Life in the age of the virus – 2

Watching this pandemic crawl around the world is like watching the tsunami pull the water out to the ocean before it comes crashing in.

The graphs looking at how the curves are flattening comparing countries are especially illuminating. Somehow Japan got on it early, South Korea turned it around late and finally China’s has flattened out but note it has not yet started to go down.

In Australia, we have just been told to stop all unnecessary activities and meetings, events of any size. If you’re getting married you can do so with the five of you there – couple, celebrant and witnesses. Funerals are capped at ten people.

Work is looking at going from work from home only if you have to, to a slightly more flexible arrangement for those who can do the work they need to from home. School children need to be taken care of, so that rules out your work from home for anyone with little kids.

I want to work from home myself however it might be to show leadership I need to work from work. Does that mean I am going to put work over my family? Actually the lovely wife needs me to drive her in so no point working from home for the most part. A couple of days would be good though. Then at work, my team needs me, as everyone is highly distracted and distractible at the moment.

We are in a grey area. Told by the government we are essential, but told by our organisation we aren’t critical to running the business.

Everyone is unnerved. Everyone is on edge. As a leader I need to help my people through this and to deliver their work. As a parent and spouse, I need to keep well and be calm and centred.

Nothing is normal. I can’t buy toilet paper anywhere. People are losing their jobs and I have one. I’m worried about my parents in the highest risk group. I’m worried about my child’s mental health. I’m worried that I won’t be the leader my team will need and will just be a cranky manager when they don’t deliver on time because they won’t focus. I am confused as to what to do.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring
Tanya

Life in the age of the virus

I’ve been writing this post for a week in my head but have not been able to push myself to write it.

As many songs have said, ‘these are troubled times’.

For Australians, we have had bushfires for months, then flooding, damaging hail storms and just when Autumn was seeming to be the break we all needed, the world is shutting down over COVID-19. Or SARS CO-2 as it is also now being called.

I have to say it feels quite surreal moving through life with the garden looking so beautiful but then having this situation play out. Far more than SARS in 2003, COVID-19 has outrun everything in its path, only being beaten by a full shut down of life as we humans know it for an extended period of time.

I’m not joking when I say that it seems, regardless of where and how this virus was transmitted to humans, that it is a little bit of karma for us humans. We are so desperate for our things and our coffees and our plastic and our energy and our convenience. A greenie since before it was trendy, I too have benefited from the prosperity and consumerism of the last fifty years.

But the piper must always be paid. And the earth always has ways of keeping things in balance, despite her smartest inhabitants attempting to beat the game.

Meanwhile, shit is getting real everywhere. This is from a friend in Wales, UK:

In the past 4 WEEKS…..As of today M is in isolation for 14 days, he has a cough no temperature yet.

S will follow tomorrow (being asthmatic) with the closure of ALL schools in the UK from Friday until further notice. Some will stay open from Monday for emergency service personnel and vulnerable children only.

All Universities and Colleges have now closed for the foreseeable future.

All exams are cancelled for this year!

My parents along with all vulnerable over 70’s were put into “voluntary isolation” as of yesterday for up to 4 months. I have to leave food etc outside their door.

All social gatherings are cancelled, all sporting activities restaurants pubs and clubs all closed.

No one is allowed entrance to Care Homes.

Hospital visiting hours are 1 hour per day 1 visitor.

No more than 10 people are allowed in any shop with 3 feet between them.

Post office workers are no longer allowed to take signatures.

All Fast Food outlets can only serve through drive through.

Train services are cancelled, all flights are cancelled and grounded, London Underground closed down today. London will possibly go on lock down by Monday as the virus is almost out of control there.

It’s bad Tanya, please don’t be complacent, Australia is about 4 weeks behind us. 419 people died last night alone in Italy’s 1 region. So far 103 have died in the UK. There are currently 200,000 cases (2 of which are now babies)

As of Wednesday Europe closed all borders, America closed all borders and with Canada (unprecedented) Australia is still letting people in?!?

No cruise ships are allowed to dock anywhere in the world.

People were complacent here when it started in China, they are NOT now!

I can not describe how distressing and stressful it is. I myself have a phenomenal about of responsibility on my shoulders at present, my own parents were complacent until I took mum for her last shop for weeks yesterday, they are not now.

When I spoke to C this morning my message is the same to you prepare, prepare, prepare (work, food, education) because I can’t explain what is going to hit you and when it comes it’s fast. In just under 4 weeks we’ve gone from 1 case to almost shut down. The NHS is one of the best National Health Services in the world it does not discriminate as of yesterday 30,000 people were sent home early and NHS is reallocating all private hospitals, even hotels are now being set up as mobile hospitals. God help the people in countries with no health care or insurance😢

What I will say is that on the 16th March Wuhan children went back to school and parks reopened and the only 5 deaths recorded were actually foreigners coming back. Wuhan went on total lock down 29th December  that’s a long time.

Emergency service personnel and ex doctors, medics and teachers have all been recalled. I have been recalled but currently I can’t help as I’m asthmatic and I haven’t had the virus so I fall into the high risk category so I’m self isolating myself from tomorrow but once I can I’ll go back.

Take care Tanya, sorry it’s so long I’m just presuming like C and us 4 weeks ago you think it’s going to be ok? It will we will but it’s going to be a ‘hell of a battle’. The whole world has to come together to fight this, there are some amazing community stories appearing but people must listen x

Love to you all xxx

And this from another friend in Seattle, US:

How nice to hear from you.  Yes, these are difficult times.  Sometimes I feel as though I were living in a ghost town.  The streets are empty, shops are closed.  We are pretty much in lock-down.  Thank God for the computer.  It’s my link with the outside world, although I still walk each day and go to the grocery store as needed. Still, it’s quite a rude awaking after knowing so much freedom and privilege.  

We’ve been reading about the fine treatment Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, received from your medical professionals.  They are better, we’ve been told, and have been released from the hospital.  I guess not even Australia has been spared from this dreadful scourge.  Love to you both

And no, not even Australia has been spared, although it seems we are still fairly complacent, despite the panic buying of almost everything now. I’ve been alive for 48 years and never seen anything like the stripping of shelves. Bus loads of people (reportedly Diagau) rolled into Young, a small country town nearby and stripped the shelves of everything. The town itself was doing pretty well until then.

We ourselves have not done any panic buying – by no means a judgement as I can see why people are afraid. It is unfortunate though, as it hurts many people, including those of us who did not indulge in stocking up and fighting over pasta and toilet paper in supermarkets.

There are confusing messages here too. Social distancing means two square metres must be between each person in shops, cafes, pubs but at the same time, we are told to cancel all unnecessary events and travel. At that same time as that, we are asked to support our local businesses and still go get our lunch or coffee.

The lovely wife and I will go to lunch tomorrow at our favourite Clementine, and then we will stop all things that haven’t already been cancelled.

What does the future hold? We don’t know. We only hope that this nightmare moves on and that Australia can manage it better than other countries. I have little faith in that though, with our current people in charge. They did too little too late for the bushfires and seem to be making the same mistake here.

Today we are at 847 with 7 deaths. No one has the fortitude to weld their citizens into their apartments like the Chinese. They really don’t care much for human rights. However, after their total lockdown they have achieved no new infections in Hubei province where it all began.

Ultimately we will all get through, some of us better than others. Some of us losing many or some. The end of 2020 can’t come soon enough and yet, let’s not wish away time so quickly. Things can pivot on a dime and who knows where we will land. Good things still happen. Roses still bloom. Life still goes on in the age of the virus.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya

Tired

This last couple of weeks I’m feeling exhausted.

I’m tired.

Tired of being crap at my job.

Tired of being a crap wife.

Tired of being a crap parent.

Tired of being a crap step parent.

Tired of being a crap healthy person.

Tired of trying to be better at all those things.

Tired of the world going truely mad.

Tired of not sleeping well.

Tired of feeling sad.

Tired of being not good enough.

Tired of being tired.

Sunday staycation – Canberra

Waking up to our lovely view after a nice sleep in at East Hotel, there was only one option for brunch!

Ok, so we could have eaten downstairs and maybe we will do that next time but we couldn’t go past only favourite Patissez, home of the freakshake. Located in Manuka, it was packed along with every other cafe in the area.

I was hankering for their brioche French toast with caramel, oats and almond crumble and coffee cream and it did not disappoint! The lovely wife had Phil’s breakfast – a far more sensible scrambled eggs with avo and smoked salmon on sourdough.

Seriously good French toast!

With a chai latte that is equal to my favourite at Cafe Momo in Bruce, plus a nice zingy juice, we stuffed ourselves silly! Too much to enjoy the amazing looking donuts on offer!

I’m not sure how we resisted takeaway. Lucky we left it until after brunch to ask the question!

Next up we headed to Strathnairn Arts Centre in Ginninderry for a look around. We found it to be a lovely site, beautiful views and the exhibitions on show very nice.

Part of the arts centre at Strathnairn in Ginninderry

After a wander around the area we headed home for an ice cream in the carport (was better than it sounds!) and a nice relaxing afternoon rest.

A wonderful weekend with the lovely wife as part of our wedding anniversary month!

Enlighten – Canberra

After our scrumptious dinner at Raku, the lovely wife and I headed to Enlighten to check it out.

Enlighten is a bunch of Canberra’s iconic buildings lit up, combined with the Night Noodle Markets and live entertainment.

Plenty of action, noise and light there on Saturday night. It’s running for the next couple of weeks so check it out.

Pretty images across Questacon

My only complaint was that there was only three dessert places – donuts all of them and lines so LONG. Please ACT government, ensure there are more desserts for the masses because I’m not standing in lines that long as much as I love donuts!

In fact once the lovely wife and I got out of there (parking also a bit of a nightmare) we had a sneaky donut from Coles in bed at the hotel with a cup of tea!

Also for the first time we had water from a can…better than plastic for the environment. Aluminium cans can be recycled again and again.

What the…? All for the environment and I’m here for it.

Staycation – Canberra

The lovely wife and I are having an anniversary for our wedding soon, so a little staycation is a way to start celebrating and also have some fun (and the tension release was good too).

We headed to East Hotel on the edge of Kingston. Yes, the same one I was at last week but this week, I actually got a room! It was just the base suite but very nice, lovely view over the suburb and Telopea Park. We could even see Telstra Tower from our room.

So our first celebration was spending our wedding present voucher at Raku. Raku is a highly rated Japanese restaurant in the centre of Canberra. There is a reason for this!

We had the $80 Hao San’s tasting menu. Starting with oysters (so good!), we moved on to salmon tartare, scallops, sashimi, steak, tomato salad, sushi and of course, magical dessert!

Nawwww thanks Raku!

Completely yummy and along with that we both had Umeshu throughout the meal – it’s one of our favs! Umeshu is Japanese plum spirit and can be both clear and cloudy. I could drink it all day!

Mmmmmmmm delicious!