Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Five months of lockdown ...

Well, it's been approximately five months since Covid-19 upended our lives, and we all had to learn to live in new ways.

So far it's not been too bad.

Yes, we never got to go to South Africa, which was a trip we'd been planning for eighteen months, and yes, we've been stuck at home a lot, but it's not been a negative experience.

Yes, we've had shortages of toilet paper, been unable to go anywhere - at the moment, even our nearest large town as it's in NSW and we of course, are in Victoria - and become absurdly reliant on mail order for even quite mundane things, but these really are minor problems.

Like having to wear masks when out in public  - which I personally find incredibly claustrophobic - these are minor annoyances. You roll with them. Just as you roll with the postal service's collapse into nineteenth century uncertainty when items arrive randomly - sometimes unexpectedly quickly, sometimes a month or so late.

What's important is that we're both well.

However, it's got to be said that things are beginning to drag, each day is increasingly like each other.

At the start, while I missed my days down at Chiltern working on the Dow's pharmacy documentation project, I had things to do in the garden, and plans, like building an Omeka demonstrator exhibition, for things to do on the wet gray days of winter. (And my Omeka install is only half built - not because of procrastination on my part - there's been other things to do).

And I must admit I felt productive during the first phase of lockdown, and having managed that, we began to plan for what we would do in the latter half of the year.

As we all know, it was not to be - the reimposition of lockdown stymied everything, including a restart of the Dow's project. But even then there's a positive or two - we managed dinner out for J's birthday before things tightened up again, and a trip to a native plant nursery to buy plants for a garden be we'd remodelled over winter (not to mention the muddy fun of planting them).

And throughout this there have been random acts of kindness.

For example, there was a book published by a history research group in Scotland. It was about Mary Shelley and her time in Dundee, but I really wanted it for background for family history research.  Anyway, their online store showed the book as out of print, which given it was only published last year seemed a little bit unlikely. So I emailed them to ask if there were plans to reprint it or provide an electronic edition.

Back came the answer - they had had to close their shop because of their lockdown, and had marked all their publications as unavailable - but they'd specially re-enabled their online ordering site for me, and they'd post it to me when someone was next in the building, which should be later in the week.

So even though things drag a bit, all in all it's not too bad. In four weeks we should be properly into spring, and hopefully life will become a little more normal ...

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