16th Jul 2021
Lockdown Diary: July 16, 2021
Today I learned about Covid Fatigue. And Covid Stress Syndrome. Symptoms may include:
• Fear of danger and contamination
• Excessive buying
• Stress and trauma
• Worry about finances
• Fear of forced medical procedure
• Change in eating patterns
• Substance abuse
Haven’t published anything here for a long time. In fact, I removed all my old posts. It can be cringey sometimes to read what you’ve written in the past. When you were someone else. But I’ve got time right now. So much more time. Tomorrow will mark three weeks in lockdown here in Sydney.
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you’ll know what I think about Covid and masks and vaccines. I don’t want to write about that here. I want to write about the inner experience of lockdown for me and my family. The truth is that while we are sceptical about Covid, mistrustful of our leaders and unequivocally against lockdowns as a public health measure, good things have happened for our family the past 18 months.
It was during last year’s lockdown that we decided to get married. We were meant to be in Byron Bay for Easter, a 40th wedding gift from friends. Instead we were at home having D&Ms about our future and up came the conversation about marriage. Again. He said- I do want to marry you. I said – well, you can ask me. In December 2020 he did. We’ve been married just over two months now. We went back to Byron and got married on a perfect Autumn afternoon in the hinterland. It all went too fast and we watch the highlight film on repeat. Him, every morning in the ute before he walks onto the job site.
The other day he waited in a queue of hundreds of men to start work. This was the day after Gladys (NSW Premier) announced that all Fairfield residents would need to take a Covid test every three days if they were leaving the local government area to work in a different one. Someone at the entry was trying to check temperatures but the thermometer was broken. Someone else had a map of Sydney and was checking everyone’s ID against it. Just in case they came from Fairfield.
My yoga studio remains closed. The novelty for Livestream classes seems to have worn off. I started a private Facebook group on a whim the morning after we were locked down. I called it AV’s Lockdown Mama Love. It’s up to 830 women from all over.
Fridays I am usually with my Year 1 kids at Fairfield Heights Public. Working from home today looked like me marking a roll, contributing to the Work From Home Booklet and doing a professional development course on phonics screening. I miss my kids. Even the difficult ones. I miss not having time to eat or pee. I miss listening to my podcasts or worship music on the way there and back.
I stay home mainly. I get everything delivered. We go to the park, take the dog out, sit in the sun on the balcony, read and text all day. I bought a heap of succulents from someone on Gumtrree because I didn’t want to go to Bunnings. I don’t even know if they were male or female. The whole transaction was contactless. I left $50 cash in an empty gum packet in their mail box.
When I can muster the energy to go out for essentials I do. I won’t wear a mask. I haven’t this whole time. It seems so trivial. It’s just a mask. Except it’s not, is it?
Yesterday I went out for dog food and groceries. At Pet Barn all I wanted was the bag of dog food and to exchange a dog collar. But the system was slow. Then the EFT machine died as soon as I went to tap my card. Something that should have taken 3 minutes took 20. An elderly man took a wide step back from me. The owner of the store offered to carry the dog food to the car. I declined. I just wanted to get out of there.
At Woolworths my heart beats wildly in my chest. It’s been doing that most of the week, all throughout the days. I breathe and pray and take CBD oil to try and slow it down. I make it home without being insulted, questioned by police or abused. It’s just a mask.
Lover got a promotion. Our Covid 2021 gift. I’m so proud of him. He deserves it. And I am envious. Of his flourishing career while my business stalls. I am envious of him leaving this house every day, moving around the city, working and interacting with adults. When he gets home he is talked out. And I feel like my vocal chords are getting weaker from lack of usual use. By nightfall I feel like I’m in a cocoon of some sort, retreating deeper and deeper into myself.
The kids arrived this afternoon. I sat in my home office, where I’m typing this now, and watched them get out of their mum’s car. The boys, almost 15 and 16, looked like death. They haven’t been out of the house since they were with us last weekend. They miss the gym and their friends. They spend countless hours on their screens. Later we spot the eldest standing alone in the yard, staring into space.
I take a bath with magnesium salts and too many essential oils. Lover brings me a wine. The bath is scalding and the wine goes straight to my head. I lie on my bed to cool off and order us pizza. M decides he wants an ice bath. We already had the ice because he asked about it weeks ago. He steps in wearing board shorts. I keep an eye on the timer and coach his breathing. The cold perks him up.
I go downstairs to lift the mood. I bring out a giant bag of Doritos and salsa. Covid party. M loves Doritos and he is my favourite step-child. The chips are gross but I can’t stop eating them. I can feel them making me sick but I keep hoping the’ll get better. They don’t. At the dinner table I decide to resurrect this blog.
The pizza comes as I’m writing. God it feels good to have my fingers flying across the keys. New MacBook. The day I picked it up from Penrith I had an encounter with police. One asked me if I had a mask. I’m exempt. He shrugged his shoulders and they kept walking.
We eat the pizza. Nobody speaks. Except S. She never stops. I pour another wine and wonder why when what I really want is water.