Well, we are still locked down – up to our sixth week now. On one hand we are still quite relaxed about being stuck at home, but on the other, I wish that I could get out more – even to just go for a drive to somewhere unexciting. I don’t know if my time in the army taught me how to better cope with this sort of thing, or whether I have become a naturally flexible person. This time at home is not too hard at all but there are some things I am missing.
I’m missing my grandchildren. I know they are well because we see them on Zoom and I know they are busy with home school. I’m missing the ability to pop up to the shops whenever I think of something that I might need. I miss my contact with other people although apps like Zoom are a real blessing. I miss going out for lunch and I miss jumping in the car to go for a drive.
I have been calling some friends as I have been walking around our park and have enjoyed some long conversations with them as I clock up a few kilometres.. I called my Auntie Phyl this week. She is 99 years of age and will turn 100 in September. She is my mother’s younger sister and has always been my favourite aunt. She is physically frail but very alert mentally. She misses not having visitors and I’m hoping that it will not be going before we can go and see her again in her aged care facility. At least this lock-down is keeping her safe and helping to make sure that she reaches her century and that she receives a letter from the Queen.
We had our weekly shopping day on Sunday. We were at the supermarket a few hours later than normal and it was quite busy. We will have to go earlier next week. However, we are now stocked up with food for anther week. We felt very guilty in driving home via a short detour through some suburbs to the north of us. We just wanted to spend a few minutes seeing some parts of the world other than our back yard. I guess that if we had have been pulled over by the police, we could have used the shopping bags in the boot of our car to explain that we were really on the way home from doing some shopping. In this current state of emergency in Victoria, we really should only go shopping by the shortest and most direct route.
During the week, I drove up to our local Westfield shopping mall to find something that I needed to buy. The mall was as empty as a pauper’s purse. It looked as though a nuclear war had struck and there were very few people left alive. Ninety percent of the stores we’re closed. I do like Westfield’s initiative, though, in setting up a website to enable their food stores to sell on-line. You order and pay for your food on your computer, choose your preferred pick up time and then drive to the designated area of the shopping centre to pick up your order. This initiative has allowed many of their food stores to stay in business.
I’m certain that this is the time when business people who think creatively and entrepreneurially will succeed. My photographer friend, Michael, has lost 98% of his business of running photo tours. But he has been clever enough to set up an alternative method for generating income by offering on-line photo portfolio reviews. I had a chart with the two women who run the travel agency that I use and we were trying to think of creative ways for them to earn some Income. At the moment, that are generating no revenue at all. I guess that their best opportunity is to offer some bookings and packages based on domestic travel once that picks up again. It is fairly clear that we will not be able to travel internationally for at least the rest of this year. Our Prime Minister said today that it will be too dangerous for Australians to go overseas anytime in the foreseeable future. I have had to create a spreadsheet to track the status of our own travel cancellations and refunds for this year.
I just hope (but don’t expect) that the Chinese peasants who wanted to cook a bat and caused this virus understand the impact they have had. Excuse my language but China has completely f*cked up the entire world!
I’ve already posted about Anzac Day and that was a welcome change in our hibernation routine. I ‘accidentally’ came across a couple of other Vietnam veterans at our local shopping centre yesterday. We arranged to meet and buy a take-away coffee and then proceeded to drink it together (keeping our regulation 1.5 metres apart). One of them had walked 27 kilometres around the district on Anzac Day to drop a poppy and a sprig of Rosemary on every Vietnam Veteran’s driveway. . What a loverly thing to do and a great accomplishment for a man in his 70’s. I think he got confused about the number of our house as I didn’t see anything in our driveway although he told me that he had dropped one of his gifts off for me.
Another friend sent me this recording off the band of the !st Battalion, Royal Australia Regiment playing Waltzing Matilda merged with the Last Post. If this doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, nothing will.
I’m actually feeling much more positive about this virus at the moment. In the first week or so of isolation I was quite fearful, but now the flattening of the curve in Australia gives me much more comfort and hope. Yesterday, we only had five e new deaths across the whole country and none, so far, today. We are really doing well compared with other countries around the world.