Life in Isolation…
As we move into the very early stages of freeing up of Lockdown, I’ve had pause to reflect on what this time has meant for me.
In typical Pollyanna fashion, I’m looking for the prism of light.
To be honest, it’s been all of that.
I feel an extraordinary sense of guilt admitting to that, when I’m aware of how so much of the world has suffered and is still suffering. But let’s put it into perspective here in Australia.
Our State and Federal Governments were incredibly proactive. Borders nationally and statewide were shut very early and then our State Government bought in its own swathe of emergency legislation which effectively placed us in Lockdown and more.
Compared to the rest of the world, Australia has got off lightly to this point. To date, 7045 cases with 98 deaths, 6367 have recovered, 16 only are in intensive care and 50 are in hospital. In my home state of Tasmania, with a population of 500,000+, there have been 226 cases and 13 deaths. We usually have more of that from seasonal flu. So as I say, we’ve been lucky.
It’s worth noting that the largest percentage of cases nationally were owed to the unfortunate disembarking of untested passengers off a cruise ship, the Ruby Princess, in Sydney and which subsequently spread Covid-19 around the nation, including our own state.
Husband and self opted to isolate on the east coast where we have a big garden, beaches and isolated roads to walk upon.
One of the greatest boons has been that no one has been allowed to road travel, so that our village became a ghost town overnight, much more like my childhood when we walked and rode bikes and horses along dirt roads and beaches and rarely ever saw a holidaymaker.
I consider it such a privilege to have been able to relive that just once more in my lifetime. The calls of the birds have been louder, the clap of the waves on the beach more pronounced, the wildlife venturing closer. I’ve selfishly clutched that to me for the memory banks.
We’ve worked through a property and garden to-do list which with our other commitments would normally have taken all year. Now – with just under a month to go until we can freely road-travel again we’re making new lists. Not such a bad thing because it means we actively achieve!
The golden autumnal weather has been mostly conducive to staying outside (which means writing has been on the backburner) and trust me, sun and fresh air are worth a king’s ransom in these times.
I’ve ordered from plant catalogues and received parcels of bulbs, hellebores and other delights in the mail and have spent ages in the garden. We’ve eaten well – a large veggie garden has given generously. And how much better than repeated trips to the shops for food with all the risks that it entails!
I wondered if this is how my grandmother lived here in the early days of my mother’s life. Nanny had chooks, ducks, a prolific veggie and fruit garden, a good friend around the corner and a small general store down the road. And a pet seagull. Her life was gardening, cooking and caring for her family – always decked out in a floral pinny. And apart from the pet seagull, chooks and ducks, I’ve been chuffed to mirror her days.
I’ve spent an hour or so each day on my eleventh novel. Truth to tell, writing is the one thing that has been damaged by the virus – it’s been placed on the backburner in favour of being outside. See above.
We also made a deliberate choice very early, to continue seeing family. Our daughter and son still worked, fortunately, and our daughter-in-law is a pharmacist so she is frontline.
We opted to continue babysitting and it was perhaps the single most important thing we could have done. I’ve watched friends sink into depression at not being able to see their families at all and so sad when this is the time children really need their families and vice versa.
We took a risk and decided family was our very raison d’etre and that our mental health would owe everything to that continued contact.
That and being here, on the coast, with no one around…
And more than grateful.
Right now, at 10.45 AM, I’m off into a sunny day with the dog where I can breathe deep and seek peace.
May we all have that privilege soon.
I agree. You made good choices. We have also accomplished some tasks that have been postponed… and I’ve got to do some favorite things that I’ve not for years plus read more books. We chat and walk by our children’s homes, share and receive some good cooking and baking. Share movies, books and puzzles as well as tools and paint brushes lol. No stress or depression in our family, no time for it! Hugs,. Judy
Hugs to you too, Judy
We have got some jobs done, we planned to sort out the attic, full of boxes with stuff in, but charity shops and the recycling centre closed so that has been put on the back burner. We made a new bed in the orchard area and put some membrane down and a couple of shrubs and bark. We had made new raised beds a couple of months ago. we continued with weeding etc. Unable to see family sadly, but in constant contact with them. so just pottered about doing odd jobs that we could…. although not as many as planned. Today though I checked the tins of paint in the garage and discovered some paint for the chairs and bench which we had painted purple a couple of years ago. I thought I had some but actually found a full tin, so they have all had 3 coats of paint. I knew I had plenty of green, but couldn’t remember if we had the other so was pleasantly surprised. hopefully its going to be nice over the next few days so will repaint the shed and found some masonry paint so will do the stone table chairs and benches over the next week or so, being as we have the paint,we may as well… makes a change from weeding. Jeff has been busy today sorting out the greenhouse ready for the tomatoes and peppers. We are kind of home birds but miss our friends and family, the shopping less so as we have managed to get online shopping. Its just a case of waiting and seeing what happens over the next month. Its a strange world we are living in and it won’t be “normal” for some time, if ever.