There is so much to say about how the COVID-19 has affected me and so many people around me.
I was shocked that a virus, we still know little about, had entered so powerfully into our lives and had tragically taken away so many. Words such as Pandemic and Global emergency have become part of our daily lexicon.
We have been constantly reminded that we live in unprecedented times and that we have been confronted with an emergency equal to that experienced in the Second World War.
Indeed, we have deeply shared the experience of living in a historic time.
Now more than ever we realize that our actions and our emotions are all interconnected and that we need global alliances to face the health, economic and social challenges emerged from the pandemic.
Our governments and we collectively have learnt to pay attention to science to avoid worst catastrophes and, hopefully, to fight the virus.
We have united to safeguard the welfare of older and frail persons.
We have all been touched by the courage, generosity and selflessness of so many people who have cared for us in the darkest times of the pandemic.
During the lockdown, our day-to-day lives seemed somewhat suspended, shrouded in the uncertainty of the future.
For some of us came the inescapable awareness to be, alas, in “the aged at heightened risk” group. We have found safe haven in the isolation.
Gradually with the attenuation of the contagion, we started to reconnect, reminding each other to “stay well, stay safe”. We found a new “normality” in the organisation of our time, social relations and work practices. With tele-health consultations, health care entered our homes.
So what did I learn from the experience of the lock down?
I learnt to appreciate a new rhythm of life, the sense of freedom from the constraints of the many daily chores and commitments, the ease with the solitude to reflect on what I value, my family and the importance of friendship.
There was a new- found discovery in the day-to-day pleasures, to watch my vegetable seedling growing, the long walks with family and friends along the beach, the rediscovering of the readings of long ago.
I decided to buy a smart phone – my first ever! The initial motivation was to make a small personal contribution to the safety of the community by downloading the COVID App.
This opened up for me a new world: Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom and, of course, Facebook…
It was a joy to reconnect with family and friends in Australia and overseas and to weave new connections with old time friends.
I was delighted to be able to participate in on-line seminars and meetings that have been unavailable to me before because of the distance.
From my fortunate position of living in South Australia where the spread of the virus has been contained through the well-coordinated actions of the SA Health Department, I continue to strive to get to know about the virus, to follow the course of the epidemic and to continue to be vigilant.
I am reminded, as it has been poignantly put, that after all, “we are guests of life”.