When news of Coronavirus first broke, I was on summer holidays in Forster with my family and I thought nothing of it. I was then planning on making 2020 a memorable year as I turn thirty this spring and at that time, I was plotting ways to document my year. Coronavirus was in China, I was in Australia, so the chances of it happening here were slim.
February rolled around, at this time each year I assist in the marketing department of my local agricultural show. The first reports of a possible Coronavirus outbreak were just hitting our shores but I was knee-deep in my work, and was oblivious to the reports on the news. I just kept tabs on what was happening, world and to some extent, national news doesn’t interest me, unless it is rural or affecting small communities.
March comes. The agricultural show goes on despite reports across the virus swirling and picking up pace. I was also planning my annual trip to the Easter Show, I had only paid my membership the week it was cancelled. I was pretty upset; I was in pain and I was mad. The next week, I was a bit more cautious about the virus, it suddenly became ‘real’ to me.I was helping to run the St Patrick’s Day celebration at my service provider, I don’t like crowded spaces at the best of times let alone at a time when a national emergency was unfolding before my eyes. St Patrick’s Day went on, but I went home early to avoid the crowd. On the Wednesday my friend and I went out looking for hand sanitiser and baby wipes because I figured that those items would be the first items to sell out, because they are such an accessible hygiene option. On the Thursday, we’d gone shopping at the local shops because my mother had said that I’d better go get my shopping fix while I could.
It was a ghost town; it was bare and it was scary. I was so used to it being a bustling hive of activity. To see it like that, it will always stick with me.
Saturday. The day that my world changed. My mother had a phone call from my service provider to say that they were shutting down until further notice. I thrive on routine, my routine was now in shreds and without warning, I was home all day, every day. Initially, I thought the closure would last 2 weeks, 3 weeks at the most so I didn’t start any home projects. The only things that was the same was my small business and I focused on that, I had time to build it up and improve the quality of content.
Easter came and went; I was still at home bored. My mental health was just intact, like scraping the bottom of the mixing bowl, getting out the last of the yummy cake mix, the novelty of staying home was wearing thin. I needed to get back to work or some type of work. I had helped my father outside in the garden when I was very young and loved every minute. I’m no stranger to gardening and shed work. I was getting into the slow life and the work I’m doing now is all about home-made stuff, stuff made with love. Every day I cook, do craft and help my father, all the things I did when I was at my happiest which was when I was younger.
Now I am wondering whether this Coronavirus lockdown is nature’s way of saying “Hey, chill out!”. At the beginning of this pandemic I didn’t quite grasp the meaning, it was foreign to me and I just couldn’t understand. But as I stayed home for an extended period of time, I started to slow down as I realised that I will be in this position for the foreseeable future and I have to change into the slow life, and then appreciate the value of life in general.
I watched the world shut down, London’s bustling Piccadilly Circus and Italy’s Venetian canals to Disneyland and the bright lights of New York’s Broadway. All shut down, all sleeping, and the benefits are out of this world. The air is clearer, streets are quieter and people have time to think about what really matters. This Coronavirus pandemic, although it’s very scary, it gives us humans time to slow down and think, what is this challenge teaching humans?
I truly believe that we will come out of this as better human beings, each and every one of us.