Okay, so all my plans for travel this year have gone to hell. Fortunately I was refunded my China trip because Bunnik’s pulled the tours themselves. I have to say they operated so professionally and I would highly recommend them in the future. Their tours were well balanced with organised and free time. China will have to wait for another time.
Next came Africa. It is still in the mix but who knows where we will all be in August. Will we be still struggling with the virus or maybe we will have come out the other side. It is too soon to call. However even if the pandemic has passed our savings and the dollar have taken a hit with the fall of the economy and it may be all a bit too expensive. My savings may be going to help my sons who have both been affected by the slow down of work and had their hours cut. It all seems pretty grim.
Then there was the long walk along the Ruta de laine in Spain from Alicante to Burgos. Spain is a hot spot for the virus and while it too may be over the worst by September, it is all looking pretty much like a no go this year. I will be disappointed but life has other priorities when the world is in meltdown. One of those is looking out for each other, family, friends and neighbours. A couple of friends have had serious illnesses diagnosed and that really shows what is important. It is heartwarming to see so many people being thoughtful about others. Sure there has been panic hoarding and some displays of appalling behaviour, but there has also been some surprising initiatives to balance this. Humans aren’t all selfish. We are all in this together and we are working together.
Another upside is that I have been in more regular contact with so many people via Facebook, Whats App and I have even started to run my book club via Zoom group conferencing. With the relative success of that experiment I have opted for a virtual happy hour with friends using Zoom. We had planned a dinner but our government has requested people ( particularly we older Aussies) to keep a safe distance from each other and to stop socialising pretty well everywhere. We are not yet quite as locked down as the UK but it will probably happen.
The economy is in free fall, the restaurants and cafes have shut down overnight and unless they can survive on takeaway and home delivery they are out of business for the foreseeable future. Lots of people are working from home. About 20,000 people became unemployed overnight in Melbourne alone. There will be heaps more like my sons who have jobs but such reduced hours that they are almost unemployed. It is a scary state of affairs.
Everyone is in shock. I have started to refocus on activities to do at home and have been upping the Spanish studies as well as French. I have taken up crochet after probably 20 years! I am making a cowl scarf out of gorgeous Alpaca. I have got the skein in a mess but still able to crochet. All those little tips I used to know are coming back. It is something I can do in front of television while I am bingeing on Scandi Noir or French and Spanish films!
I have been walking the dog and when I meet my dog owner friends at the park we all stand about 3 metres apart. Our dogs are still sniffing tails and noses so we probably should be extra vigilant about washing our hands after patting everyone’s pets too. I have been still able to go to an outdoor gym class with gloves and appropriate distances between us but that may come to an end if the UK is anything to go by. I have already signed up for on line Pilates with a former teacher and can also follow my gym instructor through an app and possibly Zoom as well.
It will be such a novelty to hug someone after all this. My grandson is off limits too. Virtual chats the way to go there. Fortunately while the shelves of supermarkets are lean it isn‘t for lack of produce but lack of delivery. I was kind of hoping I might have to ration food. It would probably result in a few less kilos over the period rather than an increase due to reduced activity!
Through all this I had a bit of a melt down and it came to me – this is another Camino. The lessons I learned on those walks were to take every day as it came, just be in the moment and put one foot after another. I don’t always remember to practice this lesson but when ever I hit a rough spot it comes back to me. Bam!
And a lesson from when I was a stressed mum with twin babies. This time will pass. Breathe deep for calm, look at the sky or something beautiful, take a break from listening to all the news and talk, sleep well and wash your hands.
Alcohol is the great deterrent to germs so I am hoping a daily dose of Champagne will work just as well on the inside! It will certainly lift my spirits anyway. That is all for the moment.