Today marks the 7th working day I’ve been, well, not working. I resigned from the funeral home and they decided to walk me – to pay out my two weeks notice period, rather than continue to have me come to work. Admittedly, I was obliged to give four weeks notice; but was happy to forfeit pay and reduce it down to two weeks.
It should be noted, in my penultimate week at the funeral company, I took a week of sick leave. I had a sore throat. Corona was starting to move Americans to working from home, but it wasn’t really on much of the radar in Australia. I did go to the hospital on the Wednesday of that week (18 March), as mum was directed by her GP to be readmitted. The Emergency Department was rather different from the week prior, when mum had been in hospital for a relatively routine (though unexpected) operation. Only six days between my visits, and I saw everyone employed wearing masks. Mum could only have one of us visit her in the ED at a time. She wasn’t admitted, much to her relief.
As to how it is being under relative lockdown?
I need a daily walk – I aim to get at least 8000 steps, which was my standard when I walked to and from work in the funeral home. I notice the marked difference being outside, moving, with varied stimulus, makes to my mood and general dispoition.
I have almost no recollection of my grocery store visits. This past Sunday, Mum took me and my brother to one of the big duopoly supermarket companies (I own shares in them). She paid for whatever we selected in our ‘divide and conquer’ quick shop. Mum seems noticeably more compliant and careful to follow guidelines. I suppose we’ve all been adjusting, and the pacing varies for all. The prior two Sundays, I also collected my brother from his home to take to my parents, and back, to save him using public transport. Past weeks, Mum’s also been grocery shopping prior to our visit, fullfilling our minor requests. My brother asked for turkey mince – he got a kilo. He was indignant to see my care pack had chocolate: “I didn’t know I could ask for THAT!”. He hasn’t learnt week on week!
We video called our other brother in England the most recent Sunday night. It was a bit chaotic as I washed up and mum dried up. We called him again once I was driving us home, and we played trivia to whole 30 min drive. It was quite nice, and funny, cause the answers don’t matter – we’re all comedians, so if we don’t know the answer we make up one for laughs.
The past Saturday, and the Sunday prior, my engineer friends have hosted trivia via Zoom. It’s usually 20-25 questions. Most are couples dialed in – some with their kids as pop up appearances. Alcohol consumption is encouraged – it’s noon’ish for the Aussies, and the American based Aussies are well into their evening. The trivia is an anchoring activity – we spend far more time chatting and laughing. We all know each other from university.
I’ve also had three online church services. Admittedly only the most recent Sunday have I watched it live, and the whole way through. The week prior, my friends did virtual brunch, and I was missing them! I had been invited to a few meals with them the week I was off sick with a sore throat, and didn’t meet up for fear of this virus (long before the fear or precautions were wide spread).
I have done three puzzles – sadly my church based retired couple aka suppliers are not available. I swapped one completed puzzle for a new one with a gym buddy – upside of the gym is people are usually local to you.
I’m still paid up as a gym member, so I can do online classes at four (soon to be five) times per day. The workouts are all body weight based, and I admit I prefer the weights classes, so I’m not an engaged. I also have a payment renewal coming up, and pleased to be offered services at half the price.
I still walk up the street to get a coffee most mornings. I am torn as to whether this is essential (it is not) but it does support a small business, and the lovely staff there. They also sell bread, so once a week, as usual, I buy a loaf. This has avoided me being one of the millions making sourdough lol!
My spending, overall, is way down. Sure, I often add a pastry to my coffee order (I tell myself it’s supporting small business… not that I need much excuse!) I was never one for elaborate shopping lists or meals, and I ekk out what I have well, between the weekly mummy additions, and a few take away meals. Petrol is cheaper, but my car is diesel, so I haven’t really felt the dip in prices. I don’t recharge my opal for public transport, seeing if I go anywhere I walk; or drive.
I’m pretty bored. I miss social contact. I feel a lot less guilt or self consciousness about starting chats with friends online. I’ll admit I once again (like when I studied full time) trawl who is online on Facebook, and send out many a hello. The conversations aren’t very interesting, we’re all isolated in different ways, but it’s nice to share the latest trials and tribulations.
On Easter Tuesday, I start a new job. It’ll be nice to have something to fill the time and engage my brain. It will be less nice to return to alarm clocks and sensible bedtimes! Alas, two sides of the same coin.
How’s your Covid experience progressing?