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Brisbane star Jaguar Jonze gives a human face to a global pandemic


You might know her better as musician Jaguar Jonze, or award-winning visual artist Spectator Jonze but for many young Australians Deena Lynch has  “put a face on something that seemed almost like folklore” after testing positive to COVID-19 two days ago.

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Lynch, who last week cut her US tour with Jaguar Jonze short to return to Australia after the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a global pandemic, told InQueensland via email that she was feeling unwell after her flight back from New York, but had assumed he was just run down and exhausted and was shocked when she learnt she had returned a positive result for coronavirus.

“To be honest, I’ve been really unwell for days, so my mind isn’t so sound to be able to comprehend everything,” she said.

“It feels surreal to know I tested positive.  I didn’t think I actually had it so I was surprised when the positive diagnosis came back. I chased to have an answer and get a test though.

“My immune system is pretty poor during travel and I frequently get a fever and sore throat just from travelling, so I didn’t think much of it at the time until I deteriorated further and really felt the virus symptoms.”

Lynch, who had taken precautions including wearing a face mask on her flight back from the US, said she and her bandmates had no idea New York was such a hot spot for the virus when they were there.

“I think the data is all skewed everywhere,” she said. “So I think we were knee-deep in New York as a new epicentre but the data wasn’t there to demonstrate how serious it was at the time. I’d say a lot of people already have it in New York without knowing.

“Paramedics were also called to my flight when the plane landed, but it wasn’t transparent what that was for. We only got told that if we were showing symptoms then to flag a crew member.

“Otherwise, I was told to trace back from when I showed symptoms and that seemed most likely. It will be interesting to see what my band members’ results are in the coming days as we were all together every single day.”

Lynch is known for her exuberance and energetic stage presence as Jaguar Jonze, and hr prodigious output as an artist as Spectator Jonze, said she had never felt this tired before.

“This is the most fatigued and lethargic I’ve felt. Normally, I still love to draw when I’m sick in bed but at the moment I haven’t even been able to do that.

Lynch infamously dislocated her shoulder during the Jaguar Jonze Eurovision Australia Decides concert on the Gold Coast last month and said the discomfort she has felt while recovering from coronavirus have been much worse.

“Ha ha, very different pains. I’d say dislocating your shoulder is more painful, and the effects of the virus are more uncomfortable.

She also had a message for those not taking the Government’s messages about the importance of social distancing and isolation seriously.

“Please don’t be silly, it affects people beyond the individual,” she said. “It’s really hard to discover confirmed cases at the moment so the safest thing to do is to self-isolate to slow the spread. I have been so vigilant with hand washing, hand sanitising, wearing a mask and I still caught it.

“I had to self isolate as soon as I came home because of the laws, but my direct living people don’t. We’re so glad that everyone is working from home, so we feel confident we’ve limited the spread on our end but imagine if my direct living people had been going to work every day? That thought rattles me.”

She also urged anyone in a position to support struggling Australian artists to continue to do so.

“Buy merch, buy music, stream music and commission art. We’re seeing the devastation ripple far and quickly. We’re already an industry that is hardly supported when the economy is healthy so I think it is really important to support.

“It’s affected people in more ways than we can think of. We might think about gigs being cancelled as the more direct impact, but generally, I think a lot less music is being played – we’re not driving in our cars to listen to music, venues aren’t open to play music and video content etc.”

Lynch said she was “getting better”, and wanted to thank “everyone for their kind words”, and in characteristically optimistic fashion, was already looking towards her next artistic move.

“At the moment I’m just focused on recovering and getting my ammunition together to finally put out my first EP under Jaguar Jonze. I’ll see how my health feels for anything else in each moment.

“The worst of it does seem over, we just have to monitor where the virus is travelling to. I have a nurse coming over today and delivering a home monitoring kit.”





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