It’s April 6th, 2020 and for the last couple of weeks my little family of four has been adjusting to a life lived inside our medium sized, one living area, 1970s home.
The COVID-19 Pandemic, declared on March 11, has changed life for most of the world, including us. Only my husband leaves the house every couple of weeks to do grocery shopping and the chemist run. My boys stopped attending school a couple of weeks ago and have been doing ‘school from home’ via a combination of video link ups, audio classes and worksheets sent home from school. We have started school holidays now, so our routine will change again in the absence of classes.
To give you the picture of social isolation life in South Australia, this is how things are right now:
- Australia’s international borders are closed. Only Australian citizens or residents returning home are allowed to enter, and they must observe 14 days quarantine period.
- South Australia’s borders are closed. Everyone is stopped at the border, only those returning home are allowed to enter, and they must observe 14 days quarantine period.
- Concerts, tours, festivals and any other sort of entertainment events all cancelled.
- Weddings, funerals, family celebrations and holiday gatherings are all limited to 10 people.
- We are under a ‘shelter at home’ order, meaning we should only leave the house for essential supplies or medical needs.
- My husband is working from home, full time.
- Grocery shelves are empty of staples like pasta, flours and cleaning products. Panic buying is a thing and a lot of people have been stock piling (unnecessarily).
- There is tape on the floors in shops to help queuing shoppers keep a distance of 2m (6ft) from each other.
- Hand sanitiser, face masks and anti-bacterial soap are sold out. Everywhere.
- Toilet Paper is sold out, everywhere because somehow Australia’s got the idea it was imported and therefore would be hard it get. It’s made domestically and is only hard to get because morons are stockpiling it.
- Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses have updated their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitiser and PPE.
- There is concern for shortage of PPE for healthcare workers and a shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
- Cinemas, gyms, bars, night clubs, hairdressers, beauty salons, entertainment venues and pubs are all closed.
- Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skate parks are closed.
- The soccer and BMX seasons (a big deal for my family) are suspended indefinitely, along with every other sport.
- Cafes and restaurants are serving takeaway only, if they are open at all.
- Meetings or groups of more than 5 are banned, expect for people living in the same house.
- Public gatherings are restricted to 2 people.
- Police are empowered to enforce social distancing rules, including $1000 fines or arrest.
- The Australian Federal Government has handed out the biggest financial aid package in Australian history.
- Private hospitals have opened to accommodate the overflow of COVID-19 patients, after elective surgery has been suspended indefinitely.
- There are daily Press Conferences daily from Prime Minister Morrison and Premier Steven Marshall and other Health Department officials, updating death, infected and recovery numbers, plus any updates to the social distancing measures.
These measures are not as dire as in some other parts of the world, but have certainly been sufficient to make big changes for our household. So, given all of that I need a distraction and something, actually a lot of somethings, to keep my hands and brain busy. To that end, I’ve decided on a few things. I’m going to be:
- Baking often enough to keep one large plastic container full of treats.
- Keeping a paper journal about our day to day experiences.
- Learning something new, starting with expanding my crochet horizons.
- Making and sending cards to keep both busy and connected.
So stay tuned people -this could be the start of a long and beautiful blog series in some very uncertain times. 🙂