What better to break lockdown boredom than an afternoon of cocktails?

Virtual cocktails

Stuck in the middle of a long, cold winter of lockdown (one of the few full winter’s I’ve endured in Austria since arriving), one of my friends (a big thank you goes out to Larry) made a plan to get some of my other Aussie mates together for an online event to help brighten it a little. She’d told me that she was organising something but I didn’t find out it was cocktail making until a few days before.

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That divide between home and work office

When lockdown first hit back in March, I really didn’t care much. I was very happy not to have to drive two hours to the office and back, and not having to think about what I was going to wear or making myself look office-presentable just saved me time and hassle. I was well used to working from home anyway – with 90% of my meetings held online with colleagues from the UK – it was common that I stayed home a day or so each week pre-Covid.

Those first few months felt a little surreal, and I relished the extra time I had – I could pick and choose my routine – I wasn’t forced to do my run first thing before going to work, for example, I could add that into my lunchtime and start work a bit earlier.

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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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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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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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Lockdown in my hometown

Victoria in lockdown - covid
The news even made it to Austria

I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. If you haven’t heard, Victoria (the state where Melbourne is located), is currently in the middle of a pretty serious lockdown. This was even reported in Austrian news, which means, it’s huge. Melbourne is now in week 4 of a six week planned lockdown, but from the numbers it seems like they’re going to be stuck in there longer.

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Damn you Covid – preying on my predisposition to go overboard

Swimming is finally back on - post coronaIn my town the opening of the local outdoor swimming pool was delayed by two weeks due to COVID-19. You might already know I’m a keen swimmer. You might also already know that I’m no stranger to overdoing it. Living in a land with a swimming pool that’s only open for 3.5 months per year just exacerbates my desire to make the most of the season and swim as much as possible. So what happens when Coronavirus wipes two weeks off that measly 3.5 months… what do I do, you ask?

I flat out panic.

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Slowly emerging into a post COVID-19 world

The last two weeks have been crazy!

Here in Austria we’re slowly easing out of restrictions, and with that life returns to a semblance of normal.

Our first Hofer shop after two months took up the entire belt (not previously achieved). Even though we were getting irregular grocery deliveries during lockdown, we had purchased mainly necessities, so it was necessary to stock up.

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There is a weird vibe in the air – but hopefully nothing actually in the air

Coronavirus
Ready for lock-down

Is it just me or does anyone else out there feel like today is the first day of a really weird holiday? We’re in the midst of a worldwide crisis, united in a mutual fascination and fear of COVID-19.

Here in Austria the government announced this week that from Monday more extreme measures will be put in place to help contain the spread – inessential shops will be closed along with schools and universities, restaurants must close at 3pm, visits to hospitals and elderly homes are off the cards, medicine can be prescribed over the phone, and certain areas and towns are locked in quarantine. Along with that are the strong recommendations that social contact should be kept to a minimum and anyone who can work from home should.

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