Friday, June 5, 2020

The Crazy month of May 2020 meme: pandemic experiences

My Genimate, Pauleen, of the Cassmob Blog recently invited fellow bloggers to join her in a meme. She wrote:

"It occurred to me that perhaps we should have a meme which captures our response to the hopefully-once-in-a-lifetime May that we’ve just navigated….it might be a way to preserve the tip of our experiences. Remember that many blogs are being archived in Pandora so perhaps this is a way for our descendants to learn about our experiences during the covid-19 crisis.

If you’re so inclined, why not join me in completing this meme. Be as brief or lengthy as you like and feel free to add more than one response to a question."

Here are my responses to: 

The Crazy month of May 2020 meme: pandemic experiences

My view as I sit in bed and read

What are you most grateful for during this covid-19 crisis? 
Three H's, my husband, my home, my health. While I enjoy my own company I have been so grateful that I have my husband around to keep me company and support me through this time. My health is generally good but I have a few underlying issues that make it sensible for me to isolate. Robert has been my link with the outside world as he has done all those messages that could not be accomplished online. 

One of the neighbours sunning on our jetty

Our comfortable home is our haven, we are lucky to live on beautiful Lake Macquarie which provides us with beautiful vistas and a passing parade of watercraft and wildlife. We are independent retirees rely on income investments ans superannuation, some of our investments have taken a hit but we are still able to live well. 

I am also grateful for social media and technology which allows me to keep in touch with family and friends near and far and for our free library systems which provide me with access to eBooks and online databases for my education and amusement.

Australia is known as The Lucky Country, I can think of nowhere I would rather be at this time. 

Life is good.

What have you missed most during the full or partial lock-down?  
Three F's, Family, Freedom and Friends. I have missed the freedom of being able to hop in the car and go anywhere I please at any time I wish.  I have also missed being able to go out to restaurants for a quick meal. While I have been in contact with family and friends I have missed the large gatherings we have to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. 

Celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in isolation was a bitter pill to swallow as we had planned a family weekend at the Taronga Zoo Hotel with our extended family.

Our Anniversary Portrait was a selfie

Has your hobby sustained you during this time? 

New Tablet - Reading for reading

Most definitely. Genealogy, photography and reading have filled my days. It's been very hard but I been concentrating on organising my genealogy and photography files. Initially I gave into temptation and did new research on my Phipps/Westbrook and Pusell lines but I haven't strayed down new paths for over a week. I am going through my old notebooks spanning 30+ years to make sure that all relevant information is stored in my database or digital files. I certainly did a lot of manual transcription in the old days.

My collection of photographs is HUGE - several Terabytes. I am coming to realise that I don't need to save every image I take so have found myself hitting the delete button as I go through and organise my collections. Fifty dark images of a lava flow hitting the water at night is a bit excessive!

My reading habit which had fallen off the rails over the last few years has been resurrected. Although I still prefer physical books I have taken advantage of the ebook collections available free through public libraries. My reading tally for this year so far is a healthy 55. I had been reading these books on my phone but several weeks ago decided to buy a small Android tablet to use as an ebook reader....but alas I couldn't find any stock in Australia. 

I have been revisiting Google every few days to see if any stock had become available and yesterday I found that several local suppliers had stock. I made a couple of phone calls before sending Mr GeniAus out to purchase a Samsung Galaxy Note A 8inch tablet. It won't set the world on fire with its specs but is more than adequate for its intended purpose. My next mission is to add the ebooks I have stored on my portable hard drive to the tablet. 

What changes have you seen in your life over May 2020? 
None in May but I had ankle surgery in January that severely curtailed my activities. I am still recovering from this procedure but the surgeon assures me it will be better after 12 months. So, if we had to have a 

Paddy and friend
pandemic, this time while my mobility is compromised, is convenient for me. 

That we have been at home for six consecutive months is a change for us as we love to travel. We have cancelled the 18 weeks of travel we had so far planned for this year.

Paddy the dog has enjoyed our company but he has also turned into a bit of a sook who jumps on a lap or snuggles up at every opportunity. 

Have you been exercising more or less?
Less as I am limited not by Covid19 but by the length of time needed for recovery from my surgery

Has the refrigerator been your friend or foe?
As we have not been able to travel and live the high life we have been away from temptation and eating sensibly. My recent blood tests were in the healthy range.

Have you been participating in virtual gatherings with friends or family?
Yes. I am amazed at the ease with which the under tens can initiate online meetings.

Have you taken up new hobbies during the lockdowns? 
The ones I have are more than enough to sustain me. It's not a new hobby but  I have been teaching myself to use more of the features of two software packages, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate and Family Historian.

Are you cooking or gardening more? 
I'm not cooking at all. Mr GeniAus discovered cooking as I was recovering from my surgery and has continued to prepare all our meals - a welcome change for me after 50 years of being the chief cook. 

My gardening activities are of a supervisory nature. We inherited a beautiful garden when we bought this house, I continue to suggest changes and additions to Mr GeniAus. I do appreciate our garden which I guess I take for granted.

Have you found the changes and experience stressful/anxious/worrying? 
I have worried for those of my children work in face to face situations in the medical area. Thankfully two of the offspring have been able to work from home. 

I have enjoyed the opportunity the pandemic has given me to devote to my hobbies. 

How have the closures affected your local community? 
Having rarely left our home I cannot comment on the closures. Our local lakeside shopping area has several restaurants and cafes, I don't know how many of these will survive. Our poor travel agent has closd some of his offices and has been kept very busy dealing with cancellations.

Have in-person meetings been replaced with virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype etc? 
As President of our local family history group I made a unilateral decision to offer Zoom meetings to our members. I have been bowled over by the enthusiasm of those who have taken part. As many of our members are elderly (over 70) like me I am nervous about returning to face to face meetings too soon.

I have enjoyed the Friday afternoon hang outs for members of SAG. As I live outside Sydney these are a benefit for country dwellers like me.

Do you enjoy the virtual meeting format? 
I like those formats where people are able to share their screens so that I can see their faces and expressions. When presenting online I miss being able to see and interact with my audience. I prefer to use the Zoom platform to GoToWebinar for these events. 

Are you working from home instead of in your usual place of work? 
I don't work, I play. 

Have your habits changed over the past months? 
Definitely, there is a sameness about our days and we have fallen into a routine. We stay in bed quite late in the mornings as we watch NewsBreakfast on the ABC and catch up on social media. There is no need to jump up at the crack of dawn. We are also burning the midnight oil, while I retire early I read for a couple of hours each evening. I have watched very little tv.

Have you had to cancel travel plans for pleasure or family? 
As mentioned above. Some companies have been very good about refunds or future credits. Air New Zealand has been the most inflexible to deal with, we cancelled an expensive end of cruise flight home from Tahiti and all they will give us is a credit for the same route which we will never need to travel again, Emirates kept a hefty deposit. In contrast Qantas have been most generous with refunds.

As for other travel only Scenic with whom we were to travel to Russia on a river cruise have been super slow. In contrast Backroads were most responsive and quickly organised a future credit for us. 

Do you think you’ll be able to travel in 2020? 
We hope to be able to hop in the car for a few road trips later in the year. Australia is a big country so there is lots more to see.

Our next planned overseas trip is now in late July 2021. I am praying there will be a Covid-19 vaccine by then. In the interim I wouldn't mind doing a small ship cruise in the Kimberleys or somewhere else in Australian waters when these start up again.

Have you/others been wearing masks when out and about in your area? 
The only mask I have seen was on the radiographer who took some images of me last week.

Will you change your lifestyle after this experience? 
I don't have a crystal ball, it's a wait and see situation for me at the moment. Meanwhile I'm happy to stay at home and watch the sunsets from our balcony.


Alex Daw said...

Hi Jill - I like how you've set up your response so logically with the 3 Hs and the 3 Fs in terms of what you value and what you miss. Well done on being so disciplined and sticking to managing the filing and digitising of photos AND pressing the delete button. I too am very guilty of keeping every wretched photo and need to employ the "Does it give me joy?" question more often. Your beautiful home looks like the best place to be at the moment...I do love a view of the water....nothing is more relaxing. Stay safe and thank you for all you do for our community.

GeniAus said...

Thanks for the encouragement Alex. I just took a break to finish off a book I started last night and am now off to use the delete button. I live a charmed life.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Thanks for joining in Jill. As you say the timing of isolation was "good" in the sense of your recovery from surgery. With your big family gatherings especially for your 50th, it must have been a bitter pill to miss out on, but I'm sure that having you around will make up for it. I couldn't begin to read ebooks on the phone - far too small but I love them on my iPad as you will with the tablet I feel sure. We do indeed live a charmed life in many respects.

Jennifer Jones said...

Hi Jill I really enjoyed reading about your pandemic experiences. Our puppy Oscar has also turned into a sook since we’ve been home all the time. Like you I’ve spent the time digitally organising files and photos. Trying to stay away from research just now bit I’ve been doing Webinars and they make it very tempting to do some searching. Stay safe Jill

crgalvin said...

Glad you are well and happy even if your endless travels are curtailed. What did you do with your local group in the Zoom meetings, was it chit chat or presentations? Did you limit to 40 mins with basic account? Etc.etc. Suggestions welcome 🙏

GeniAus said...

Carmel, We have had chit-chat plus a Committee Meeting. First meetings were unlimited so no issues.Last week we were cut off after 40mins.and, after a frantic few minutes, I got everyone reconnected. We are having our first serious Zoom Roundtable discussion this week, I have about 20 who understand that when we are disconnected we connect again - hope it works!

Giovanni Carlo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giovanni Carlo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giovanni Carlo said...

Pandemic drives other people going mad he he but some have fun doing what they love, like gardening, fish keeping, collecting stamp and other activities at home with the family

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