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Venturing out again


swilkinson

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I don't know about you but I am a bit scared about venturing out again. After 13 weeks my thoughts about being out in the community have changed so my question to anyone wanting me to go anywhere is : "Is it safe? And is it necessary?" Not that I am unwilling to go anywhere but I also want what I do to be for a purpose. I think before Covid-19 struck I just went out, anywhere, everywhere, filling in time, now I don't want to do that anymore.

 

I have actually grown used to being home and going out now takes more of an effort. I was like that many years ago when Ray was with me and getting him ready to go out was such a big deal. The criteria for going out was: "Is it necessary, does it have to be done today?" I think most caregivers would relate to that and a lot of survivors who know the cost of getting ready  to go out in terms of energy and effort. I am back to that now. Is going somewhere worth the effort? Okay I am an extrovert and a social butterfly by nature but I have had the taste of another kind of life and I am not sure I want to give that up.

 

So what has changed for you since the self isolating effect of the Pandemic took hold? Were there good things about that period of time or only bad things? I know some of my friends took up baking in a big way, some decluttered, some found new friends by contacting old friends on Zoom or some other social media platform. Some of the older widows have found it hard, loneliness and sometimes depression have been the result of too much isolation. We as a church have been maintaining  contact as best we can, mostly by phone and I have done that with my own friends too.

 

Some people have actually found new ways of keeping in touch with family. Thanks to Trevor I benefitted from Kid's Messenger visits with Alice. I also have been going to Zoom church not with my own church but the church I go to in Armidale when I visit friends there. By attending their Zoom services I have got to know more about the 20 or so people involved. I know when I opened up the Zoom meeting site for the first time it was scary but within a couple of weeks it was routine. Sadly last week I had to say goodbye to them as my church started up services this past Sunday and that is where my loyalties lie.

 

Our community is opening up again. We are allowed to go to a lot of venues now to dine, to meet up for coffee etc. Again some people choose to do so, some do not. I must say it is still not something I want to do a lot of. For one reason the prices of meals have risen considerably and the quality has not. I hope that form of profit taking gradually stops, after all no business can expect people to come out for meals if it is beyond the price they budgeted  for. If they wish to have customers that go away satisfied there has to be value for money. Maybe that is my Scottish ancestors speaking...lol.

 

Our Lions Club had a picnic in the park last Saturday to finalise the 2019/2020 Board. I will go on again as I do the Lions Club of Killarney-Bateau Facebook page. Our Club usually gives away a lot of money to various community organisations but this year we will give out some but wait and see how future fund raising efforts can be worked out. We have not raised any money in the last three months and don't know what we will be able to do in the  near future. With our Christmas raffle money going to various appeals for fire and drought relief we know we have to raise more before we can give it away.

 

All the other organisations I belong to still have meetings on hold. All venies have to be cleaned thoroughly after use and small groups cannot satisfy the requirements so it is either meet in public venues or not meet at all. In most cases where what is said at meetings is confidential meeting in a public place is not suitable. So there is a wait and see attitude. As I am not in a hurry to return to a busy life this is not a problem but on the other hand that means less charity money raised and less service to the needy available. It is a dilemma when so many of our dedicated fundraisers are over 70 now.

 

So for me it is still making cat mats, knitting scarfs, hopefully for those who need them when our welfare giving starts again, gardening and reading, the things that I use to fill in time until the next stage of lessening restrictions start. I missed the hand shakes and hugs at church on Sunday. I missed the singing and the fellowship we enjoy at morning tea after the service. With all the social distancing rules still in place so much has changed. I wonder if this will take away the fellowship we so enjoy there? Hopefully our natural inclination to be friendly will still show through. Anyway we have survived this far, despite our seeming timidity and apprehension.

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I have been out twice this week, today to a morning tea that was supposed to last two hours and actually lasted four! This was the Stroke Recivery group and I think we have all missed each other's company so much we were reluctant to leave without saying what we wanted to say to each other. It was a great event for me as I recognised other people needs are different from mine. Reminding me I do need to be less selfish and be there for others.

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Talking to a couple of older friends today and it seems going out is quite a strain on people of my age or older, particularly those who live alone. Why are we suddenly so timid? These are not weak or ill people but people I think of as still in the prime of life. It seems the Covid-19 virus has scared us into a kind of agraphobia. Not something I thought about as a consequence of a plague-like illness. So how do we get our confidence back?

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We all get "safe in our caves" and lose the habit of going out.  So you grit your teeth and you make yourself do it the first few times, but you need to keep on living. At least in rural NSW you should only be at minimal risk of infection now.  There are whole areas of Melbourne I now need to avoid and knowing my family live in some of them is hard.  I'm pretty sure I'm clear but I so don't want to be the one who takes this out of Melbourne.  I'm going to visit Mum and Dad on the weekend and I'm sure I'll get sideways looks from the other locals.

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