When I started this blog, I thought I would just be posting about family history and interesting historical information. I have been sporadic at best at this, and may continue to be.
As well as posts about my research, I will try to post from time to time about what life in the world of COVID-19 and social distancing is like. I wondered if this was the right place to post about this, or should it be on a personal blog, but have decided to post here, as we are all “making history”.
To be honest, I can’t remember exactly when Coronavirus and COVID-19 first started being reported on in the news, but probably sometime in January. I remember hearing about it, and not being overly concerned. At the point it didn’t really seem like a big deal. And besides, there were bigger things to worry about, with bush fires ravaging the country, and I was recuperating from a torn medial meniscus.
The first reported cases in Australia were January 25. By the end of January, there were 9 cases in Australia, most of them in people who had travelled back from China. It was at that point that the government announced that foreign nationals returning from China were required to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia.
Throughout February, more cases were reported in Australia, by the end of February there were about 25 cases. Various emergency responses were escalated, and the government extended the enforced quarantine to people returning from Iran, requiring them to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia. It was during February that reports of “panic buying” started coming to light, with shortages of toilet paper being reported. People were stockpiling or hoarding. Then it was rice, pasta and other long life supplies.
It was in March, that the world went crazy. Travel bans came into place around the world. Lock downs were occurring everywhere. Terms like “social distancing”, “pandemic”, “self isolation” were suddenly everywhere in news reports, ads and everyday conversations.
During this time the Australian Government has announced various measures to try to prevent the spread of this virus. The most recent include:
- Only two people should now gather in public spaces and “other areas of gathering”, but it will be up to states to enforce that limit
- People who are over 70, people with chronic illness over 60 and Indigenous people over 50 are strongly advised to stay home
- Public playgrounds, outside gyms and skate parks are closed
- New “strong advice” for individuals is that people should stay home unless shopping for essentials; for medical care or compassionate needs; to exercise in compliance with the new two-person rules; to go to “work and education if you cannot work or learn remotely”
- Churches are closed
- Every day more and more stores are closing
As a result of my knee injury, I had been confined to home since last November, working from home since last December, and had been doing my grocery shopping online. I returned to work in late February, but had decided I would continue to order online as it was convenient. The order that I placed at the beginning of March included toilet paper, surprisingly this was “out of stock” (fortunately they had everything I ordered). I will confess, I did order a couple of extra things that I might not have ordered at that time, just in case, but I certainly didn’t go overboard, 2 extra bottles of soda water and an extra packet of chicken tenderloins.
Which catches us up to the present day. Whilst I am still working in the office for the moment, I expect to be working from home (again) later this week, as I will have a medical certificate. Once I get that, I will be in self isolation, something many Australians have already been doing for several weeks, so I will not be Robinson Crusoe.
Stay safe everyone