This may be the first of a regular, irregular or occasional series of posts about living under COVID-19 , probably occasional because I suspect that, once we settle in for however long it’s going to be, life will become same-same.
Like many bloggers – see Nancy in the Netherlands’ post, and Stargazer in London who said so on my blog – I am finding it hard to settle to reading and reviewing. I have one review half-written and another book read and not reviewed. They will be done, though – and next week, I hope.
Meanwhile, I thought I’d report on what the Gums have been doing.
Coincidentally with, but unrelated to, the start of the COVID-19 problem here in Australia, it became apparent that we would need to rejig my parents’ at-home care package to support their being able to continue to stay in their retirement village home. Using a division-of-labour approach Brother Gums took on negotiation of that care with Mr Gums and I doing the logistics needed to make that care work – all of course in close consultation with our nonagenarian parents who, while needing physical help, are perfectly able to discuss and articulate their needs. Indeed they will probably read this post, Father Gums having noted that my posts have been few lately! Anyhow, all this has made staying-at-home nigh impossible, but we’ve done our best to obey the spirit of the law. Things should be in place next week enabling us all to settle into more normal isolated living!
I just need to add here that Brother Gums has been an absolute Trojan, and we couldn’t have done it without him. Thanks Ian.
Otherwise, we have been keeping in touch with family, friends, neighbours and groups – including setting up new social messaging groups with neighbours and my reading group, and using existing ones with family.
I don’t like to engage much with politics here, as I am not keen to attract trolling or disrespectful commentary. I would just like to put on record that I am disappointed by our political leaders’ (on both sides) inability to be clear in their messaging. It’s impossible, I believe, to be completely consistent – unless, perhaps, you live in an autocratic, black-and-white world – but it is possible to be clear about your vision and priorities. This is exactly what, for example, I understand the Germans are being. Mr Gums, who watches the German news, translated for me that government’s very clear statement of priorities, and it is essentially this: 1. Get health care working well; 2. Look after the well-being of the people; 3. Consider the economy. Whether or not they achieve it, I like the aspiration!
Here is our Australian comedian Sammy J (who also appeared in my last Monday Musings) on the messaging we recently received in Oz:
We all know that exercise is important to our physical and mental health, but achieving that under these restrictions is difficult. My lovely little yoga class has had to suspend, and our Tai Chi venue was closed. However, Tai Chi can be done outside. So, on the understanding that the government’s rules allow outdoor physical training for groups of 10, with the proper spacing maintained, we have attended three outdoor Tai Chi classes in a public space (to the interest and amusement of occasional passers-by.) I’m not sure how long that can, or should, continue.
Otherwise, I, with Brother Gums and/or Mr Gums, have done a couple of walks in the section of the Canberra Nature Park across the road from our place, and I have continued my almost-daily at-home yoga practice.
Books and other cultural stuff
As I said, there’s not been much happening in this sphere, but what I have read will appear on the blog hopefully soon. Most of my TV watching has been news and current affairs to keep track of COVID-19 and what we need to know and do, with some light entertainment like Hard Quiz and Doc Martin thrown in.
However, with Ma Gums staying with us for the last week or so while the new care package is put in place, there have also been some Scrabble games, which I’d call cultural, wouldn’t you?
As for how we plan to spend our social-isolation time from now on, well, we have tasks galore, including gardening, digital photo cataloguing, decluttering – as well as, of course, virtual socialising, more reading and listening to/watching favourite and back-logged shows, and doing what we can to support and loved businesses which are still operating (such as bookstores and cafes doing online orders and takeaway food.)