Two years ago we did a meme on the impact of coronavirus on ourselves and our communities. At the time I said it would be another four years before I invented another but it’s been a rocky two years so I thought it was worth trying to capture our experiences for posterity.
We’ve all been told that it’s time to find a new normal and adapt to it, so I thought it might be opportune to take our community’s perspective on what has changed “post-pandemic”, and if so how much. Reflecting on that last meme in May 2020, I’m struck by how naive we were, thinking somehow it would not be such a long haul.
Has your day-to-day life returned to how it/you functioned previously
No, my life today is different from how it was in early 2020. Some aspects are similar but others are significantly different, and have been for the past two years. For me there are phases of the new “Normal”.
If your “new normal” is different from your “old normal”, can you share some of the ways it’s changed?
As my mother’s health deteriorated during the covid years until her death in late 2020, I no longer have responsibility for her health appointments and regular visits to her nursing home. Fortunately, it was “old age” and a recent stroke that ended her life, rather than the horrors of covid in care homes.
My new normal has been affected over the last eleven months by my own health issues and the need to be cautious with the Omicron variant prevalent in the community. I can’t quite reconcile how we have more deaths and more infections, yet all emphasis on precautionary measures have disappeared. I mostly still wear a mask when I’m out and about but I certainly restrict my visits to public places unless it’s necessary, and do my best to choose times where they are less likely to be crowded. My current new normal is all about medical appointments with fewer social engagements.
Do you think these will be long-term changes for you?
I think I will remain more alert to risks than I was before, but I’m hoping that with the end of treatments by the end of June, my diary will reveal far fewer medical appointments and more fun and more exploring the local area. I’m also REALLY looking forward to seeing my grandchildren..and their parents ;). Hugs galore!
What personal benefits have you gained from the change of pace and experiences in the past two years?
With everyone being more restricted in their movement I haven’t felt like odd person out by being at home more. I’ve also appreciated the medical skills and care that I’ve been privileged to receive, thanks to quality care close to home, private health cover and Medicare. I’ve been very grateful for the care shown by my friends and family….better than a Lotto win! I’ve also rediscovered that I’ve been very fortunate with having been able to travel so much over the years. While life and the new normal may mean there’s less travel ahead, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, though I’m sure I’ll continue to be tempted.
Do you think the disadvantages have outweighed the benefits for you and/or family and friends?
Not really, most of my circle have made the necessary adjustments. It was frustrating when quarantine unpredictability meant we couldn’t have family visits from interstate or vice versa but overall we did okay. While working from home happened for some of the family, no one lost their jobs though the additional impost on teachers and those with young families was tough.
What do you value most about your new normal?
Being grateful and satisfied with my life in general.
What do you consider have been the main influences (over the past two years): covid infection, restrictions and isolation, other health issues, changing inter-personal interactions?
For me, it’s been about major health issues, mum’s death, quarantine limitations and changing my habits to avoid covid risks.
What is your view of in-person meetings (social or genealogy) and do you love or hate zoom meetings?
I miss seeing more of my friends at meetings but then again, a crowd of people tends to makes me hyperventilate a little. I have enjoyed having access to pre-recorded conference sesssions and some Zoom meetings, but overall I’ve lost my enthusiasm for the latter.
What was the main activity and/or person that supported you through the unpredictable times?
Without a doubt, my husband, family and friends have been a wonderful support and made life pleasant. Since my friends have been vaxxed and booster-ed, it’s good not to feel anxious about meeting up or giving them a hug. It’s also been great to have people just drop by the house for a coffee and a good chat.
Has your community developed a new normal or just returned to the old one? What differences do you see, if any?
By and large I feel like our area has pretty much reverted to the old normal in many ways. Some businesses have closed and been replaced by others though there are some shopfronts which remain empty. Perspex screens remain where they were installed, and sanitiser stations are still in the shops – though often empty. The biggest difference has probably been the massive turnover of housing as people have moved from capital cities or interstate. I’m certainly grateful we own our home and don’t have to deal with escalating purchase prices, interest rates and limited rentals. Being a tourist area the holiday accommodation seems to be doing much better now that borders are open and quarantine has mostly disappeared.
If you would like to respond to the questions I posed, please do join in and leave the link in the comments. I’ll be posting a list of links at the end of the week. Thanks to those who’ve already responded.