Who would have foreseen this? That the first lockdown (which began officially for us on March 13, 2020), would be ongoing one year later? Now, I know that there are different lockdown labels (I think we are in number 3?), but realistically, even though we opened up quite a lot for summer last year, we weren’t ever completely free. So basically it’s just one long lockdown.
What I see here in Austria is a lot of Covid-fatigue. People are sick of it. And fair enough too. It’s been a long haul. With numbers rising (around 3000 for the last few days) it’s hard to believe there are people who haven’t had it. How have we not reached herd immunity yet? Well… because we’ve been very very good (or most of us have), we’ve protected our fellow citizens and we’ve endured. And a lot less people have died than otherwise would have. And the cost of that (to the ecomony and what-not) is probably not fully understood yet. But I digress.
Despite only a gradual easing in February (schools and shops open), what I’ve noticed is that many people have adopted more considerable ease. Even myself. When you think back to how high the numbers are now compared to a year ago, and the efforts that were taken back then, it’s hard to believe that anyone would be envisaging further easing of measures. I dropped into my office the other day and was floored by the number of people I saw. This time last year – a ghost town.
And I’m definitely not going to say naughty boy for going to the shops to buy a new pair of jeans, or deciding to go to the office one day a week, because at this point, most people need something. If that’s what they need to do to stay sane, then that’s what’s going to happen. At least with a year of experience behind us we can wear our masks correctly, maintain our hygiene, and still stay relatively safe.
I’ve had my bouts of Covid-misery, where I’ve been grumpy and irritable for no apparent reason. But I’ve had it better than some. And as the weather warms up I think I’ll bounce back. For me it’s just an underlying feeling of monotony, that while not ideal, doesn’t seem to be ruining my life. I don’t have a desire to go to the shops just to ‘get out’. Yeah, I’d love to go on a holiday, but I can wait a little bit longer. I’ll survive. Since probably 90% of my relationships have happened online since I moved to Austria, the 10% I’m missing possibly means it’s not hitting me as hard as it’s hitting other people. I didn’t have to adapt to online friendships – I had them already.
Sure, it’s a kick in the teeth not knowing when my family can visit or when I can go there. Sure, it’s an even bigger kick when my friends in Oz are freely taking holidays to Cairns and the Gold Coast, and celebrating birthdays indoors with other people. Hubby’s been consistent in fulfilling my daily hug quota, but I would do almost anything to hug my parents or friends right now.
But the thing is, on the whole I’m doing ok. So I’ll take one for the team. I’ll stay in my bubble, and I’ll only visit friends for outdoor walks. I’ll do my very best to ensure I don’t spread it further (as much as I can, anyway, because who knows when Covid could come knocking at my door). Because at the moment (no promises for the future), I can maintain this level of isolation and not lose my mind. I’m one of the lucky few. I’m not trying to be act pious, but since we do need to work together to get through this, if my bit is simply staying away a little longer, then so be it! But believe me, I’m ready for my vaccine, I’m ready for the world to get back to normal, and the hopeful part of my brain is already planning future holidays, hiding away from the glares of the more practical part of my brain!