Hello there! Before I start, I must apologise because in last week’s post I said that this week I’d be bringing you the post about my recent few days at Ballandean and Stanthorpe, but due to technical difficulties (issues getting photos off my phone and onto my computer – long story that kinda stems from the fact that storage on my phone is full) that post has now been delayed and instead I’ve decided to bring forward a Corona Chronicles update. It’s been typed up very quickly on Wednesday evening (last night) so I hope it makes sense and covers the topic well enough.
You may have noticed I’ve dropped the ISO from the title. It didn’t feel right since not all of us are in ISO and/or Lockdown right now and the meaning of that term differs from one place and person to another, so best I drop it I think.
Ok – let’s take a few big, deep breaths IN through the nose right down deep into our bellies, and then OUT through the mouth and feel free to make as much sound as you want as you exhale! It is amazing how much calmer you can feel when you shift your focus to your breath.
There’s been a lot happening since the last Corona ISO Chronicles post. Perhaps if I summarise very succinctly in dot points. I won’t go into great detail but will provide links where you can find out more if you’d like to.
THE CURRENT COVID SITUATION ACROSS AUSTRALIA
- MELBOURNE & REGIONAL VICTORIA. Things have escalated in Melbourne to the point where a State of Disaster has been declared and they have now moved into a Stage 4 Lockdown for the next 6 weeks and regional Victoria is in Stage 3 Lockdown. Daily numbers of new cases have been as high as 725 and sadly too many deaths every day. It’s been very worrying. You can read more detail about the situation in Melbourne and Victoria here and here. Our borders here in Queensland are firmly shut to Victoria. Anyone entering Queensland from another state must complete a declaration form stating that they have not been in Victoria in the last 14 days. Anyone that lies on this form will receive a hefty fine. I think that the rest of Australia would join me in sending Victorians our love and support. This will be so tough for them!
- SYDNEY & NSW. There’s been a series of hotspots popping up here, there and everywhere around Sydney with an increasing amount of cases that cannot be traced to known sources. Queensland added these hotspots to the need to declare along with Victoria. However, whilst things are not as bad here as in Melbourne, it has reached the point where Queensland will now be closing its borders again to NSW from 1am this Saturday, August 8. You can read more on the current situation in New South wales here and here.
- QUEENSLAND (my State so of course this is the longest summary). All was going quite well here until three young girls decided to travel to Melbourne to a party and to thieve designer handbags and then travel back via Sydney on Virgin Australia flights and lie and deceive on their declaration forms. They then proceeded to go about life, walking amongst the community, for eight days. They did this even though they were symptomatic and were feeling sick, and even after being tested. Their actions have caused a lot of stress, anger, fear, work and expense for the people of Queensland. We know that one of their sisters contracted the virus from them and a 27 year old man who had the misfortune of dining at the same restaurant as them. I believe his wife has now contracted the virus as well. I’ve not kept up with whether any further cases have been detected from this cluster (needed a break from the news). We’ve also had some men coming into Queensland from Victoria lie on their declaration forms that have been fined and put into quarantine. A man in his late 20’s arrived here from overseas on a consular exemption, and he had COVID-19. He was able to fly from Sydney to Maroochydore and then drive to his home in Toowoomba. This is a loophole that the Premier is hoping to close. On Wednesday we heard of a new case, a woman in her 60’s living in Ipswich, and so far they’ve been unable to track where she may have contracted the virus. Despite all these unfortunate events, our numbers are still reasonably low. At the time of typing this we have 11 active cases, 5 of which are in hospital. You can read more about the situation in Queensland here and here. Queensland currently has its borders closed to Victoria and hot spots in NSW, however as from 1am on Saturday 8 August, our borders will be closed to all of NSW and the ACT as well as Victoria. You can read more on border closures here.
- AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY. Things have been good here with 0 active cases at this time. From 1am this Saturday, August 8 though, Queensland will shut it’s borders to the ACT. To be honest I’m not sure exactly why except perhaps the risk of its location squeezed between Victoria and NSW. You can read more about the current situation in the ACT here.
- SOUTH AUSTRALIA. I haven’t heard much about the situation in Adelaide and South Australia on the news and on checking I see that the the number of cases there are reasonably low with 8 active cases at the time of typing this. You can read more about the situation in South Australia here.
- NORTHERN TERRITORY. Numbers are thankfully low here. There’s a high proportion of indigenous Australians in the NT who are said to be particularly vulnerable to this virus. At the time of typing this there are 3 active cases. You can read more about the situation in the NT here and here.
- WESTERN AUSTRALIA. Numbers are thankfully low here with 7 active cases at the time of typing this. Western Australian’s have the luck of being far away from the hotspots on the East Coast. They’ve kept their borders shut to other states for some time and there’s been a bit of debate over that. You can read more here.
- TASMANIA. I haven’t heard anything on the news about Tassie for some time which can only be a good thing. After consulting Mr Google it appears numbers are low over there which is good to see. You can find out more here and here.
THE EFFECT OF THE SECOND WAVE
So the vibe here in Australia has definitely shifted since my last update. We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and complacency was starting to creep in. That has changed now. There is no room for complacency – even in the states or territory with low numbers. This could go on for some time and we are learning as we go. We will need to learn to live with this thing until there is a solution – hopefully a vaccination.
Sadly, Victorians are suffering the most at this time. Though some states are doing better with numbers than others, I think we all feel for Victorians and are on tender-hooks for where the next outbreak might occur. There is the anger and frustration at those that do the wrong thing and put everyone at risk and increase the workload for those that already have such a load on their plates. There is the pride and admiration for our politicians (yes politicians) and our health care workers who are working so hard for all of us under enormous stress. There’s the fear and anxiety and increased depression and of course, financial strain for many.
No matter where you live in Australia (or overseas) there would be some degree of fear, stress and anxiety in these times of Coronavirus. We need to recognise the effect this ‘situation’ (I am so sick of the words ‘unprecedented times’) can have on our mental health and our bodies. A good start is being kind and gentle with ourselves, giving ourselves the space to be able to look after ourselves as we need to during these times.
BE KIND TO YOURSELVES
On a personal note, I’ve definitely felt an increase in anxiety and fear and I’ve had some very down days. I am very fortunate that my family all have secure work and have not been financially affected. That is something to be very grateful for.
I’d like to share something fabulous I discovered just recently that I’ve found very helpful. It’s called INSIGHT TIMER and it’s a FREE APP for sleep, anxiety and stress. They believe that everyone deserves access to a free daily meditation practice, which is why they publish the world’s largest collection of free guided meditations. Isn’t that fabulous?! I downloaded the app and now whenever I feel my anxiety or stress levels elevating, I’ll go off somewhere quiet and do one of their meditations. It really does make a big difference. I’ve also started listening to their sleep ones at night and I’m loving their morning meditations too.
Being a very ‘sensitive/feeling’ kind of person I’ve realised that I need to be a bit kind to myself during these times. I put a lot of pressure on myself to ‘achieve’ every day – be it house work, painting, crocheting, the blog, and the zillions of other things. I’ve recognised a need to lighten my load and ease the pressure I put on myself somewhat so will be trying to take steps to enable that. This might mean I miss posting here on the blog some weeks and I might be less active across social media (this has already been the case).
I’ll end on this quote:
Be kind to yourself, then let your kindness fill the world
…cos you and the world sure do need kindness and love right now!
What could you let go of to free up some mental and emotional space for yourself? How could you be kinder to yourself? Wishing you good health and safe days ahead.
Ciao for now,