Corona ISO Chronicles #1 – The new norm

April 16, 2020

corona

It’s been a while since my last post!  I’ve been adjusting to a new norm. I don’t think there’d be a person in this world that wasn’t aware that we’re currently experiencing a global pandemic.  Coronavirus or Covid-19, started supposedly in a wet market in Wuhan China when a virus jumped from an animal (possibly a bat) to a human and has now spread across the world, the devastating consequences of which you’d know and are still ongoing.

It’s kind of consuming our lives at present as many adjustments have had to be made to how we live and it’s 24/7 in social media and general media, so I figured that since it’s so life consuming at present, I may as well document how it affects me in my little minuscule part of the whole global situation – hence the birth of the Corona ISO Chronicles!

So how have things changed for me?

  1. The Tennis Player (hubby) and Twin 1 now work from home.  Twin 2 has no option but to continue going to work in the city each day. It worries me, but we’re thankful that everyone still has a job!  Having two of them home each day and set up working at the dining room table (along with all their … um … mess) has thrown my usual routine out the window (and just quietly, really tests my patience on occasion)!  I haven’t felt like blogging and it’s no wonder.  I’ve been overwhelmed with so much and I’ve needed time to readjust to this new norm and I’m not quite there yet.
  2. Disinfection Time – has become a necessary additional daily chore which eats into my time.  I wipe over/disinfect doorknobs; cupboard handles; the handles/touch area of the dishwasher, microwave & fridge; phones; light switches, toilet flush buttons and seats, remote controls, keyboards, and any other surface area that is commonly touched by all. 
  3. I had to stop going to Pilates so now I walk.  I used to go to Pilates three times a week and I really enjoyed it.  Obviously that had to stop and sadly they have had to close their doors anyway.  I’ve started going for daily walks with the dog instead (legal exercise) – mostly just around local streets but occasionally to the waterfront (bit too many people there over Easter though). The walking is in fact a good thing as the dog (Ava), in her older age, has gained some weight and needs more exercise to help shift it, and I can always use more exercise to shift weight too!
  4. Emotions got the better of us and we adopted our two foster kittens.  I had no intention of ‘foster-failing’ (a term foster carers use for when they adopt a foster) but Corona made me do it!  In the early days of Corona reaching our shores (which coincided with when the kittens were due to be returned) I was terrified, highly anxious, and very emotional.  I still have my moments but I’ve got a better handle on it now (touch wood).  The day came to return the kittens for desex and I was truly an absolute emotional mess.  It was a mix of everything – Corona, & I’d cared for those babies since they were 2 weeks old and I loved them.  It was too much change and uncertainty all at once.  Additionally, the others (The Tennis Player and Twin 1 & 2) had bonded with them and didn’t want them to go either …  so the seed of doubt was planted on the drive to drop them off for desex, and the decision finally made the next morning. So steps were taken to ensure they’d be ours and not sent to adoptions and we picked them up a couple of days later.  I have a good system in place for fostering which is temporary care, but am not set up for permanent cats, so we’re still undergoing a gradual adjustment to this new situation but I’ll cover that more in the next Kitten Foster Files post.
  5. Can’t go anywhere much, so – I’ve been getting little jobs done here and there around the house. Those kind of jobs that you usually NEVER get to usually but they weigh on you, always niggling away in your guilty conscience (like cleaning out the bathroom cupboards and drawers for example).  So this is a good side effect of this ISO situation!
  6. Keeping in touch with family & friends – Like everyone, I really miss my lunch and coffee catch ups with friends and my sisters and I worry about my Mum.  However, I’ve mostly been keeping in touch with friends via social media & phone.  Family too but also we did a Zoom meeting for Easter Sunday afternoon tea which was different!  The whole point of it was so that Mum could see her kids (and grandkids) on Easter Sunday as per usual.  Until Corona – I hadn’t even heard of Zoom but now I’ve used it for a family catch up and also joined in on some meditations via Zoom as well.  

So as you can see, there are some challenging days ahead for me and of course for many, many others, but also some good things to come of this situation.  I’m thankful I don’t have a job or a business to worry about and that I’m free to do all the extra things around home to ‘try’ and keep everyone safe.  I’m grateful I don’t still have school aged children.  Good luck to all the parents home schooling and trying to work from home.  My goodness what a challenge!  Not only that, but much of our coping ability comes from having space and time away from those we live with (personal space!) and so we need to come up with new coping strategies.  We need to make a conscious effort to carve out some time and ways to get in some personal space (self care/time out/whatever you choose to call it).  Some examples might be to shut yourself in the bathroom and have a soak in a bath; or disappear to a quiet room ‘alone’ for an allotted amount of time to read a book or listen to a podcast.  

To wrap up, here’s a few words I threw together very quickly the other day for an Instagram post.  The words that accompanied this post were: 

“It’s time for a quote and I couldn’t think of an appropriate one for this time so within 5-10 minutes I threw a few rhyming words together myself. To prove my words on feeling ‘Topsy Turvy’ are true – today for the first time in many years, I stuffed up my Instagram pattern. Usually I post a quote after every ninth post. Oops! Today it’s after the tenth. So a new pattern is set and after every tenth it shall be. Be kind and gentle with yourselves during these very different days!”

corona

It won’t win any awards but it simply reflects life as it feels right now.  I think I’m emerging from the fog and settling into a new norm.  I’m certainly trying, and along the way I’ve made a pact with myself that I’ll be kind to me and not be hard on myself as I usually am.  If I don’t feel like blogging, then I won’t.  I will write when I feel like it.  I will clean when I feel like it (it makes me feel like I have some control over things).  I’ll go off by myself somewhere when I feel like it.  These are challenging times and we need to be kind to ourselves as we navigate our way through them.

How has Corona ISO impacted you?  Tell me the good and the bad!  Are you being kind to yourself?

Until my next post, take care and stay safe.

Ciao for now,

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18 Comments

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee April 16, 2020 at 7:57 am

    I’m having a really good time most days, to be honest. The cleaning tho? It does take up so much time – that and the supermarket. Esp when they were rationing everything (thanks horaders – you’re such jerks). But I play badminton every day with the kids and I’ve just got Finska so we’ll be set for the Championships once this is all over….

    • Reply Min April 16, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      I actually don’t mind the staying home part too much. I’m a bit of a homebody anyway .. but in the long term I will miss the freedom to jump in my car and go wherever I want and do whatever want whenever I want to. That cleaning – takes me ages! I have missed some days. Honestly, doing it every day is doing my head in but I’m trying my best. The thing that I would really like to be able to get at the supermarket is some flour – some plain and some Self Raising and well just any flour would be good. I did find some flour at a local IGA but only in 12.5kg bags! That’s a bit extreme! I would need to share with others in order to go there! Badmington – OMG – it’s been a very, very, very long time since I have played that!

  • Reply Jo April 16, 2020 at 8:14 am

    For some reason my earlier comment didn’t take, so I’ll try and remember what I said lol. With none of us going anywhere I’m not doing the massive disinfecting thing so it’s pretty much business as usual – except that we’re all home all the time. I’m doing extra walks each day after work & I feel as though I’m getting absolutely nothing done that I should be getting done which has me waking anxious and worried in the middle of the night about what I haven’t done. Other than that…Oh and glad you adopted the kittens – I wouldn’t be able to take them back either.

    • Reply Min April 16, 2020 at 5:56 pm

      So annoying when the first comment you type doesn’t take isn’t it? It happened to me twice today and then you’ve gotta type it all again and try and remember what you said! Anyway – you’re lucky you don’t have to do the whole disinfecting thing because it takes up so much of my time and I’m so over doing it every day. I have in fact skipped some days. I decided not to do it over the weekend since Twin 2 was not going to work and coming home etc. Good on you for the extra walks! You’re so lucky to live near the beach. I envy your beach walks! Pooh to the waking in the night – I know what that is like though I’ve been sleeping pretty good the last week or so *touch wood*. I must admit the kittens are quite adorable and very entertaining during these ISO days! 🙂

  • Reply Natalie April 16, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Hi Min – I’ve made minor adjustments to my routine and have been able to carry on pretty well. I agree about being kind to yourself during these unsettling times and taking care of yourself however it works for you. I hope your dog and kittens give you some comfort. Stay safe and healthy! #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min April 16, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Natalie – I’m glad you’re doing well over there. The dog and kittens are keeping me busy and entertained that’s for sure! You stay safe & healthy too! xo

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 16, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Hi Min – I think it’s interesting how COVID-19 has impacted us all differently. It certainly hasn’t made me anxious or stressed at all because there’s so little of it in my neck of the woods and I’m not really at risk – plus my husband and I were already at home, so no major changes – our world just got a bit smaller. THEN Easter happened and I couldn’t visit or be visited by our kids and grandgirls and I went a bit stir crazy for a couple of days – funny what triggers us isn’t it? I’ve gotten over myself now, but I’m still hanging out for when we can see them in person – video chatting is great but doesn’t come remotely close to the real thing.

    • Reply Min April 16, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Leanne – I’ve always wanted to live more rurally. I crave a country kinda lifestyle … but not too remote … still with access to necessities but with a bit more nature and space around me and a village kind of atmosphere. At times like this I wish I was living this dream already. I’m a bit over suburbia. I’m glad you’re not feeling stressed or anxious. I’m not as bad as I was when this all started. Hopefully I can keep it that way. Yes Easter was a wake up call to our restrictions and limitations wasn’t it? You’re right – video chatting is not at all the same as being with each other in person. One day at a time and hopefully life will start to return to normal in the not too distant future! Fingers crossed! xo

  • Reply Christine April 17, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Hi Min. I think at the moment we shouldn’t impose too many rules on ourselves and just do what feels good for each of us. Hope the kittens bring you joy. A gentle question for you. I’m wondering why you need such extensive cleaning and disinfecting? If it’s just your immediate family in the house, if each person washes their hands thoroughly when they come home from being somewhere else, all that disinfecting wouldn’t be needed and you’d save yourself a lot of time and worry. It’s up to you of course but washing two or three pairs of hands once on entry has to be a lot easier and quicker than doing all those surfaces. I’m sorry to have lost some great travel and work gigs I’d been working to secure a long time, but apart from that I’m actually rather enjoying the quieter time. My garden is appreciating it too.

    • Reply Min April 17, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Christine, I agree that we shouldn’t impose too many rules on ourselves at the moment (apart from the necessary social distancing, staying at home kind). With regards to your question – I’m not doing deep cleans – just wiping over communally touched surfaces mostly. I do it because it’s recommended and it is one little way that I can feel that I have ‘some’ control over this thing. I have one son (and sometimes two) going out into the world and back again and hubby is in and out a lot too (groceries etc etc). I only tend to go out myself to walk as I’m immune deficient (another reason why I do the clean). The last time I went out for a reason other than walking was to the doctor for my flu shot (weeks ago). We all do the hand washing thing too. I spent a bit of time in the front garden the other day pruning which felt good. It actually needs a bit more attention as one section needs a ladder (and someone taller than me)! I enjoy being at home and I like quiet very much but I’m finding myself starting to get a bit restless and bored. I think I need to explore some creativity and am thinking I might go hunt for some paints and get into a bit of that. It’s been a long, long time!

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian April 17, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Min, I am sticking with my regular cleaning schedule, plus a little extra in the kitchen since the kids are here. We only do extreme cleaning when deliveries are received. It’s nice that our kids are able to work from our home, which keeps us well contained. We continue to adjust and evolve as needed. When the routine gets boring, we find a way to change it. So far, we have managed to include everything that is important to us into each day. P.S. I saw your poem on Instagram. I can definitely relate to your words ‘revise and reset’. Take care and keep writing. It helps to stay connected.

    • Reply Min April 17, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Suzanne – I’m wondering what extreme clean you do when deliveries are received? I bring them in, unpack, discard packaging and then wash my hands thoroughly. Sometimes I might spray the item with disinfectant and wipe over but it depends what it is. The regular cleaning i’m doing I wouldn’t call extreme. I’m just wiping over communally used surfaces … but not a complete deep clean. I wouldn’t know how to do a deep clean! Gulp! I’ll try and keep writing but I’ve had a bit of a blockage and lack of mojo of late but hopefully that’ll clear soon. Take care!

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 17, 2020 at 8:58 am

    It’s good to see how you and others are coping during these times Min. I’m a bit up and down, most days I’m fine but then I get anxious about my youngest daughter who is a new mother and is struggling on her own without the ability to meet up with other mothers to see that she’s not alone – online groups are fine up to a point. I then move on to worry about my daughter in England with Dottie who was born at 25 weeks , 7 months ago and is still on oxygen for some time each day and has been told by NHS she must be shielded for another 12 weeks at least, that will mean nearly her first year of life will have been in part isolation and she definielty doesn’t want to get the virus! My mother in law is on her own, isolated even before this happened and a long drive away from us and any caring family members. As a family we are getting together on line more than ever and that’s good. I went to town the other day for the first time in over a week and was shocked that shelves are still empty and the empty feeling of the main street, I couldn’t wait to get home, wash my hands and isolate again! I am enjoying reading and blogging as I feel like it. I’ve actually had a lot more visitors than usual so far this month, so that’s been a real surprise! Take care and do what you can to stay calm. Those are lucky little kittens to be a part of your family 🙂

    • Reply Min April 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      I’m up and down too Deb but generally not as highly anxious as I was when this all first started (touch wood). I can completely understand your worries with your daughters and their new babies and of course your mother-in-law. My mother who turns 79 next month is all alone on the other side of Brisbane. My youngest sister spent Easter Sunday with her (socially distanced though). We all got on Zoom on Easter Sunday so we at least saw each other and were connected in that way. I am like you with regards to going out into the real world. As I have an immune deficiency (and even if I didn’t) it’s all a bit odd and scary and I’d rather be back in the bubble of home. I’ve been doing meditations more often than before to help keep me calm and relaxed. Take care Deb and when you find yourself getting worried and anxious about those you love, maybe try a guided meditation. There’s heaps of free ones on YouTube! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan April 21, 2020 at 5:28 am

    Until this week, I have been fairly numb and spending too much time watching the news and the stock market. But I have turned a corner as of the last few days. Trying hard to not concentrate on numbers of cases, deaths, days that we have been locked up. And just trying to manage day by day. It is working better for me so far. And today I feel a bit more clear headed and able to focus on things other than Covid-19.

    Glad you have your kitties for a distraction. Ours have brought us love and companionship.

    We are walking, running and working out here at home. Missing my granddaughters terribly, who live just across the mountain. But this too shall pass.

    • Reply Min April 27, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Definitely reduce how much of the news and stock market you’re watching Leslie! It’s so easy to be consumed and dragged down into misery. Stay informed but don’t saturate yourself in it as you have to look after yourself. Day by day is good! The kittens are adorable – so funny and cute and cuddly. They’re a really lovely distraction during lockdown and of course beyond. Take good care of yourself! xo

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit April 23, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Two kittens!!! Awwwww
    My chronic pain has set in big time. I doubt that is Iso related though, but I’m feeling it more because I’ve got nothing to distract me. Other than that, I am actually enjoying isolation. Mostly the ability to work from home, take walks, with no pressure to have to go to the gym or meet with people or turn up. The introvert in me is enjoying the ability to be introverted! LOL.

    • Reply Min April 27, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      Yes two kittens! Never would have predicted it but here we are and they are such fun and so adorable! Not good that your chronic pain has set in! Stress maybe? You’ve moved house, juggling a job and kids in ISO and there is the fact there is a global pandemic etc etc? I’m enjoying my walks too – I’ve been walking the local streets and park more than the waterfront as the waterfront is a little people heavy. The introvert in me is enjoying the ability to be introverted too! LOL

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