Well, here we are then….

You know, I feel so overwhelmed by everything that I don’t know where to begin. Everything seems too huge to be able to get anything down on the page. And of course EVERYONE is feeling exactly the same. It is quite startling to realise that EVERY SINGLE HUMAN on the PLANET if facing the same threat AT THE SAME TIME, and needing to deal with the very basic emotions and fears AT THE SAME TIME. Has that ever happened before? That’s another quite mind blowing concept.

I decided a few days ago that I would give up trying to work out my opinion on many things, such as the debate about opening/closing schools. The bottom of the problem with schools seems to me (see, I do have an opinion!) to come from not really knowing whether children are asymptomatic carriers or not. Will they spread the virus into the community, and elderly relatives especially, or are they better off being slightly more quarantined at school, keeping the vital health workers at work rather than at home caring for their kids? The experts are divided about this, because NO ONE KNOWS THE ANSWER. They can only work from data from overseas, mathematical modelling and medical understandings of disease spread. Data from overseas can only be a guide because each country has very different health systems, testing regimes, and are at different points along the curve. How can I have an opinion?

I only know that

  1. It won’t be over until we have a vaccine
  2. Our world will be a very different place then (but what it will look like is dependent on all the actions that take place along the way, including what you and I do.)
  3. I am so grateful that I do not have to make these big decisions that impact on every aspect of our lives.

So, to cope, I am doing what I can to make my life as healthy ~ mentally and physically ~ as possible.

  • Physical distancing, of course; washing my hands as frequently as possible (I may stop wearing rings as a result!); changing my clothes when I come inside and hanging them in the sunshine
  • I say ‘physical’ distancing, because I am still keeping a social connection, just through other ways. In fact I am in touch with way more people than usual! Kate wrote a great post about sending letters. Australia Post is still operating, even overseas, although there are delays to just about every country. It’s a great way to connect to people who don’t use the internet. I have been reading blogs, and love the way we are keeping each other’s spirits up. Every blog has its own way of doing this, and I thank you.
  • Eating well. Supply chains have been disrupted, mainly because they are scrambling to keep up with the over-the-top demand for food. The Fella and I are okay, and we have enough toilet paper, thank you for asking!
  • Sleeping well. This one is a tricky one. I am sure you understand how the dark thoughts flourish at night. I have a routine of calming tea, nourishing reading (not on a screen) and deep breathing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t I watch rubbish on TV and try to remember that things will be easier to deal with in the daylight.
  • Walking. The fresh air is a great antidote to the darkness. I have added in a daily sketch, which I am posting on Instagram. When I can’t walk outside I will sketch something from the garden. The point is to help me remember that the flowers are still growing, the birds dashing around and the bees are still making honey. The world still turns.
  • Each day I am looking for little things that are beautiful or joyous or connect me. Like these hearts in the window of a local shop, that closed today.

20200323_145253

We have had supportive messages from our neighbours, so I put this sign on our letterbox today.

20200324_114418

  • I am being careful about where I get my news. I haven’t looked at Facebook. I am relying on the sensible coverage of the ABC, our public broadcaster, as well as some recommended sites. I want information and well informed opinions from experts, not hysteria nor ‘I’m no expert but….’.
  • And lastly, of course I am adding creativity into the mix. Although, the odd thing is that I haven’t had time for much sewing lately. Keeping in touch as well as making sure I have the various supplies I need uses up quite a bit of time!

So I hope your strategies for keeping healthy, especially mentally healthy, are working well. Now, I am going for a walk and a sketch.

Stay well.

Namaste πŸ™πŸ½

PS forgive any typos; my brain is scattered and my fingers are following along!

33 thoughts on “Well, here we are then….

  1. Yes indeed – my post about me having a meltdown today because I couldn’t post my girls birthday present took me a bit of a journey and eventually I arrived back at sanity. I think we will all go up and down and have opinions – which will probably change as events unroll… I think it’s great that we are here sharing and supporting and laughing and crying together. This is a new experience for us all – no-one knows where it will lead or what the outcome will be. Those who survive and emerge at the end will be the ones to figure it out and hopefully insist not on returning ‘back to normal’, but on a world with a healthier and more humane outlook. Take care, be well xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So very true Pauline. I think we are lucky to have such a safe place to melt down. In all my years of blogging I have only ever had support, care and positivity from all of you, my blogging friends. We know that to stay mentally healthy we need to be able to share how we are dealing with things.
      Thanks for the link (sorry I have forgotten where you posted it) to that very thought provoking article. I’ll pop the link here in case anyone else would like to read it.
      https://emergencemagazine.org/story/finnegas/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s certainly a difficult thing to get our heads round isn’t it? Like you, i’m finding it hard to settle to anything but, once I do, it’s wonderful to be able to escape the worst of my thoughts by concentrating on something artsy farty for a few hours. I don’t know what I would do without that creative outlet to keep me sane but it wouldn’t be housework πŸ˜‰
    Virtual hugs to you and the fella.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Housework is way down my list too! I am lucky because my life really hasn’t been disrupted very much, and staying at home is not a hardship (pity about the daily lattes!). I get the impression that your life is much more disrupted, and being away from your girls must be a hardship. Lucky that you are surrounded by your dogs, ~ and Mr T, too of course!
      Stay well πŸ™πŸ½

      Like

  3. We’re now on a complete lockdown for 3 weeks at least, the up side is we now have a whatsapp group for our street and we’re actually learning peoples names etc! We’re even considering front garden coffee or glass of wine times! I’m trying to keep my blog covid free but the atmosphere does permeate through. Keep safe and smiling πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of street Happy Hour! Even having a WhatsApp group is a great idea. Our family one is a great way to just quickly keep in touch, send around photos and videos. I am sorry that the technology is beyond my Mum, as it would be great to have her input too.
      I understand about keeping your blog virus free. We are all doing what makes sense to us, aren’t we? I love seeing your Spring garden photos, especially as my garden is winding down.
      Stay well πŸ™πŸ½

      Like

  4. I like you think I have to have an opinion on everything, like school closures, but I am not in charge. The government finally announced a lock down here. I think that they have wasted a lot of time and not invested in equipment and lots and lots of testing. They have let things slip out of their grasp and I am not sure they really tried. I read reports of people returning from China in January and PHE just weren’t interested in them. They have only focused on people with symptoms and too late they realise that a lot of the spread comes from people without symptoms. Watching the dead rates rise in places you have holidayed in like Italy and Spain is very depressing. I pray to God that successful treatments and vaccines are found soon and they are made available to everyone who needs them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had a cruise ship dock in Sydney very recently, and all the passengers disembarked, without testing. Naturally people travelled on, and a number were positive. That has been a very public disgrace. Especially as some positive people travelled to the Northern Territory. Our Indigenous People are in the very high risk category, and there are deep concerns about the virus reaching remote communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. (Personally I think all cruise ships should be banned for ever, but that’s me having an opinion on a different matter!)
      How is your leg mending? You must be grateful that you are out of the hospital system at the moment. Stay well, and keep healing! πŸ™πŸ½

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my word! I am with you, I like cruise ships are an affront to nature/taste/envirnoment too. Although I know people who like to holidya on them (they are my idea of hell). I think with this virus all countries/communities have to work together or it just doesnt work. The leg is waking me at night. I have discovered that there are so many different types of pain and discomfort go with this broken leg experience! Still, I am out of the agony territory and I am now in nagging, aching pain. How I took the pain-free like for granted before…I think I will have to work on developing my meditation skills to deal with it!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d have to agree with all your points, Anne, including the one about finding it hard to be creative. Everything is so overwhelming at the moment that I have to really work at ‘switching off’ enough to make something. I’ve set myself a goal of doing something physical in the garden every day. Hopefully by the time this is all over, all those little bits will add up to something lush and healthy.
    Stay healthy and keep positive. We have a chance to change the world, for the better. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I listened to a podcast that reminded me that it is okay to not be creative at the moment. I need to remind myself of that, and just do what I can do. We have a lot more time ahead of us to get into the creative spirit!
      It is great to have the garden, the physical and mental balm. Wouldn’t it be awful to be stuck in a small apartment? I pity all those New Yorkers. A lush and healthy garden is a good goal!
      Stay well, and the Offspring too πŸ™πŸ½

      Like

      1. -shiver- I have friends who live in New York. I can’t imagine how awful they must feel, having to self-isolate in studio apartments with no easy access to green spaces. It’s times like these that I bless the ‘Aussie Dream’ that created low density housing for most people.
        Stay well. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve decided I’ll try and post nearly every day, as an antidote to fretting at the restrictions. Like Tialys, I’m finding the arty-farty stuff an excellent distraction, as is cracking jokes and exchanging silly anecdotes with friends on the phone or on FaceTime. It’s odd how we’ve come round full circle, and are once again embracing our humanity and learning a new respect for friendship, empathy, conversation and fellow feeling, instead of being so disconnected we message someone in the next room instead of getting up and speaking to them. I’d love to have a conversation with you at some point. How shall we make it happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that we are finding so many positive ways to keep in touch. I love Margaret’s idea of having Happy Hour in front gardens. Our street is too linear and there is a school directly opposite, so it wouldn’t work here, but there are many places it would. i hope we can keep these deep connections going after we emerge from all of this.
      I am sorry I missed your call yesterday (Wednesday). I will ring back today, but text first, just to make sure you are able to take the call.
      Stay well πŸ™πŸ½

      Like

      1. That will be lovely! I have almost nothing on except hand stitching until it’s time to make dinner, so it’ll be something to look forward to. My hands-free earpiece is charging, so I’ll be good to go in about an hour.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have just taken the dogs for a good walk. We saw 5 vehicles, waved at one neighbour and stopped to chat to another – keeping well apart. The good side of all this is that we are supporting each other in this isolated rural community and since we have very little face to face contact normally there is little change to everyday life. We are having a spell of fine weather at present which helps lift the gloom. I am lucky that I no longer have a sick partner to worry about or to require me to go to the GP surgery or hospital appointments but I know quite a few of my blogging friends do. Let’s go on supporting each other in this virtual community and keep crafting to take our minds of the worries. Virtual hugs to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Communities are banding together in such innovative ways. I sure we will be stronger for all of this. I have been thinking about people with other medical issues. It must be so worrying about accessing necessary help and medication. The Fella has had some follow up appointments with allied health people, and they have been done over the phone. Thank heavens for speaker phone so that I can add my two bob’s worth! But it would be so difficult if you had to present at emergency departments or chemo appointments.
      Stay well, and keep hedging! πŸ™πŸ½

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The G.O. and I had the conversation yesterday, remarking we are all in this equally, globally. When considered like that in context of prejudices, wars, social class… it shows how equally human we are. The racial blame game, rich folk have it easier than poor, why am I not entitled… social and news media BS needs to be ignored, preferably shut down.
    Some positives have come via Covid-19 even with the bad, appalling and scary. Despite its taint of doomsday prepping (which I personally have no issue with its milder forms) people are getting backyard chickens, buying seedlings and planting vege patches. They’re also caring and sharing. Growers, food co-ops and vege boxes are getting more support than they ever have before. Pubs and other gambling venues are closed, hopefully diverting funds to necessities.
    Similarly we’re trying to go about our day-to-day life in its usual if somewhat constrained scope. But I too am feeling scattered. Keeping in touch, whether via social media or telecoms helps binds the frayed edges into something manageable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a mind-blowing concept, that we are all in this together. You are right that it shines a strong light on our humanity, and we are seeing the bonds being strengthened, as well as the other bad, appalling and scary.
      My brother went to Bunnings and posted a photo of the shelves completely empty of seedlings. Now if people are going to panic buy anything, I think seedlings are way better than toilet paper! i heard there was a rise in backyard chickens too. Imagine the home schooling possibilities of backyard sustainability!
      Stay well, and the GO too. πŸ™πŸ½

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have no idea why I haven’t replied…and I realised that I had browsed the post…but I too am a bit overwhelmed with everything. Not just the crafting/making but the whole shebang. New Zealand will be in complete lockdown (Level 4) at midnight tonight (Wed) with only some matters to do with people getting to homebase. Essential services still working but still a fair amount of hoarding and food stores unable to keep up stock levels.

    Earlier this week was on Level 2 which was for people over 70 years (not quite at that number) but also people with respiratory and other issues. I managed to slot into 2 of the categories. So it meant “not even food shopping” … I’ve managed to find different levels of “helpers” as I’m home alone and no wheels. To date only asked some “advice” – I’ve some food on hand, and put in place delivery of readymade meals which I think I’ll have to extend as the online shopping portal is fully booked up delivery for well into next week… but I could ask “a helper” … have been independent for so long – “hard to ask..,”

    Anyway Ann send a personal link about an online textile challenge today and I’ve joined. So far I’ve found a suitable piece of material, marked out the grid with pencil and decided on thread. But whilst I was getting that together I thought now this could be an idea for the recent “ink on cloth” but with say dark thread…

    Today here, very busy with people. The new tenant was supposed to move in on Friday but the moving company “cancelled all service” so the landlord has trailer and he and his son – back and forwards with furniture etc. Tenant was here at one point but his he works in essential services so he had to return I guess to work…

    I had hoped I could organise me quite fast, it seemed relatively simple but then there seemed to be hurdles, mostly to do with “me/self” but I’m hoping by this coming Sunday, I have fathomed out a “new schedule” that will involve being as self sufficient as possible, and a daily solitary walk somewhere…and “making”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many challenges for you to work your way through Catherine. It is hard to ask for help, isn’t it? But please do, if that is the solution for you. It seems like many people are wanting to reach out and offer, to do something for someone else. Maybe you will make them feel better if you ask for some assistance.
      We are still able to get to the shops. I wonder if that will change, and what I will do. Online sounds very overwhelmed (like everything else!). We took advantage of the early opening to Older Folk the other morning, and I got many things I needed. We are all still learning about this new life, but I think we will settle into it and find our rituals and rhythms. Stay in touch Catherine! And stay well πŸ™πŸ½

      For others the link for the challenge Catherine mentioned is
      https://www.textileartist.org/community-stitch-challenge-week-one-sue-stone

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did a food-head-count this morning and then updated my main helper by messenger…and I know she has seen the message. I’ve actually enough general food to last me another few weeks, and when I was checking the pantry found something that just added some more interest to main meals. It’s the fresh stuff that has disappeared…into my mouth πŸ™‚

        The readymade meals are still going to come on Sunday, not many but it will add another layer – to someone who has a number of issues with “cooking”…but I do eat well, just in a simple kind of mode.

        Even though technically I could go food shopping, I’m mindful that if I get sick – there isn’t anyone to care for me…so I’m taking care of that. Probably someone would come out of my local network if that was to happen; but everyone else (even my designated helpers) are mostly families…

        Update: my main helper is planning some grocery shopping tomorrow, so she will look for the vegies I love and have been eaten…and I hope she will find either apples or pears…awesome lady πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Anne, I too find it mind blowing that we are all going through the same thing at the same time. I feel as if we are on the cusp of something huge, but don’t know what, and I’m not in the habit of being fanciful. I hope there are some value shiftings going on that last into the future. I just listen to the BBC news after 5pm – all of a sudden the good old BBC seems to have taken hold like it did in days gone by. Well, I’ve got plenty to do just as i usually do. With hubby being at home we’re introducing more structure into the day and I’m keeping in touch with my signifacnt people as best I can, while also dipping in and out of the blogs I follow. I really welcome hearing from other parts of the world at this unprecedented time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we are on the cusp of something too….and maybe it will build on the positives we are seeing.
      I don’t regret it, but keeping in touch is taking a big chunk of my time. We just spent two hours with video chats to family. Now I feel that I can finally get down to my own time and space. Where does the time go when you are only at home ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Here in Oregon we are under Stay Home orders but can still go out for exercise…which I’m taking full advantage of before things get stricter.

    Still, it’s hard to not despair here in the U.S. where basically our lives are less important than a certain someone’s ego. Also, since much of our crops require immigrant labor and the southern border is locked down, I am worried about this year’s food supply, which is why I’ve turned my desk into a veggie plant nursery…it’s like working next to a little jungle :))

    Anyway, stay well!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many unexpected consequences of the lock downs and border closures, aren’t there?I was speaking to a passionate animal lover, who was pleased that vets were an essential service. Not having animals it hadn’t crossed my mind.

      I love the idea of you being surrounded by a green jungle, a food forest! I was pleased to hear that people are stock piling vegetable seedlings. We may see many more front yard veggie patches out of all this.

      Stay well ~hugs~ πŸ™πŸ½

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If only we could plant toilet paper trees πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        That’s good about vets. I also worry about people losing their jobs and having to give up their pets because they can’t afford to feed them.

        Like

        1. My mind has gone in all sorts of directions imagining what toilet paper trees would look like. Would they grow in pots so that you could have them in the toilet and bathroom?

          Like

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