Musings on our new reality

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Zoe

We were interstate looking after my brother’s dog.

It had been planned six months ago so he and his wife could holiday in Vanuatu. And while Warren and I had been watching news of the coronavirus unfold for months thinking this will hit home soon, while we were minding Zoe, this shit got real.

On top of that, this break was in the middle of renovations to our apartment, a dwelling we affectionately call Sabrina.

So, what is this blog about?

I think I just need to muse about how during our short break, everything changed so fast, I’m still trying to get my head around it.

My brother and his wife left the Gold Coast on Saturday. For us it was business as usual, albeit in a different location. Long scenic walks. Stopping off for breakfast. Visiting other family members and friends.

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A visitor enjoying a swim in Zoe’s dog bowl.

Then we watched Q and A on Monday night. There was a sparse audience ‘socially distanced’ from each other and guests not in the studio. One, a businesswoman, talked about how all business travel was cancelled and how all meetings were now done by video conferencing.

This was our first realisation of the huge shift.

My brother and his wife had to fly home early as Vanuatu was shutting its borders. They also had to self-isolate for a fortnight, so we moved our vacation to Brisbane where we stayed with Warren’s sister.

In those few days, international flights were grounded and countless people lost their jobs. On social media, numerous American followers and friends were anxious as their lack of a competent leader sent their stress levels to record highs.

Our flight home was moved a day forward.

We got a text message the night before to tell us. This was the just before the Queensland border was shut. Our flight had the social distancing measures that were needed, although we did wonder about the air conditioning that recycled everyone’s breath throughout the plane.

We’re home now but looking back, this was a break where so much changed so quickly. And as I said earlier, we knew this month would be a turning point.

My reality check was not from losing my job.

We are two of the lucky ones. And this is not a blog where I’m complaining about minor disruptions to our lives. It’s just that even knowing months ago things were about to change, it doesn’t take away from the rising anxiety.

I keep sane by imagining what life will be like in a month. I don’t go past four weeks at a time as any more would be speculation. I know it’s not a rosy picture, but I guess it helps me prepare mentally. Although reading back over this blog, it probably doesn’t.

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Social distancing on our flight home.

Yes, I’m scared.

All of us are waiting to see how the measures put in place will go. It’s hard to be hopeful when news of Indonesia, Italy and Spain keep reminding us this is not going to be easy.

We are seeing the natural world fight back and we will realise that manmade distractions like the stock market and money will become secondary, or if this lasts longer than expected, not important at all. We could be volunteering our services to make things that are useful and feed people who need it. This has already begun to happen. The end goal is the survival of the human race.

For the time being, social media gives encouragement as people find fun ways to keep us pre-occupied.

One friend has created a Facebook page for us to vote on the Eurovision songs that would have been in competition this year. Another has encouraged us to post videos of ourselves singing along to our all-time favourite songs.

We are about to see and experience things we believed only occurred in fiction. At the time of writing this blog, we’ve been invited to a Google hangout with friends. Having a support network is very important. Distractions are fine. They keep things balance. But don’t go without a support network.

More than ever we need to talk and listen to each other, not just talk at each other.

Stay home and stay safe.


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