We are united but isolated. I am safe in the home I am so lucky to have, but when I go out to shop or just to walk, I am acutely aware of a sneeze here, a cough there. I am scandalised by stories of parties on Bondi Beach and disgusted by stories of hoarding and fighting in supermarket aisles. I feel old and cranky.
Asking questions and listening to others talk about their hopes, fears and coping strategies has given me space from my own judgements and reminded me how lucky I am to live in Waterloo, a strong and true community.
This month I spoke with Adam, Virginia and August.
When the bars and restaurants were closed I fully realised the severity of the situation. I have learnt to enjoy my own company more while doing activities that I relish such as reading, walking, cooking and learning Spanish.
I am still going to work four days a week working the same hours. However, I no longer wake up at 5.30am for the gym, as it’s closed! I wake up a bit later and go for a walk instead. I miss seeing friends regularly and randomly. I miss the gym. I miss dressing up and dancing in bars with friends!
When this is over I will visit my family home in Camden. I have been keeping away from my mum as she is higher risk.
This time has given me a better appreciation for what matters in life and how grateful I am to live in a country with good healthcare.
The coronavirus has forced people to reassess their lives and garner a greater appreciation for the little things, such as saying hello and hugging friends on the street or just going to a dinner party.
Virginia and August
I’m a local resident of Waterloo living with my husband, Scott, our son August, who’s in primary school, and our dog, Pixel.
We love the Waterloo area for its central location and everything the suburb has to offer like cafes, parks, the local library, galleries, pubs, bars – and we mostly access it all by walking.
I work as a production designer in the film and TV industry. The production I was working on closed for an eight-week hiatus mid-March but we now know it is unlikely that the show will start back up again for some time.
I am uncertain whether I will be able to access any of the stimulus package because of the freelance nature of my work and the complex business structures that the film industry operates within. The uncertainty has probably been the hardest part of dealing with everyday life during this time.
At first, I was panicked about the health of my family, but I have since relaxed because of the latest modelling and information, which suggest that our numbers here are low and the situation is somewhat under control.
We had some cool things lined up for the school holidays so it’s disappointing to be missing out on those activities but, from what my son tells me, he’s happy staying at home chilling out with me and the dog. He is happy doing home-school on the computer and understands that the virus “is like the flu” and we have to stay inside.
A slowing down of life and reflecting on what we have to be grateful for is what is really important. I hope all the local businesses survive and I’m really looking forward to Friday night beverages at the Tudor Hotel when this is all over.