Corona-wear – my new generation of office-wear

Cothes

In October I went through my wardrobe and undertook the usual summer-to-winter swap of clothes. I pulled out all my big coats from the cellar and I re-discovered fur-lined boots and fluffy jumpers. And as I was moving the rest – skirts and dresses and sandals – out to make room for the new, I realised for the first time how much of an impact Covid had had on my wardrobe. I managed to go to the office about five times between lockdowns one and two, which meant that there was an outstanding amount of clothing that hadn’t seen the light of day this year. The spotty black dress that I love to wear? Hadn’t touched it. The myriad of work specific tops that I pull out when I wanted to dress smart? All but forgotten.

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Cov-words

Covid words

The Australian National Dictionary Centre recently announced ‘iso’ as the word of the year for 2020.

And hasn’t it been quite a year? Yet despite all the downright annoying, draining, challenging times we’ve been through, we have come up with some pretty cool words to take the heaviness off the situation. Not to make light of it, but to lighten us up.

There are plenty you would have already heard of like iso-baking, Corona-cut, Cov-exit, Coronacoaster, Covid-normal, but with every day that passes it seems that more pop into the language. Here’s my take on some of the ones you already know, and some of the ones that I’ve found popping out of my mouth.

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A box of Australia

Because my parents had to cancel their trip to Austria in June, and I never began planning a potential holiday to Australia, my mum announced that she was planning to send me a box of stuff in the mail. Originally I pushed back – Don’t be silly, postage from Australia is ridiculously expensive. Don’t waste your money. There’s nothing I really need. But she was adamant. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s considerably cheaper than a flight. And she was right. I could see that it made her happy to do it, so I relented.

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The Veggie Garden 2020 – this year’s summary

The spring of 2020 was warm to begin with, but was struck down by a burst of cool weather that negated everything I’d done up until that point. Weeks went by with me inspecting bare soil for a sign of growth before I had something to show for it.

I got smart this year and laid cloth over the unused parts of the garden to eliminate the amount of weeding that would need to be done. Unfortunately I choose a very poor quality of cloth, and all I really achieved was to give the late spring wind something to rip up and distribute across our entire backyard. So I spent a lot of time picking up black pieces of cloth, and then had to weed anyway.

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Masks, masks everywhere… sorry can you repeat that?

Covid-19 Facemask

I have been trotting round for months wearing a crappy handkerchief secured with hair ties as a face mask. There are some situations where I’ve used disposables, but for the most part I’ve made do. I would rather look a bit stupid than put more disposable masks into landfill. Still, with the inevitable conclusion that masks are here to stay, and without the resources to easily make my own, I finally went out and purchased something a little nicer.

I have no problem wearing a mask. Yeah, it’s not as nice as not wearing a mask, but it doesn’t hurt me, and if it helps just one person not get sick, then why not.

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Weird things Austrians say… wish you Mahlzeit at lunchtime

Schnitzel

You know how it goes; you see someone in the morning, you say ‘good morning’. The same applies in German. You can say Guten Morgen. But after that… at some point in the later morning, people switch from saying Guten Morgen and instead say Mahlzeit. That means, literally translated. Meal time. Mahlzeit is what you say when you are about to start eating a meal, kind of like the French bon apetite. But strangely enough, it is also used as a greeting. If you pass someone in the corridor at work and they are carrying food, chewing something, or hell, even look like they might be heading to the canteen, you say Mahlzeit to them, instead of hello.

It’s hard to get used to, but I’m getting there.

Corona Panic – wait… am I sick?

Wear a mask Coronavirus

In any other year, a tickly throat or a headache or a strange taste in your mouth would usually be overlooked. I’m just run down, you’d justify. Or maybe I’m getting a cold. Welcome to Corona time, where every miniscule symptom has your guts knotted in a vague but never-quite-gone panic.

Recently, I donated blood, and a day or so later, I got a headache. My standard response to this would be, oh well, something to do with the loss of iron/blood or in fact, just nothing at all. Because… well… headaches happen for multitudes of reasons, and sometimes for seemingly no reason at all.

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Covid wave 2. Why is no one freaking out?

Covid-style socialising… with a baby elephant in between

As my home state, Victoria, warms up and prepares to finally emerge from their strict Covid lockdown bubble (of a crazy 100+ days), Europe heads into winter,  and what we all suspect would happen is happening. On Saturday, Austria clocked an astounding 3000+ new infections. There are measures in place, and talk of more, but when I think back to March, when new infection numbers were in the low 100s, it seems crazy that no one is freaking out now in a much bigger way.

I have heard in the last days about some low-level panic buying, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the same amount of anxiety there was the first time… even though things are significantly worse. In some ways it’s good – being prepared and being safe is one thing, but full on panic helps no one. But in other ways it’s terrifying – have we all become complacent – do we not believe there was ever any danger, or are we just adapting to living in a world during a pandemic?

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Meat and three veg – I resisted, but now it’s my go-to too

Meat and vegetables
Maybe boring… but very practical

I remember complaining a lot growing up about the constant ‘meat & 3 veg’ dinners served up in our household. That’s not to say it actually was constant… we certainly ate a lot of different meals… one of my favourites being fish fingers, dim sims and chips… but I digress. I think it was more that ‘meat & 3 veg’ was just the easiest, healthiest and quickest thing to fall back on… especially when you’ve got kids to raise.

When I moved out of home, I vowed that I would be different. I was going to make my cooking interesting, and find meals that were easy, healthy and quick… but weren’t basic meat with steamed veg. I was going to cook and eat exciting, healthy food.

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Cov-olidays – a team event in Austria

Ossiacher See

I think you’ll agree with me that holidays were ruined this year. There were cancellations across the world from both enforced regulations and personal preferences.

For our team event this year, my colleagues and I had planned a mid-May weekend in Croatia. We’d booked a gorgeous apartment by the sea, and we were optimistic the weather would be warm.

Of course, due to Covid, it got canned. We initially thought the company may reneg on its offer of paying toward a team event in 2020, so we were ecstatic to hear in late August that instead they increased the dollar amount we could spend.

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