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Australia, Community, Mental Health

I was only just saying….

Sometimes a word or two can spark an outrage or can offer comfort. Other times words might even be prophetic.

Unfortunately, it seems the later is the case. I write about Australia’s Covid-free bubble and cautioned that we shouldn’t become too complacent and forget hygiene measures.

At New Year’s Eve, I noticed people were fast getting a too cocky with life, resuming normal practices like hugging and kissing, even though there were still a few isolated Covid cases in a few states, including ours. All cases were in hotel quarantine and out of public access, until now. Then:

Credit: Facebook meme

New Covid Outbreak in Queensland, Australia

A cleaner in hotel quarantine has come down with the highly infectious UK strain of the virus. The cleaner was catching public transport for a week prior to detection.

The region is now in lockdown from 6pm tonight and masks are mandatory. [You might remember I was prevented from wearing masks, last year in my workplace].

shopping centre with consumers

The announcement came at 8.30 am today, but at 8.20 am people were already out and about panic buying.

Toilet paper supplies, I suspect.

The lockdown is only until Monday morning, but they suspect it could last a week.

Has the public forgotten shops were once closed all weekend? Are we not able to survive more than one day without shopping? Are toilet paper supplies that thin? (Excuse the pun).

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

One Covid case; (no new cases today) and wholesale chaos reigns at the stores. Think of the UK – or other states and countries that have been in lockdown for months.

The hotel staff in the quarantine hotels, are now going to be tested daily. I wonder why this wasn’t previously instituted?

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blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

A New Year and Dealing with Intense Emotions

Happy New Year 2021 png

Christmas time may be a source of stress or joy. Compounding those yuletide stresses, the Covid pandemic continues to rage, so there was little cause for joy in many parts of the world.

Marlene inspired me to think of the year’s outcomes in terms of ‘gifts,’ some good and of course, some bad. We’d do well to focus on the better aspects for our own well-being. So, what if any, positives can be noted?

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

Lessons from the Pandemic

Whether we like the lessons or not:

  • This awful year has taught us patience and more appreciation for things at home.
  • This dreadful year has been a godsend for parts of the environment and animal world.
  • The pandemic afforded us time to develop or re-discover DIY home projects.
  • This deadly virus has potentially increased family tensions but has given extra time with loved ones. I will take as a blessing option, thanks.
  • Rates of family violence and alcohol consumption rose, yet levels of air pollution diminished due to fewer vehicles on the roads. The night sky was/is full of stars hitherto unseen in cities, as air quality improved.
  • Peak hour traffic congestion eased and commuter accidents lessened.
  • Workplaces were forced to become more flexible, benefitting those caring for someone, at home.
  • Money from saved travel and workplace costs, (uniforms, ancillary items, office durables and rentals), could instead be spent on other items that bring joy.
  • Extroverts suffered from social isolation but many introverts thrived.

..some Australian online [alcohol], retailers have reported 50% to 500% increases in sales compared to the same period in 2019.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7300689/#dar13092-bib-0018
Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

Negative Impacts of the Pandemic

This pandemic has uncovered a festering mal-contentment at the interplay between politics and society and offered diametrically opposed opportunities and grief.

Unemployment rose sharply and many lost businesses, their livelihood, or their lives. In some places, political decisions and divisiveness led to civil unrest. Financial ruin became rampant. Mental health nosedived.

For each one of us, the impacts may be very individual. With no short term end to Covid in sight, the heightened emotions the pandemic brings, remain uncomfortable and difficult for many folks to manage.

How do we deal with those difficult emotions?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Dealing with Difficult Emotions

Write Down Your Thoughts

Sometimes it can be cathartic to transfer those strong emotions into written words. Blogging can be great therapy.

female writing

Slow Down and See Each Moment

Ironically, the pandemic has made me feel grateful.

Grateful for things I DO have and it ensured I did slow down and appreciate the individual moments that pass by.

Grateful for our country’s relative safety bubble.

We can be grateful for modern science working hard to solve the virus riddle.

Grateful that I have not been touched by financial ruin, separation or Covid itself.

Grateful that even though my workinglife ended prematurely, I now have time to enjoy retirement activities with the Moth.

Grateful that I have daily incidental conversation with the adult children who came home due to financial reasons.

Grateful that I can let unimportant things slide.

Grateful to have the awareness I am so much more than just my emotions/feelings.

Grateful that emotions and feelings change as the world moves and changes. Everything must change for, just like bad weather, nothing ever lasts.

2021 Mantra

In this New Year of 2021:

If I feel sad, I will sit with that feeling of sadness.

If I feel loss, hurt or rejected, I will accept that feeling, not deny or think that I ‘shouldn’t,’ feel that way.

If I feel frustrated or inadequate, I will sit with that until the feeling passes. I won’t feel tormented that these emotions are wrong or bad, but rather let them ‘slide.’

Let it slide.

Not quite the same ‘sliding,’ as the lyrics of the song suggest, but the personal reminder is contained in that catchy melody; the melody that is today’s earworm.

“Let it Slide.

Happy New Year

Australia, blogging

How is Australia like Europe?

Often time in comments with other bloggers, we compare our lives in various parts of the world. People approaching retirement seek a lifestyle change. Country folks who have farmed all their lives will often move to the city whilst city dwellers move to the beach or a quiet country areas.

In selecting where we live and thinking about lifestyle benefits, can we really compare our lives given that our demographics are vastly different?

The acutely different rates of population density compared to land area in different countries, is startling and naturally, has far-reaching implications. Nevermore so in the management of social issues, chosen location and perhaps, even more importantly, also in the management of the Covid pandemic.

Consider the differences between a large city in Europe/UK, Australia and India.

Is it useful to compare apples with apples? ie. Two large centres. Let’s pick Shanghai and New York. What does that reveal?

There’s more space in China, but population density remains the same.

Let us also look at a smaller European city compared to the largest city in Australia. Population density appears the same as London, Delhi and New York.

Comparison Copenhagen and Sydney by area and population

comparecities.org/en/compare/

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Urban Living

Australia has been touted as the land of wide, open spaces. Is that always an advantage?

  • Distances between centres necessitates a heavy reliance on petroleum-based transport options which exacerbates climate change.
  • Urban sprawl impinges on animal habitat resulting in loss of species diversity and extinction.
  • Decentralisation strategies struggle to keep up with population growth. In cities with slowing population growth, an ageing population has economic ramifications for future properity.
  • Large cities offer a range of facilities and services, and more choice of products and resources, but can be as socially isolating.
  • Traffic is a nightmare and commutes are long and time-consuming.
  • Mental Health and Social services are exponentially in demand.
  • Rural Areas have poor access to services, eg. specialist medical and ancillary
  • Communication is more difficult in country areas – at least in Australia.

Given the world as it is today, where would you rather live?

A small, dense city, country area or a large metropolis?

Me, I am pretty content here at the Home by the Sea.

seachange
Home by the Sea
lake ocean side
blogging

Preparing a Music Trivia Night in a Pandemic

Musicians

Our Neighbours at the Home by the Sea would like a Music Trivia night. Not having been at a trivia night for decades, let alone hosting one, I consulted the net: as one does when one has a question, these days.

Pandemic Limitations

Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

I need to stress I haven’t fully committed to this event, given the pandemic bubble our State of Queensland has been in, (with no new Covid cases), is under some threat. Gatherings have, from today, been limited to 10 persons until further notice.

Why are Group Numbers Restricted in the Pandemic?

Unfortunately, some people don’t get the instruction that if you feel sick, stay home and get tested! A 70 something-year-old worker continued to attend work for five days whilst sick, until it was evident something was wrong. As most of us have heard, Covid can be fairly mild for the first few days. On Day 5 you can suddenly go down very quickly, by which time you have infected goodness-knows-how-many people, around you. I am unsure of this person’s motive in attending work.

Did she/he need the money as they worked casually? If so, we rapidly need a political solution to the dilemma of the Casual worker who is not paid unless they go to work, as the whole economy suffers if they do attend work whilst sick, and the whole community has to lockdown in order to contain the outbreak!

Did she/he not think, or not even consider that being sick, at work, where people are housed in an institution-like facility, was very high risk, should a Covid contamination arise and furthermore, that such infection could spread like wildfire through the vulnerable residents, who could then be released inadvertently, at any time, into the community?

Despite the looming wave of new cases, I will, for the moment, press ahead with the organization for the Music Trivia night and set a date P.C. (post -Covid).

So what do I need/ do? The net did give me some ideas:


Steps To Take in Organizing a Music Trivia Night

1) Choose a Format for Hosting a Trivia Night
Live Pen and Paper/ Tablet/ TV or Smartphone-Based Trivia
2) Select Questions
100% DIY: Write Questions – a wonderful neighbour has volunteered to do this
Professional Trivia Host and Questions
Hosts Using Professional Trivia Questions
3) Write Out an Event Plan – Probably unnecessary given the group number limitation
4) Gather Equipment
5) Prepare Awesome Prizes and Food and Drink – Essential

SmartPhone/Digital Trivia

With the advent of smartphones, there is the option for digital formats for answering trivia questions. Like pen-and-paper trivia, smartphone trivia still involves a host who reads off questions and paces the game and the guests use their own smartphones to submit answers. We could even do this virtually if a FULL lockdown, if necessary.

Apprently there is also TV Trivia: These are trivia questions that run on TVs. Guests don’t “submit” answers, they just think about the questions or chat with friends about the answers. I like this option without the TV.

home

Prizes

I would whip up a painted wooden tray as a prize and some alcoholic beverage never goes astray either! Prizes: SORTED

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Food and Drinks

We have some wonderful cooks in the community, so this aspect is already catered for Including gluten-free/coeliac options, gourmet nibbles and cocktails to keep us in the merry mood.

Cheers!

Breaking the Ice/Getting to Know You Games

I am the first one to say that I absolutely HATE those painful introductory games, which are designed to make people relax, feel comfortable and get to know each other better.

They mostly just piss me off and make me hugely uncomfortable sharing personal facts that I don’t wish to publicly share. When forced to participate in them at work, I couldn’t help thinking they were a dreadful waste of my valuable time, and did nothing to enhance Team bonding, which I assume was their objective!

Right?

However, there was one game, I participated in, that was a little fun.

Here is how it goes:

  • Each person, in turn, states three random facts about themselves that may or may not be known to the group.
  • Two of the facts are true and one is false.
  • Everyone has to guess the one fact that is false.

To test the validity of an introductory game, such as this for the Music trivia night, I invite you to play along by choosing one answer below:

The answer will be revealed in a forthcoming post!

Conversation Questions

* Do you have a curly music trivia question I could include in my trivia night?

* Tell me about a less than dreadful, “Ice Breaker – Getting to know You,” game that you have played?

blogging, Community, Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Focus in Isolation

From The Treasury of Proverbs and Epigrams, kindly given to me by LeggyPeggy comes these wisdoms:

It may be hard to work, but it must be harder to want.

Employment is natures’ physician.

The confidence of ability is ability.

and finally,

Learn the luxury of doing good.


Counteracting the Negative

Feeling pessimistic about the future of the planet and yourselves? Feeling like you are climbing the walls in self-isolation?

Useful work doesn’t always have to be renumerated in dollars.

If you are struggling with loss of work, are self-isolating, or feeling stuck in an endless loop of negative thoughts, fundamentals are important to acknowledge. You are doing loads of great things to keep going.

Make daily lists to remind yourself of:

  • Good things that are happening – For example: cooking healthy meals, helping family keep occupied with indoor activitites, staying at home, spending more time and conversation with pets and family, maintaining your room/garden/flat.
  • Good things about yourself – Eg: I am clever and capable. I have got this. I have survived up til now so I will get through this. I am good at …… ( insert whatever you are good at).
  • Things that you are accomplishing (even little things). Like clearing out that old cupboard, decluttering Marie Kondo style, creating a DIY project you’ve been meaning to do for years; Sorting and labelling the myriad of photos in the cloud/on PC, or even checking on a elderly neighbour/friend, over the back fence/through the doorway or telephone.

Focus on what you ARE doing, rather than on what you’re NOT doing.’

Blogging can be positive too.