Back in April I reached out to friends around the world for their thoughts on lockdown. K wrote about lockdown life in Australia here.
Six months on, she’s kindly written an update and has a lot to say … so maybe grab a cuppa. 🙂
Living in the country can sometimes be seen as being a disadvantage – shopping, jobs, education, and health care can be difficult to access.
But, then Covid arrived – living in the country is now perceived by many as lucky.
We have been lucky and only had a dozen confirmed cases in our town. Unlike my state of Victoria which has had over 20,000 cases. To date, Australia has had just over 27,000 cases. Small numbers compared to what I have seen on the media about other countries.
Melbourne, a 4-hour drive away, has been in Stage 4 lockdown for months – curfews, can leave home for 1 hour a day to do essential shopping and to exercise, and cannot be more than 5km away from home without a permit or face large fines.
Warrnambool has just come out of Stage 3 restrictions for a second time; restrictions I would class as inconvenient and frustrating but manageable. We have been lucky. There are some who are angry and say their rights are being violated but most understand this is what we must do.
Masks are mandatory unless at home and I feel masks will be around for a long time yet. We all hate them but if the wearing of a mask will give us our lives back, it must be worn.
Life is as normal as it is going to get for a while, I feel. The things we are used to taking for granted are now something very much appreciated – by me anyway.
I think the thing I miss the most is being spontaneous. Just going out for a coffee with a girlfriend is planned – bookings, temperature checks, identification to prove where I live, etc. My girlfriends and I often would send a text “What are you doing, meet you at …. in twenty minutes”. Or going away for a few days. My husband and I are going away for a few days soon and it wasn’t just about booking a motel and going, and being spontaneous once there. I have had to investigate Covid regulations, book restaurants, make sure attractions are open, prove I am not from a restricted area and the list goes on.
I also worry about my kids, although adults. My eldest was supposed to be overseas as I write this. She postponed it initially but being a trip to Africa, she has now cancelled, due to her fears about Covid. The travel companies were understanding and allowed her to move her booking but she has chosen to move it to a more Westernised location where she is more familiar with healthcare and has support she can call upon if needed. She is now planning to go to Europe in June but even that is an unknown and she can only hope. She is also about to finish a University degree – will she get a job? My youngest also had travel plans which have now had to be put on hold. Not to mention very little social interaction with their peers.
Many things have certainly changed and like many places, our tourism trade has come to a grinding halt. Recently we took a drive to the Twelve Apostles, a world renowned site on the Great Ocean Road, not far from my home. On any given day you would expect to be one of thousands.
Our visit is the first time in my life time I have been the only person at the site. Although I was excited to see this, I was also sad for the many businesses in the area that would be suffering from no visitors.
We have all adapted but we all miss our friends and family, even our workplaces, and the things we definitely took for granted.
We have all mastered the art of Zoom. And I am certainly over television.
In reading this, some may say I am complaining, but I think Covid has taught us to appreciate the things we all took for granted and slow this modern world down. As a family we have watched movies, played cards and board games, walked the dog, done some well overdue maintenance to our homes, enjoyed meals together, smelt the air, telephoned a friend, listened to each other.
Post Covid, I plan on continuing to do these things but also stop putting things off, as none of us know what is around the corner.
Thanks so much, K! 🙂