Corona ISO Chronicles #3 – Restrictions Eased

June 11, 2020

Hello! It’s been a bit over a month since Corona ISO Chronicles #2 and nearly two months since Corona ISO Chronicals #1, so I thought I’d capture how things are now (mid June 2020) here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and for myself personally.

The purpose of these posts are to kind of contribute to a ‘time capsule’ of information that could be of interest to people in the future (when I’m long gone) and also possibly interesting to myself and others to look back on in our futures (when hopefully the world is pandemic free and better positioned to deal with things like this or better yet – prevent this kind of thing ever happening again).

The official stuff

First things first – it is FAR LESS SCARY now here in Australia and in my State of Queensland, but there is still concern that there could be a second wave and of course many unknowns as to how long we will have to live differently before we no longer need to be socially distant and cautious of contracting COVID-19. We have been very, very lucky here with relatively low amount of cases and very little community transmission. On the day I’m typing this, here are the Queensland stats:

Wednesday, 10 June – coronavirus cases in Queensland:

• 0 new confirmed cases
• 3 active cases
• 1,062 total confirmed cases
• 230,792 tests conducted

Sadly, six Queenslanders with COVID-19 have died. 1,051 patients have recovered. More detailed Queensland Covid-19 stats can be found here.

For those not familiar with Queensland, here is an indication of its size:

Area: 1.853 million km² (or 715,309 sq mi)
Population: 5.071 million

Restrictions have been further lifted since my last post (see Qld’s Roadmap to Easing Restrictions for more detail if you’re interested).  We can travel and stay overnight anywhere in Queensland and are in fact being encouraged to be tourists in our own state to help support local jobs and businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

Our borders are still shut to other states and there has been quite a bit of hoo ha over this. We’re not the only state to still have their borders shut though.  See more info on Australian State and Territory border closures here.  

If we look at Australia as a whole, there have been 7,260 confirmed cases, with that total being made up of ACT 108, NSW 3109, NT 29, QLD 1062, SA 440, TAS 228, VIC 1685, WA 599.  Of the 7,260 confirmed cases in Australia, 102 have died and 6,703 have been reported as recovered.

The unofficial stuff

At the moment, this is how life is for me:

  • The Tennis Player is still working from home.
  • Twin 1 works one week from home, the next week in his city office, and repeat.
  • Twin 2 still works in the city office every work day.
  • My journalist daughter is still staying with us (it’s been over 6 weeks now) and working in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast whilst still paying her rent in Cairns and waiting to hear what happens next. Her car sits on the street up there unused. Meanwhile, she’s using The Tennis Player’s car to get to and from work whilst she is here. Luckily he is working from home and doesn’t really need it. My car is used if he or I need to go out. She’s a little frustrated about the situation. It’d be nice if she could be told what their plans are.
  • I’ve started meeting up with a friend weekly for a walk, coffee and plenty of chatter and boy oh boy does it make the world of difference to my state of mind! I hope to meet up with some more of my friends from this point on. It’s amazing what getting out of the house, outdoors in nature, being active, and chatter with a friend can do!
  • Cafes and restaurants are starting to open up again, with limited patronage capacity at one time, due to social distancing requirements, but it’s such a treat – to sit with a friend and have coffee or lunch (I haven’t done lunch yet!) etc.  Something we took for granted previously.
  • I’m still not back at reformer pilates and I doubt I ever will.  Sadly, I don’t think my pilates studio (new business) is going to survive and I’m not sure that I can afford other pilates studios.
  • My days are busy with cleaning, cooking, washing, taking care of our pets, trying to fit in some time for my personal interests, like art and the blog etc.
  • My daily walks are not so daily lately and I still haven’t fit in some yoga.  I’m not feeling as slim and fit as I was pre Corona!
  • I’ve had a few visitors to the house.  It feels so decadent after so long with no-one visiting.
  • I’ve had a birthday and we did it in shifts as we couldn’t have the whole extended family in one house. If you haven’t already seen, you can see a few photo’s from my birthday here.
  • I’m getting into watercolour painting. I’ve always loved it so I thought why not learn to do it myself! 

Black Lives Matter

I usually avoid controversial or political matters here on the blog because I’ve not got the thickest skin (understatement – I’m a sensitive soul) but I couldn’t do this update without mentioning this.

Recently there have been protests world wide following the tragic death of the African American man George Floyd as a result of police brutality.  Racism is something that the world will no longer tolerate.  It has been heartening to see the global support following this dreadful incident. The #blacklivesmatter movement that was formed in 2013 to fight for freedom, liberation and justice has been very prominent across social and mainstream media. Anyone who wasn’t aware of this movement, now would be! The protests (mass gatherings of thousands of people – some wearing masks, some not) amid Covid-19 though, have caused concern. Time will tell and we will see if in 2+ weeks there is an influx of new COVID-19 cases, or not.

General Observations

  • There is a more relaxed and hopeful vibe when out and about (not that I have ventured very far).
  • There is visible joy in faces of people out enjoying a coffee or walk with a friend. Simple things that no longer are taken for granted!
  • I rarely ever see anyone wearing a mask here. Once when grocery shopping I saw a person wearing one, and once when walking at the waterfront I saw a couple both wearing masks. Though I see a lot of people wearing masks in other countries, it is not something advised as required here – unless in healthcare environments or if you are sick at home (to protect others in the home) or caring for someone who is sick at home.
  • The waterfront/esplanade near where I live has never been so busy during week days. Pre-pandamic it was very quiet mid week during work hours. The assumption is that 1) people are travelling from further afield to walk here due to closure of gyms etc, and 2) more people working from home so accessing the waterfront for exercise during breaks.

An end in sight?

Who knows what lies ahead. There are several ongoing clinical trials of both western and traditional medicines. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19 but it will be at least 2021 before a vaccine might be available.  Meanwhile, though restrictions have eased and will continue to (so long as no further outbreaks), we will have to continue a life of social distancing, good hygiene (always a good thing anyway), and caution!

How is lockdown going for you?  Have restrictions eased where you are?  What observation/s would you throw into the time capsule for future generations?

Ciao for now,

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  • Reply suzanne June 11, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Hi Min, thank you for putting into perspective the number of Covid cases vs the population in your state. You guys are doing great! With all the protesting and lifting restrictions too early in some US States, we are likely to see another round. I saw a news report last night which stated that some big city hospitals are getting overcrowded again. We personally are still being very careful. No social gatherings, no restaurants, shopping only when necessary, etc.

    It sounds as though you are staying busy and coping with all the changes in your household. Having adult children at home is kind of nice isn’t it? My daughter and her boyfriend are here since March 22. He now goes to the city three days and back to our house for four. Her office has no plans to return anytime soon.

    My observations for the time capsule would have to include that there seems to be no common denominator for who wears a mask and who does not, and for who gathers in crowds and who does not. I guess we all make choices from different perspectives based on risk/reward. Thanks for the update and stay well.

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Suzanne – yes we’ve been very lucky over here compared to other countries. The protests are cause for concern aren’t they? It has been so nice having my daughter home even though I barely see her. She just got word today that it looks like she’ll be sent back to her regional office up north in a week’s time so I need to prepare for that (it’s always hard). Thanks for your observation for the TC – I agree as it’s much the same here and everywhere I think. Take care of yourself and stay safe! x

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl June 11, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Thanks for putting together the facts and your thoughts and observations in this post. These are interesting times, sad times too with regards to human rights. There is so much to decide regarding how we can live meaningfully and make positive changes in this time.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks SSG – these sure are interesting times indeed! xo

  • Reply Natalie June 11, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Hi Min, Thank you for your updates. Nice to hear restrictions are lifted in your state and you’ve had some enjoyable social time with your friend and family. I live in the most populous city in Canada so re-openings are more cautious here than elsewhere in the country. Currently, restaurants and bars can offer take-out food and delivery only. Starting this week, public libraries allow curb-side pickups by appointment. Masks are required in some stores. I continue to stay close to home, just go outside to walk or buy essentials. My upcoming “non-essential” outing would be to the library to pick up my book holds at curb-side. Stay well! #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Natalie – I think your caution and staying close to home most of the time is a good idea. Exciting though that you can pick up library books again and fabulous that you have still been able to get out for walks etc. Take care and stay well! xo

  • Reply Joanne Tracey June 11, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    The whole border thing sure has created a hoo ha. In our house we’re split down the middle re open or not. Grant is for keeping the brders closed, I’m for opening them up (mainly because I want to go down south) & Sarah reckons they should stay shut until after the school holidays. We’re taking a roadtrip this weekend – heading west into the South Burnett region. Stay well my friend.

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      I’m afraid I’m on Grant and Sarah’s side even though I know that the tourism industry and other businesses would hate to hear me say that and of course I know you wanna head south! I want to wait and see if there is any repercussions from the protests first before we open our borders. I’m part of the ‘better to be safe than sorry’ party. I don’t want to undo all the good that’s been done by months of doing the right thing. In saying that though, I will be happy when the borders are open and I can have that Kingscliff holiday that we had to cancel!

  • Reply Leanne | June 11, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Min – glad to see that life is a little more normal for you – and getting out to have a coffee with a friend is such a joy after all the cafes being closed for so long. I was beyond excited when they opened the intrastate zones and we could travel up to see our kids (going there on Saturday and can’t wait to see our daughter after 4 months!) I think we’ll all be a bit tentative about crowds and travel for quite some time to come, but I’m very relieved that it had so little impact on the general population here in Oz.

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:46 pm

      It’s great you got to see your kids and grandkids Leanne! I think I’ll be nervous of crowds and travel for quite some time yet! But at least a little bit more ‘normal’ is coming back to help us get by! xo

  • Reply Christine June 11, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    We’re waiting for the border to open to visit our daughter and grandson in Qld but we’ll be doing it carefully. I’m not sure I’m ready to fly yet so might have to be a road trip. We seem to have come out of it quite well, though it’s not over yet …

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      I think it could be some time in July that Qld’s borders reopen – so long as no new outbreaks following the protests etc. You’re right – as much as we’d like it to be – it’s not over yet and we really can’t afford to become too complacent.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 11, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Such a good read Min. Very much a piece for history. We are noticing here that life is easier. I get out every day now for a coffee which had been part of my emotional health plan since recovering from cancer. Just to talk to other people has been good. Even at the doctor’s! I am noticing some people cannot remember social distancing in the supermarket but at least “I” know how to self-care. I do like the less aggro approach to how we get around now. Sadly I have noticed one of my coffee places has closed but it is an area where re-development was planned. My other fave places stuck with the restrictions and one ventured into takeaway meals and night time deliveries and they are still doing it because the customers love it. Your house must feel quite filled with people right now!! Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. Denyse #lovinlife

    • Reply Min June 12, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you Denyse! I can totally understand how getting out for a coffee each day is part of your emotional health plan because it makes an enormous difference to my state of mind when I get out like that. I too have noticed that many people are NOT social distancing which is very frustrating as we really can’t afford to be complacent already. Like you, I do the social distancing. My house has certainly been full. It’s kept me very busy that’s for sure! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan June 14, 2020 at 12:11 am

    Several reasons to celebrate this hopeful post. Your birthday, your birthday party and walks and coffee with your friend. I am also impressed by the low number of cases of Covid in a population as large as Queensland’s. We have a population of 700K and over 3,000 cases and approaching 100 deaths. It seems the virus prefers cooler temps to warm ones. I hope as the southern hemisphere moves into winter, your low numbers hold and life continues to return to normal.

    I feel for your daughter. She must feel so in limbo. Hoping news comes very soon that she can return to more a sense of normalcy.

    • Reply Min June 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      We sure have been lucky here (with regards to Covid) Leslie. I hope it stays that way! We are entering into our winter now but of course our temps don’t get as cold as yours would. I hope things improve over there for you with the warmer weather! My daughter flew back to Cairns this morning so her limbo is over now. It was sad to see her go but I know she was looking forward to getting back to her own bed and her flatmates and lifestyle up there.

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