It’s been 30 days since we put ourselves in lockdown: 30 days since I went into a shop, 30 days since I had to think about filling the car with petrol, 30 days since I had contact with someone closer than 2-3 metres, 30 days since I wore a bra other than a sports bra (oh, happy days). I drove the car for the first time yesterday, but only to visit the in-laws for an Easter beer in the garden… naturally keeping our distance.
The dishwasher, it seems, is the hardest working guy in the house. He run every other day, if not every day. I’m definitely putting dishwasher tablets on my list of essentials for the next apocalypse survival kit! Knives are among the things that weirdly run out first, even though normally it’s spoons.
Generally in Austria, we are doing ok. The tradition of Easter fires was banned, but fom Tuesday they are lifting restrictions – to begin with small shops will be allowed to open. Cases of COVID-19 in the country still increase, but at a significantly smaller scale than previously, and nowhere near in the catastrophic region.
I know a lot of people out there are hating this isolation, but I have to say I’m not one of them. I’m in a lucky position – I can work as normal, we live in a house with a garden, my local social life is generally small and half my friends live in different countries so I’m used to keeping in touch online. Living in a small, rural region is a real advantage right now – we have enough food and wine, we can order online from the local supermarket and we also had a box of fruit and veggies delivered last week which we shared with the in-laws. I have my writing and other hobbies to keep me busy on the weekends, and while everyone else is struggling to stay entertained I am still struggling to get everything I want done for the week.
My main motivation for going into the office previously (apart from social interaction and the fact that I was only allowed to home office one day a week), was to join their weekly exercise classes. But now that everything’s moved online there are exercise classes abounding! I have set workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and that’s just in Austria. If I wanted to I could tap into our Europe-wide bonanza of exercise classes and literally never stop.
Even though everyone is alone in their isolation I feel like there’s a sense of global community that is bringing us together in other ways. It’s not working for every situation and for every one though. My heart goes out to everyone that is now facing difficult decisions with their jobs, their living situation, their future.
It’s scary to think about what’s going on in other countries that aren’t as lucky as Austria. It’s scary to think about the worldwide economic impact and what this means in the months and years to come.
From reports I am glad to hear that Australia seems to be doing well. I am less worried about them now (but still concerned, because it’s early days) and more worried about my friends in the UK.
I hope that the un-tightening of restrictions in Austria means we are on the path to a more certain future, where I can again do my bit to support the local stores, hotels and restaurants. And even if all our real and imagined travels have had to be put on ice for a bit, I’m looking forward to exploring the world not too far afield from my back door. Because Austria has plenty of beautiful places to see, and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can get to them.
Stay safe out there.