It is interesting times we are living in. Covid-19 has, of course, led to the cancellation of our trip to Scotland for June / July; and also, of course, to the cancellation of all our bookings for our Airbnb Castlemaine house. So at the moment it looks like we will be wintering in Victoria, which is something we’ve not done for a while; usually there’s at least a short trip to somewhere a little warmer.
Here in Melbourne it is all a bit surreal. All the cafes and restaurants are closed (throwing many people out of work), many shops of various sorts are closed; the traffic on the roads is like it is between Christmas and New Year, at the height of the holiday season. The streets are very quiet.
The health system, where we work, is gearing up for an intense time. But it hasn’t come yet! For the first time telephone consultations are being remunerated, so there is a huge increase in these. A huge increase. And while there is a place for these in some situations, in many they are a poor second best to a face to face consultation. But with all the media hype that is happening some people are too scared to venture outside their door, and both our workplaces are quieter than usual.
In the clinic where I work everyone is walking around in face masks. For, I think, very little benefit; I have not been wearing one. While the situation is uncertain, in many ways I would just like to catch Covid-19 and get it over and done with. I would probably not die from it, but as in all medical things there is no certainty in that.
Apart from all this – we continue on in our sort-of normal lives. Though Alison no longer has gym or circus to go to, so she has a problem getting the amount of exercise she likes. I no longer have orchestra to go to, which is very sad. Last month’s motorcycle ride was on as usual, but next month, despite still being able to ride around, there will be no cafes to sit in – and sitting around talking in a cafe is a big part of the ride.
Spanish is on but is going to be in some sort of on-line way, which is all one can do now but which I fear will be very inferior to the face-to-face class I am used to. There are also some doubts as to whether the internet is going to be able to handle the amount of traffic wanting to use it, as people and children not at work / school may be sitting in isolation at home watching Netflix etc.
And we are no longer making any social arrangements at all. We’re often not very proactive in doing so, but now there is nothing.
And no-one has any certainty about how the situation will play out. Interesting times.
To our friends in Germany, switzerland, New Zealand - I hope the reality is as good as your countries are being presented. Some politicians are being exposed as leaders and pragmatic and brave enough to be tough and set the rules. To our friends in America - I fear you are in a for a stormy ride. Likewise Spain, Italy and South America. Australia's politicians are not very impressive but at least the PM is listening to the Chief Medical Officer and seems to understand the effects of exponential growth. Our State premier has been more imoressive, no jargon, just matter of fact explanations about the difficulties ahead. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes and tying to manage the economic fall out of trying to reduce the number of deaths.
Social distancing and rapidly, social isolation (- just two people constitute a crowd out of doors now - all parks, gardens, schools,shopping malls, restaurnts, gyms are closed) - is the defining feature of day to day activities now. If we can manage, it we are hoping to live at Castlemaine and commute to work in the city only when we have to. It is much much easier to contemplate the next 3-6 months up here where there is the possibility of getting outside, projects to work on, garden, neighbours we can safely wave to, etc. It is hard not seeing Jack apart from on the phone - he is such a talkative baby, and starting to sit up, mouth everything and he enjoys being read to.I fear covid 19 is going to mean our experiencing his infancy / baby stage is going to be reduced to snapshots and videos. I hope Annette stays well as she is certainly in the frontline as a MICA ambulance officer. Louise is still on maternity leave at present. Alice is teaching from home.
Having said that, we are incredibly lucky to have good health, modern communication channels, employment, and support from friends and family.
May the next few months go quickly, so we can again, see friends etc. Stay well.