The sky is blue outside my office window today. It’s slightly obscured by the airconditioning unit that sits on the roof of our house but I like that I can see it. A reminder of a world beyond these four walls.
It’s 30 days since we began Stage 4 lockdowns. It’s been 53 days since we slipped back into Stage 3 lockdowns. It’s been a season for numbers, counting cases, deaths, community transmission. But I also find myself counting the things that I wouldn’t normally care to count during a usual year. Dinner dates with my husband – one. Swim lessons for my son – two.
The days slip into each other. It seems cliched to call it a hamster wheel but that’s how it feels. Unpunctuated by the events that normally break the monotony of our day-to-day – coffee with a girlfriend, a birthday celebration, a short trip away – time begins to blur.
We are all looking a little shabby too. Hair that needs dying, nails that need filing, and slippers on my feet for the upteenth day in a row. Even my son who normally has short back and sides has grown his hair out. It suits him.
I try to take joy in the little things. A cherry blossom branch, blown down in last week’s storm that now sits in a vase on my dining table. Takeaway meals from fancy restaurants that wouldn’t normally deliver. Not taking for granted that I live with my husband and son, people I actually enjoy spending time with.
I am fortunate. I know that. I get to work from home, live in a little bubble in my little home protected from the coronavirus that has infected so many of our aged care community.
I’m not concerned about dying, whether I will be moved to a hospital if I’m infected. I don’t have to worry if I’ll bring COVID-19 home from work to my family. Or if I’ll be unwittingly turning up to care for someone who is sick.
As we feel the aches and pains of lockdown, let’s take a moment to remember those who live and work in aged care. Those who are dealing with more than just boredom and fatigue.