I seriously have no clue who will even read this. After all I’ve been missing in action for a long time and you all might have moved on and found someone else to connect with. I didn’t even have time to check out any posts you might have made. I just felt like sitting down and hitting the keyboard, realizing that I don’t even know how to use WordPress anymore…
I mean, wow… what a year this has been! How are you all doing? I seriously hope this finds you all well. Not a given, given what hit us this year. I’m trying to wrap my head around it. Day after day after day. 12 months ago we dealt with massive bush-fires here in Down Under. It was the craziest we’ve ever seen and a glimbs, I guess, of what is in our future. While Melbourne was far enough from all the major fires, smoke got pushed into the city and the air quality dropped substantially. Nothing of course compared to what people closer to the fires were experiencing. At some point the fires got under control, life seemed normal… Until it wasn’t anymore. I mean I don’t have to tell you what went on globally. We all lived through it and are still experiencing it.
Down here it really started in March. And after a sort of easy lock down in the beginning that was lifted because we were doing so well here, Melbourne got hit with a spike. From there it went fast. Numbers were climbing and the government shot us down. There were words suddenly in our vocabulary, I only knew from movies. Suddenly we weren’t allowed to leave our homes unless it was essential, like a visit to a doctor in an emergency. Only one person per household was allowed to go shopping. We were limited to one hour per day of exercise outside. And we had to wear masks, whenever we left the house. Most businesses had to close. Only essential ones were allowed to stay open. People who had to go to work and couldn’t work from home (so called essential workers) needed a permit. Kids moved from school to being taught at home. And we had a curfew from 8pm till 5am. It was something… believe me.
Maybe you think I’m going to tell you how hard it was. Well, I would lie if I’d say it was super easy. It was challenging and scary. Economically everyone got hit. Businesses were doing it super tough and are still struggling. But it was also a wonderful experience. Somehow everything slowed down. Everything focused inwards.
I didn’t start baking stuff I didn’t bake before. The house is not organized differently than before or cleaner than it’s ever been. I didn’t learn how to play an instrument or picked up another language. And yet, I grew. The last months have shown me how important mindset is and also, how important kindness is. An uplifting word here, a smile there and an open ear for others go a very long way.
This thing is far from being over. Down here we have a breather. For over 40 days in a row we’ve had no new cases here in our State. We have no people dying from the virus for weeks now. And since yesterday we’ve only seen 6 new cases in all of Australia, all of them international travelers, who are already in quarantine. The curfew is gone. Businesses are open again, kids at school, sport back on, masks only need to be worn when inside and social distancing is not possible. Life’s pretty much normal, and yet it’s not. It will never be the same normal again.
While we relax down here, things are going crazy in the Northern Hemisphere. I watch my Switzerland suffer. I watch the mess that is happening in the USA. It makes me sad and it of course makes me think. Where will we be at the end of this summer? Will we head back into a next wave? Will we be able to keep the numbers down. Will international travel be possible and do I even want it to be possible again…
As I said, there won’t be a normal as we knew it 12 months ago anymore. There will be an after-covid normal. And it will be interesting to see what it will be like. What we’ve all experienced will not just go away. It’s there to stay and hopefully there to have taught us something about what’s important in life.