Reality check

As the COVID-19 Lockdown gains momentum around the world, I am sure that many people in Tasmania are feeling as I am feeling. I felt we would be safe here in our island state. It seemed reasonable to think we would be able to escape what was happening around the world because it is easy to close our borders and control people coming into our state.

and then things changed

Two hospitals, one private and the other public, in the North West of Tasmania, have been shut down. All staff members and their families, over 1,000 people are to be quarantined for two weeks. Of the 144 cases in Tasmania, 72 are linked to the north-west coast and an astonishing 43 cases are healthcare workers at the two hospitals.

Stronger lockdown measures have been put in place in the north-west region of Tasmania.

From midnight 11th April, 2020 the following will apply:

Under the restrictions, all businesses except for those offering medical services as well as pharmacies, supermarkets, businesses providing food, takeaway businesses, bakeries, service stations, laundromats, dry cleaners, newsagents, bottle shops, car repairers, banks and veterinary services will have to close for two weeks.

ABC Just In

Update of Coronavirus figures as at 14/04/2020

“Fourteen cases are known to be from the north-west of the state and one is still under investigation,” Dr McKeown said.

“Seven of the cases are female, eight are male; their ages range from the 30s to 90s.”

Tasmania has 165 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with more than 60 linked to the north-west region. A number of those are health workers.

ABC Just In

Not usually very friendly but it is necessary at this time

Awkward situation

Most people we have contact with seem to be taking the lockdown seriously. Well, except for one.

I was astonished when one of my mother-in-law’s friends called in to drop off the newspaper for her.
She had visited the week before and we had explained that we were in ‘lockdown’ and not receiving any visitors. She burst into tears and made me feel so awful that I placed two chairs with the appropriate distance apart and gave them both a cup of tea. When she had finished her tea I asked her to please not come again as we were very serious about the lockdown and social distancing. Since that incident, Tasmania has moved to Stage 3 COVID-19 Restrictions and people risk being fined for noncompliance. The lady in question simply did not understand how she could possibly be of risk to Elve, or us for that matter. Her reasoning was that she was ‘just on my daily walk, and you are allowed to exercise aren’t you?’

I tried a different tack this time and asked her if she understood that she risked being fined over $1000 for non-compliance? The thought that she may be fined did seem to make a difference, although she left our yard reluctantly. I do hope we don’t have to deal with that sort of situation again. It left me feeling frustrated, mean and very sad. The lady lives alone and is missing the company of others. We really do feel for her, and she will be welcomed again with open arms once life returns to normal.

Many positives in ‘Lockdown’

Gardening

Lockdown = weed free lawns, and old pots and the bird bath have been spruced up with terracotta coloured paint.

During the past four years or so we usually leave Tasmania once the weather begins to cool and head north in our yacht, Nichola for warmer climes and to explore the South Pacific. Because of the lockdown we are to remain here in Tasmania.

Being in lockdown give us an opportunity to enjoy the flowers we grow each year but usually miss because we are sailing

We love our garden and are fortunate indeed to have Elve, Ken’s mother to take care of it when we are gone. She turns 88 this week and can no longer do the ‘hard graft’ side of gardening so we usually leave the garden in a state that only needs watering and for her to enjoy the flowers and veggies during winter. Knowing that we will be here to maintain things we have been working hard to create new beds and extend the veggie patch.

Lockdown gives Ken time to paint again

Painting pleasure

Ken is enjoying being able to paint again. We have a collection of over 20,000 photographic images taken since we began living onboard SV Nichola. It is fun to experience the memories again as he looks through them for inspiration to create beautiful oil painted landscapes.

Elve has been knitting since the lockdown

Knitting & Quilting projects

Before the lockdown, Elve had a very active social life with Senior Citizens Club, bingo, crib, aqua exercises and bus trips. She has been knitting beanies for her grand and great-grandchildren as well as covering a few coat-hangers for me. Her next project is a Beatrix Potter quilt we have ordered online.

I am about to create a quilt with a snakes and ladders game on the back for a baby due in June. The baby’s parents are sailors and so the quilt will have an ocean theme.

This is a quilt that I made for one of my grandchildren years ago. In lockdown, I plan to make one with a nautical theme for sailor friends of ours.

Writing in lockdown

I received this biscuit box when I was 16. It is full of love letters written by my ancestor, Tom Pinder, who wrote these letters to his love when he was employed to work on the Menai Bridge in Anglesey in the early 1800s

Lockdown gives me time to write and depending upon how much time we have, I may even get around to finishing the book I have begun writing about our sailing adventures on Nichola. I am also fortunate to have a biscuit time full of letters written in the early 1800s by ancestors of mine. I look forward to time to research and write a story around the letters.

I was part of a Write a Novel in A day exercise which was great fun. A writing group I belong to called for people to write a chapter in a novel to be written in a day. We were given a brief and a list of characters to be included and then given a timeline to produce the work ‘ready to be dropped into’ the book.

Social Media positives abound

I continue to notice so many wonderful caring and sharing of ideas. There are people offering online courses for free. Many sharing ideas for families to keep their children happy during these times.

I feel that there is a great opportunity for people to up-skill and make positive changes in their lives during this forced time at home.
I encourage people who have family members in the older generation to help them join groups that they can not feel so isolated at this time.

Facebook Group Suggestions:

Gardening, outdoor and indoor

Photography

Quilting

Sewing

Reading

Writing

Singing

We have a sign and a bin with free apples at the end of our driveway

She’ll be apples

This is a wonderful Australian saying

She’ll be apples

A very popular old Australian saying meaning everything will be all right, often used when there is some doubt

Before the lockdown came into effect we had picked hundreds of apples from trees growing alongside the Tasmanian country roads. We have been putting them into bags for people to take home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if ‘an apple a day’ really did keep the doctor away?

Until next time, please stay home, stay safe and hopefully save the lives of those nearest and dearest to you.