I was quite devastated by the sudden lockdown we had last week and felt quite disoriented. I was surprised by how emotional I felt about it. We had planned a family lunch on the Saturday which of course had to be postponed. Ziggy couldn’t stay over and my trip to Dinner Plain with friends was potentially off. I felt so sad and sorry for the restaurants and shops who had been planning Valentine day and Chinese New Year celebrations.
Such a sudden shut down seemed so much harder. I felt confident that the outbreak would be controlled but … doubt was also there. Finally some serious talk of quarantine facilities being constructed like Howard Springs in the Northern Territory, and like all states had in the distant past. Considering it is twelve months since this pandemic started, it seems a no brainer that this would have been a good solution to securing quarantine ages ago. The review into the first massive failure of hotel quarantine highlighted staff movements being an issue, along with staff training yet we still see breaches, albeit quickly contained. Quarantining people in a big city seems totally illogical. Too much movement too many people too many opportunities for escape. I know we are continually learning but being nimble is not good enough when we come to a halt every time there is a breech. It succeeded this time but at what cost to the economy?
We had begun to feel pretty normal again but it is a reminder that lucky as we are, the virus is still lurking around. I can see it now, a quarantine complex built and opened just as the pandemic passes! That seems to be government’s usual way of responding to emergencies. Complacency will undermine all our hard won freedoms. Such quarantine camps could be used to bring back overseas students sooner and when the pandemic is passed they could operate as specialised induction camps to Australia or training camps for groups. They don’t have to be white elephants until the next pandemic.
During the lockdown I went on a TV binge and finally finished the series Spiral and started Bridgeton. I had that empty feeling you get when you finish a good book or great series. It has become such a part of your life that you need to adjust to its absence. I also reconfirmed my belief that sitting up till all hours watching TV is not great for your mental health. I just got tired and unsettled. I couldn’t focus on anything. I didn’t even read because I kept falling asleep!
I was still doing the gym and walking the dog but I felt weird. I have reverted to my old habits of early gym, dog walking, breakfast, French practice and then reading or going to the studio to paint. I have to remind myself sometimes that just being alive takes time. Washing cleaning, cooking, going to the physio or the blood bank, planning holidays, catching up with friends. Life is busy and full and being engaged with interests and other people IS life.
So we end this week with our plans intact. Family lunch, Ziggy staying over, packing for Dinner Plain and hiking in the mountains. All is well with the world again.