What a difference a few days make. Only on Sunday we were socialising with friends and enjoying beautiful, warm autumn weather. Now we are mostly trapped indoors. But still, it’s important to retain social connections – albeit in different ways.
Visitor at the door, kids at home
I kept my boys at home for a second day (third if you count the fact they came home sick on Tuesday). To be clear, I don’t actually think they are sick. My eldest had a headache and felt a bit hot on Tuesday. He rallied within an hour, and neither he (nor anyone else) has shown any other signs.
I woke up with a splitting headache, the second day of it. I was dizzy and disorientated, craving sleep in a dark room. My Neil made me vegemite toast on sourdough bread and a cup of tea for breakfast in bed, and I gradually got organised. Around 9.30 am, my phone rang.
“Hi Serina, it’s Trish. I’m here and I have a present for you. I know you are self-isolating. I won’t come up.”
One of my boys went down and received the most beautiful box.
I got up and we opened it together.
Wow, a whole box of wee wipes, which she had made herself!
There is a time when this would have seemed really weird – beyond weird. But I was delighted by this thoughtful present. Trish said she made several and put the offer up on her local Buy Nothing group. She had five ladies come around to take up the offer of wee wipes
The news is going from bad to worse, and I find it easy to feel a bit down about it all. Especially as AirBnB cancellations continue (that said, we have actually had two guests this week). Canberra is actually relatively okay, with only four cases confirmed after over 1,500 negative tests. But like many people, we are being cautious. We want to do the right thing.
I want to be able to show empathetic leadership during this time, and I wonder sometimes if I am doing enough. I guess it’s a case of doing a lot of little, positive things.
Just before lunchtime, while recovering from my migraine, I went into the back yard to do some tai chi. One of my neighbours waved to me over the fence, and we had a good chat (while still maintaining appropriate social distancing). She suggested that we start a Facebook group so that all of the residents in our 15 unit complex can connect with each other. For instance, if someone is going to the shops, or if someone has run out of loo paper, we can let each other know.
“Great idea,” I said. “I’ve got lots of rice if you need.” I created a Facebook group that afternoon and then typed up a short leaflet. My Neil printed it off, and my youngest son and I put them in mailboxes that evening.
So far we have two members: Neil and myself.
It’s not exactly a big takeup, and it is a bit disappointing. I guess not everyone wants to be forced to be part of a community. Or maybe they haven’t read the leaflet yet. Who knows. But I guess it’s about setting the tone and doing something positive. If everyone did one small positive thing, then it could create a new positive momentum that could swell to overtake all that selfish greed playing out in supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores.
[Breaking news: one person joined as I was typing this up, so now we are three.]
Please be nice
I was shocked yesterday to read a post from my good friend Erna.
From the comments that followed from her friends, I gather that a lot of people working in retail – including health professionals in pharmacies – are being abused. I know we are under a lot of stress, but this is not on. Please be extra special nice to all retail assistants right now. Everyone is doing their best to make sure there are enough supplies to go around.
And for Canberrans, there is a special Facebook Group – the Canberra Region Coronavirus Mutal Aid Group. Please sign up and help where you can.
What are you doing not only to look after yourself and your family but others, during this time?