The whole state of Victoria has been placed into different stages of restrictions and Melbourne which is normally a fast paced city with everyone chasing the ‘rat race’, has become a little unfamiliar. The slow down is with the lockdowns and during curfew hours the city is pretty empty with only a few people travelling with permits
I feel each person’s experience has been quite unique in this time, we all recognise that there is a virus with measures that do need to be in place. Seeing that the majority of people understand that this is a collective fight and this brings a strong feeling of solidarity that I have never experienced before.
In the day to day organising of things in my own life has meant logistically I’m spending a lot more time on the phone, even though I may have never met the person I’m talking to, they do ask ‘how things?’ – Each time with the interactions they have been asked in a sincere way and feels profoundly attentive, as we are sharing our experiences.
The virus has caused so much fear and at times it is difficult coping with the fear, there are so many concerns such as – family who are overseas, work being so different now, the media’s mis-information, on a societal level inequalities that have been normalised that are now surfacing and sadly in health care with the structure of nursing homes.
This all adds a weight of constant heaviness at this time of Coronavirus.
My Perception Of Covid-19 As A Nurse-
I realised from day one in nursing we are taught about public health and infection control, hand washing is always taken seriously in all healthcare settings and throughout history our greatest weapon has been infection control measures to save lives –
- Florence Nightingale (1820– 1910), to take care of the sick Florence saw the value in hygiene and she was quoted as “ True nursing ignores infection, except to prevent it”.
- Joseph Lister (1827– 1912), he was a British surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic procedures in surgeries during the Victorian age, his work has saved millions of lives.
This is so personal but when I do go out and about seeing people with only face shields worn, having food delivered with mask being worn on the chin, people in small groups with a coffee in hand pulling up and down masks at whim- all has me avoiding to go out unless necessary.
Maybe in the environment of work being wrapped up in PPE with strict procedures that they are now so in-grained into me, and hearing so many experiences with seeing the different emotions from patients, is maybe why being on the street is uncomfortable as generally people are a lot more relaxed in public.
My heart goes out to all nurses and health professionals who have lost their lives, seeing the vast reports of lives lost from service from around the world and even a nurse here in Australia is devastating.
I’m like many people who live alone, this is a choice I normally enjoy as I would normally have many social interactions with many people in my daily life. Staying in and only going out for essentials has a feeling of lethargy and the brain fog is a bizarre feeling, mind you its amusing when a break in a day is offered when parcels are delivered as everyone where I lives queues up and is a time to greet each other with a friendly smile and delight over receiving what we have brought.
I’m learning that being digitally connected is wonderful to stay in contact with family, to continue working and for streaming entertainment and don’t tell anyone but I do bow down to the Wi-fi gods- er everyday, as the days would be longer without it. The digital world cannot substitute human interactions as I’ve heard the term ‘connected but lonely’ being used and I feel this sentiment is true.
Going by my current feelings with my nervousness and restlessness being obvious, my next concern is when Melbourne starts to open up- what will it be like to be socialising again? – Its going to take time to adapt back.
What Has 2020 Taught Me ?
- I respect more now than ever that interactions with people who are meaningful to you is so important as a human
- Its going to take me time to be in groups again- I need to find strategies for this!
- When some ‘normality’ does return, it’s ok to disconnect to make some space to pause now and then
This blog piece is my perspective of the second wave of Covid-19 in Melbourne, even with how the world has changed, I am pleased to be living somewhere where the measures have been taken seriously.
I know this time means something different for everyone and having experienced collective empathy at this time gives me a strong feeling that Victoria as a state will repair and be stronger from this, Stay Safe
Support is out there, please seek it –
- Nurse & Midwife Support– 1800 667 877 https://www.nmsupport.org.au/accessing-support/telephone-support
- Lifeline– 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au
- The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line– 1800 512 348 https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au