Today is supposed to be my sleep shirt day. I usually alternate my sleep shirt days with casual dress days but I decided to not be so predictable. Yesterday I worked over my garden as it was covered in weeds and grasses. I live in a home park that has beautiful trees and shrubs which are full of birds. Birds that like to skitter across my rooftop and also drop seeds in the garden. Maybe it is their gift to me. This place is certainly a gift to me at the moment. I am isolated but not alone. I think that is an important distinction.
Neighbours walk by on their way to the mailbox and greet me as I sit on my white cane rocking chair on my tiny patio. We smile and share a few words, at least three metres apart! I write and read out there and enjoy cups of tea, have done this since before this all started. My world has not changed that much since this started, apart from not mixing with people. I have always enjoyed reading in bed and listening to the rain on the roof. Now I am also thankful for the rain as it is helping my plants after a very dry summer.
Yesterday I planted two yellow buddlejas, a verbena and a blue salvia. The scent in summer is going to be incredible. I have trailing nasturtiums coming up everywhere and also day lilies coming up around the Hibiscus and a huge Lilly Pilly and a Crepe Myrtle. Am looking toward a forested undergrowth look to my bushes which I hope will suppress the weeds and grasses. The less enjoyable bit is the pain afterwards but it is worth a sacrifice on my part for something of such beauty. Much like the pain we are feeling now for ourselves and the world. Staying home is worth the sacrifice, so that we may again enjoy the beauty of our world., together.
Tomorrow marks my seven day sabbatical from Facebook. It has not been at all arduous. I checked Memories as I shared my journey there with my aged parents before they passed and will be starting their memoir soon.
I am going to be hauling out my new sewing machine, purchased in 2015 when I moved into my cabin after my divorce settlement. Sewing masks is going to be a big part of my day though I do limit myself to twenty minute intervals due to severe Cervical Stenosis. After twenty minutes I will get myself a cup of tea (which helps the Diabetic Neuropathy) and relax in the shade. Has to be the shade as I now have Bowen’s Disease which leads to multiple skin cancers. I do not normally disclose personal medical things but Covid 19 and self isolation due to these co morbidities means that people have a lot more time to dwell on these sorts of issues. I however, am not one of them! I almost died in 2015 and since then have relished life, even though my interaction with it is on my terms and hugely different to healthy people.
I cannot walk far but will be walking down to our beautiful lake and around our home park. Obviously keeping my distance. Our new Government edict of no more than two in public works fine for us as they also want the at risk person to only go out for medical needs etc and only with their carer.
My son and I have been watching a lot of CNN and watching the catastrophe that is unfolding there. Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper are beyond reproach. Unlike the Trump administration. A thankful for free press. Speaking of that I have been reading South China Morning Post for many months now, really keeping as abreast of the situation in China as much as I can. There is probably no need to recommend that people get their news from other sources than Facebook. Bloggers usually are researchers so are unlikely to believe what pops up on their Facebook feed. I have missed not seeing how my overseas friends are doing however I let them know to contact me on Messenger and several have followed this blog. I am grateful to them, to my sister in law, to the manager here where I live and most of all to my son who has kept me fed and amused. We are catching up on the Walking Dead as we stopped watching after Rick disappeared. After that it is GOTs again. And perhaps the books too
I was watching 7.30 last night on ABC and was struck by what Leigh Sales was saying about Care Homes not allowing visitors. As my friends know only too well that is simply a recipe for neglect and abuse.
I understand that this virus is now expected to be shared by simply breathing. So it would be very hard unless visitors do an online course on this virus on how to help and how to protect themselves, their families and the person they are visiting. My thought is that the government should appoint people to “police” these places where our fragile precious beloved ones live.
Since I last wrote so much has changed in Australia, and the world. Here we have different updates daily about businesses and rentals and mortgages. People at Centrelink queueing around the block and then some more, while physical distancing. About flattening the curve, making sure 90% of people stay at home if not needed for vital work.
I personally have taken to physical distancing and self isolation due to my age and co morbidities. I do not want doctors to have to face the non choice of giving a respirator to a younger healthier person. It is too much for them to have to bear. We have seen videos from Italy and the US where doctors are using iPads to assist people to say goodbye to their families. As they have so rightly stressed, with Covid_19 you die alone. Though with caring health workers by your side. But how horrid for them to see that, repeatedly. I am determined to do my part and most of Australia seems to be complying with these restrictions. Now anyway.
We find ways to fill our very long days. The month of March has seemed endless to me. Perhaps because I am bereaved, my father passed late February and after seven long difficult years of looking after dad and one brilliant year of looking after mum before she passed in 2014 I was looking forward to moving and starting a new life. One without too many responsibilities, but now we know that we have a responsibly to our communities and our neighbours.
This week our outdoor gatherings have been restricted to two persons. I am allowed to go out with my son who is my Carer for a walk to exercise and get blessed fresh air. These guidelines for the disabled and elderly are guidelines not edicts but it is best practise to protect our health system so most in this group are all for it.
My home is cleaner than it ever has been before. I am going to be getting rid of a lot of stunning clothing and bed linen via eBay and generally downsizing ahead of a move when it is possible. Gardening is allowed as exercise so I am wanting to get the garden simplified so my son can cope with it when I move out. He is going to be buying this cabin and we will be possibly making it more like a studio than a small two bedroom.
I have started reading paper books again and am about to start knitting some lovely scarves as well as making a huge upholstery quilt I have had on hold since 2014. People are buying jigsaw puzzles including our prime minister Scott Morrison. I will be doing some online, my hands have nerve damage so if I used normal jigsaws I would lose more pieces than I place! Words With Friends is vitally important to keep in touch with fellow players and Facebook has been a wonderful tool to feel connected to the rest of the world.
We still have not found any toilet paper but will soon be having a Basic Food package delivered fortnightly from Woolworths as we are both unwell and as I am unable to shop it is putting a lot of pressure on my son. To access this one simply go to Woolworths online. Our Woolworths is becoming a hub for this locally.
We all share a common thread, our humanity. We love our families and our friends and want to ensure the health system is there if they need it. During this Great Pause our connectedness is not lost by our isolation, it is redeemed by it.
My father passed away five weeks ago today. I was going to have this blog as a memoir of his Life before Vascular Dementia and of my mum’s before Alzheimer’s. A way to help process my grief.
And then along came Coronavirus. Of course I had seen it on ABC news back in November but we were very caught up in our national bushfire disaster. The citizens of NSW and Victoria had a hugely emotional response to it and so did our other states. Soon the world tuned into our plight. To our koalas and kangaroos and to the near billion animals that had been incinerated.
While we choked on the thick smoke, actually tasting some of the incinerated wildlife, life went on for the rest of us. But it diverted attention away from a gathering disaster in China. While the world donated money and children worldwide knitted or sewed mittens and blankets for our rescued burned wildlife, life in Wuhan China was slowly changing. People were becoming ill.