“Well half naked, still sounds interesting to me. Have you got a new boyfriend or are you just looking for one.”
“You filthy minded git, how dare you say that. I wasn’t doing any such thing.”
“Doesn’t bother me if you were, they say it pays to advertise.”
“What would you know about it, have you been sexting pics of your dick? as if anyone would care.”
“Hey, I’m not too shabby in that department.”
‘I really don’t care Kevin.”
“That’s enough you two.” ordered Jenny.
“Sorry Mum” replied Christine, “It’s just that he has no idea what he’s talking about, thinks everybody is as sex mad as he is.” Christine shouted
“Kevin Covid, I want you to apologise to your sister.”
“What for, I just asked a question, she’s the one who got all Miss Prissy about it.”
“Perhaps you would like to tell us about your...” Jenny held up two fingers on each hand, “...science assignment.”
Daniel then came bounding into the kitchen, asking “What’s for breakfast, I’m starving.” He was met by silence and three stares.