Here in Sydney we’re into our 4th week of lockdown and it’s getting worse. Today they announced greater restrictions. During this time we’ve also had more rain than usual, and it’s winter so the rain makes it colder than usual as well. I’m going a little stir crazy.
On a sunny day I’ll go for a walk at the beach or somewhere else in nature. But yesterday the cliff trail I went on was so full of people without masks that it would have been safer to go to a shopping center. I usually don’t take photos of people on trails because I just like the scenery. But I had to wait quite a while for people to pass before capturing the images below.
When the sun is shining everyone wants to be outside enjoying the day because sunny days have been so inconsistant. I’ve gotten used to staying inside, but that doesn’t mean I like it. But that’s what we’re supposed to do now anyway – just stay home.
After 2 days of just being in my apartment I start making up reasons to go somewhere. Just driving is liberating. If it’s raining I might think of something I need at K-Mart or BigW. Now we’re supposed to stay at home and only leave if we have an essential appointment or need food. Only go out once a day. I ask myself, is this purchase essential? Is my mental health essential? I didn’t see that on the list of reasonable excuses to go out. Who’s checking?
Breaking the rules is why we’re in lockdown
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the government declaring lockdowns when so few people are vaccinated and Delta is spreading fast. I’m just trying to figure out how to survive being in lockdown.
They only way COVID get’s into this country is when international travelers, flight crew or airport related personelle break the rules. There are protocalls that everyone has to follow to prevent COVID from getting loose on the streets. It’s worked pretty well for most of the year because Australia closed it’s borders at the beginning of the pandemic. We are also discouraged from leaving the country as flights and daily return numbers are limited. Only returning citizens and residents can come in and they are escorted by the military directly to designated hotel quaranteen for 14 days. They’re tested 2 or 3 times during quaranteen and only released with a final negative result.
In December we suffered a lockdown for a month because a flight crewmember didn’t stay in quaranteen. But that was only our local area, the Northern Beaches. Recently in June a limo driver unknowingly caught the Delta varient from an airport passenger. Not sure how that happened. Anyway, Delta started multiplying quickly and within a week Sydney went into lockdown. Now the whole state is in lockdown with some people also lockdown in their suburb.
How much longer can we hold out?
I admire how the government here stays on top of contact tracing and how most people cooperate with the rules. Nobody wants COVID to run rampant here. But it’s becoming very clear that we can’t rely on this strategy much longer. We need to speed up the vaccination program and get access to different vaccines. I don’t care if I’m over 60 and already eligable, I’m not going to get Astra-Zenica. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants a choice in this matter.
The combination of short supplies, slow rollout and vaccine hesitancy coupled with no choice of which vaccine you can get has made Australia one of the least vaccinated countries in the world. Right now with Delta raging like a wildfire we have managed to prolong the pandemic’s impact while the rest of the world starts to recover.
But since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve been saying that I’m glad I got stuck here and not in the US. We’ve enjoyed a fairly normal lifestyle for most of the past 17 months. The first two months were a bit restricted and a little scary, and December was disappointing, but the current lockdown was unexpected. We got used to being in our own little safe bubble – but now the bubble has burst.
How have you survived the pandemic?
I’m still grateful, just a little stir crazy. I am a gypsey after all, inclined to be very active, moderately social and somewhat impatient. I’m very aware that the rest of the world has been suffering much more than we have. Many parts of the world are still in a terrible situation. I’m wondering how people have coped with this ongoing crisis.
I really shouldn’t complain, but somehow this latest lockdown has pushed all my buttons. When will this be over? When will life return to normal? (What is normal anyway?) When can I see my friends and family again? (Thank God one son is here with me). When can I travel again? When can I take off this mask?
My lifetime habit has been to try to make the best of things. I have always considered my impact on others and the world. I practice grattitude and appreciation daily. I keep myself busy with lots of projects, learning, exercise, corespondence and chores – but I’m losing interest in these things quickly. I’m wondering what more I can do to make this waiting game more tolerable and productive? If you’re reading this and you have ideas please feel free to share how you’ve managed to stay sane during these crazy times.