STAGE 4 LOCKDOWN in my state (of Victoria, Australia)

As from yesterday, Melbourne and its suburbs have gone into Stage 4 lockdown with a curfew starting last night – Melbourne city was virtually a ghost town from 8.00pm – 5.00am with only police (and the homeless ?) last night and will be deserted in the streets at night for the next 6 weeks at least.

Mask wearing is now mandatory in country Victoria also, as it has been mandatory for the last couple of weeks in the city.

We have to stay within a 5km radius of home and only 1 person is able to shop once a day and that must be within the 5 km radius.   Obviously, there is an exception if you don’t have shops close to your home.

I just watched an interview with a Melbourne mother who works from home and has had to go back to teaching her 7-year-old from home and she said “Trying to be present in each moment is a struggle.”

This is my focus every day and has been for about 95% of the last 18 months as my hip and spine pain reached new levels.   I have no commitments (except buying food & medications) and if you think I have an easy life, you’re right.   I do have an ‘easy‘ life, but that doesn’t mean to say I like staying home all day with chronic ill-health and pain.

I miss my walks outdoors.   I miss my Photography hobby.   I miss my rare, but thoroughly enjoyable visits from my few friends.

It IS doable.   It’s hard, but once you work out the fine details of managing your life home-based, in some ways it can be liberating.   You are not alone in this new way of living.    You are one person among the millions that are being affected.

No rush to get to work.  No rush to meet social, sport or any other outside-home appointments.   No need to get dressed or perfectly-groomed, unless you want to appear so in a video link-up.   Even then, it’s only the top half that needs to be groomed (if you wish).   You can still wear your PJ pants and ‘Bunny’ slippers on the lower half.   Imagine how much washing and ironing that will save you?

….and with face masks mandatory for every single person outside the home, a doctor I saw on an E.R. hospital visit on Saturday night said it’s really hard to read some patients as you can’t see their facial expressions.  I guess he’s not the only one that finds masks a wee bit harder.

Many businesses and most shops are closed (except for pickup and delivery) and you will need a pass to be excluded for travel outside your local bubble.

Food shops will remain open, but there may be some items out-of-stock – mainly those from interstate or when raw materials for processed food are needed from interstate.  Actually, I’ve found some fresh food items missing from the shelves for about 3 weeks.

There is some criticism about these stricter rules/laws, but to be honest, I’d rather be stuck at home than exposed to the ‘virus’.

I feel most sorry for those in high-rise apartment buildings with babies or chronic health problems, particularly those with young children under 7 – single parents who were totally dependent on their jobs to survive.  But the Government is rolling out financial assistance as an ongoing measure well into 2021 (whereas originally the financial assistance was only to September 2020).

It’s the aged care sector that is being badly hit with nursing home residents being transferred to other care.   So many suffering and many dying prematurely.   I’m so glad my 93 year old Father passed away in December 2019 as he wouldn’t have had a hope of understanding much of what is happening, or the limitations within his nursing home (where he resided for the last 10 months of his life).

I don’t mind wearing a mask outdoors at all – saves me a fortune on lipstick   😀  but my glasses do tend to fall off if I bend over to get something off the bottom shelf in the supermarket – not funny    😀

Compared to other countries (except N.Z.) Australia is extremely very well off with a minimum of COVID cases, but this is because our Government and state Premiers have acted fairly quickly and brought in wide-sweeping severe restrictions, so if you’re one of those protesting wearing masks/restrictions in other countries, I implore you to think carefully about your movement in the community and interaction socially and at work.

Some folk are STILL going out at night and socializing in past weeks, despite the restrictions in Melbourne. They are deliberately flouting the restrictions.   I feel like giving them a good k*** u* t** b*******.

I implore you to carefully consider travel and activities outside your home.

Start thinking about a new way of living if you reside in an urban area.

Start adapting……..now (if you haven’t at the start of the year).  See it as a challenge – as to the creative or innovative ways you can live your life in this difficult time.

Learn to cook.   From scratch.

Make some soup.   Butternut pumpkin is my favourite.

But Spinach (or Spinach & Watercress) comes a close second.

Seriously, making soup from scratch is really easy.

Try making your own bread.   (OK, so I didn’t make the bread, but uploaded the image from my food photography folder, but I suppose I COULD…..if I wanted to).

Take up meditation.

Catch up on some sleep – you’d be surprised how much better you feel with plenty of deep,  restful, restorative sleep.

Turn off the computer or TV at least one hour before bed, preferably longer.   Listen to some calming music instead of your usual loud beat.   Read all the books you’ve always promised yourself you’ll read….one day.

 

 

OR re-read all the books you’ve already read…..

 Study a new language online.   Take a yoga class online.

Take some time out to just sit and be in the moment.  Sit outside and breathe deeply and slowly for 10-15 minutes (assuming you don’t live in a polluted city).

Look up to the sky (instead of down) and enjoy the sunset (or sunrise).

Go on a ‘virtual’ adventure.   Follow some travel blogs and sail down the Nile.   Climb a virtual mountain and plant a flag at the top of Mount Everest.

*******

For the time being, stop being complacent and start living Mindfully.   Think about how you’d feel if you gave the virus to family and close friends.   Think about how you’d feel if you were responsible for their demise after terrible suffering in ICU (or worse, at home on their own with no one to notice their absence in the community).

A ex-nursing friend made the comment on her facebook page.   “If you think wearing a mask is uncomfortable, try being on a ventilator in an ICU unit.”

….and if you live in the country in an isolated area, start feeling blessed and grateful that you don’t live close to anyone and can live your life as you’ve done before the Virus.

If the Virus disappears, it will be easy to return to the old way of living, but in the meantime, consider your mindset and review your actions now, not tomorrow or next week/month/year……now.

Right Now Is the Time to Be Kind.
You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know
how soon it will be too late.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be kind to yourself and those around you.  Be polite and considerate of the elderly and those at high risk or disabled.   If you’re healthy, pause to give others a place in the queue, especially if they’re mothers forced to take babies and young toddlers to the supermarket (and their young are fractious).   It won’t hurt to step back a pace and let someone else into the queue before you.

Respect the police, the army, health-care professionals, security staff, delivery drivers and shop servers etc – they are only doing their job.   Don’t take it too personally if you are given directions you don’t like.

Don’t be rude and aggressive.

Treat others as you would like to be treated.

…..and if you’re bored, suck a straw and ‘deal with it’.  

If the zoo animals can cope with being in one space every day, why can’t you?   😀

Smile, wave, slow down when out in the car or in public.

Say thank you and smile to the person who stocks the supermarket shelves, delivers your post or makes a difference in your life.  Don’t glare or show unkind gestures to others in public at this difficult time.   It only degrades and makes your own appearance ugly.

Show some sympathy for those who have lost their jobs, their homes (and possibly struggling with mental health issues).

Show some patience and understanding for those who are fearful and stressed.

We are all unique and react to difficult situations in different ways.    What stresses me may not affect you at all (and vice versa).

When life’s problems seem overwhelming,
look around and see what other people are coping with.
You may consider yourself fortunate.

~ Ann Landers ~