Tuesday’s news bulletin gave the latest announcements of how we as a country are (supposedly) dealing with the Covid-19 Virus.
Some restrictions are obvious, some should be far more serious and some are a trifle confusing…such as ‘schools are open’ Vs ‘no gathering at playgrounds’.
Here’s another: “Hairdressers and barbers can remain open but must adhere to the one person per four square metre rule. Appointments cannot be longer than 30 minutes.”
(So, men only? And four square metres?)
Ooops…apparently that has now been changed and hairdressers are no longer facing limits. WHY? Too many posh ladies (& lady politicians) complained? Or those rip-off hairdressing franchises?
Anyway, that will be interesting. Actually, right now I am not keen to visit the hairdresser, and I only ever need a cut - no colours, no curls, no treatment – just a cut. But, I won’t be going, so looks like I will end up with a pile of (white & grey) hair piled up in a bun on the top of my head at the crisis’s end.
The other person in this house will be okay as I have been cutting his hair for decades. But will I be brave enough to ask him to return the favour? I think not.
Also, I think that schools are mostly closed now. Every day a new announcement.
But back to survival planning, while quarantined.
Last time I worked on breakfast.
Now for LUNCH.
For the past year or so I have had a fixed (boring) routine for lunch. Usually beginning with something like a slice of rock melon (remember when it was cantaloupe?), followed by a cheese and lettuce (seeded cob loaf) sandwich.
Finished off with a cup of tea and a sweet treat of choc chip slice (or whatever I had recently made).
Now, here’s the problem: We have finished the latest rock melon. The cheese is on its last 2 centimetres and the lettuce is almost gone.
Do I brave the fruit market to buy more rock melon & lettuce or do I follow a new revised lunch habit?
And cheese? Cannot live without!
What else could I have for lunch that does not need a trip to shops?
There are eggs. I enjoy an egg sandwich – but without lettuce it would not be so great.
More thinking needed.
MEANWHILE – a lot has changed…
It is now FRIDAY and I have braved the outdoors and the small Coles supermarket, a couple of kms away. (Cheese, remember).
Arriving just after 7am, I had to show my Seniors’ Card to prove I’m old.
“Gee”, I said to the young man checking details, “I thought you’d only have to look at me to know I’m an oldie”.
“Yeah, sorry”, he said, “It’s a rule.”
So, wiping the trolley handle with a ‘wipe’ offered by the store, I proceeded down a few aisles, keeping my 1.5m distance from other shoppers. It was not a happy time. I could almost see the fear in other (old!) shoppers’ faces. No one said anything but you could see people hold their breath as they passed by each other.
At the checkout, there was a sign announcing, ‘card only’. I saw it too late and had cash in my hand. As I fumbled to put it away and pull out my EFTPOS card, the woman at the checkout, suspecting I was old and doddery, kindly said, “Never mind Love, I’ll take the money. This rule only came in today. Next time it’s card, okay?’’
Piling my goods on shelf, getting change, packing said stuff (by myself – no help allowed by staff now) - into a couple of cotton bags and reloading trolley, I was afraid I might be holding up others but, everyone being oldies, they were all as slow as I was, so no need to panic.
But, once home and hand scrubbed, I did almost panic, on thinking over my shopping experience.
It was scary. It was unusual and it was unnerving. What the hell is happening?
I will not be going out shopping again until this disaster is over.
I bought some lamb bones to make stock to keep for soup making. It will join the chicken and vegie stock supplies that are in the freezer. Once we have used up the vegetables that are currently in the fridge, I will put whatever is in the pantry into the soup, such as chickpeas, split peas, lentils, beans and pasta. We have basil, parsley, rosemary, garlic chives and mint in the garden – so that’s a good thing. Plus, there is one small capsicum nestled in amongst some flowers – a result of composting!
So, it’s soup, soup and more soup. Yum! But will we be sick of soup after a month or so?
There are eggs. Omelettes, fried eggs, scrambled eggs on toast (for any meal, no matter what) another nourishing treat.
In the freezer there are a few (raw) chicken thighs, a few (cooked) chicken wings and plenty of bread in several guises. We won’t starve.
To our daughter who is wanting to buy supplies for us, I am saying, no thanks and please stay at home yourself!
It is now that the gravity of COVID-19 is really hitting us. It will be challenging.
The minor sacrifices that we are making are nothing compared to what is ahead.
Writing about changes to my menu is a distraction from the seriousness I feel. We may make micro changes to our lives but it is the major changes that will happen to everyone’s lives throughout the entire world that we will have to face.
Communities, governments, countries, economies will all have to change – now - and when we reach ‘the other side’.
Let’s hope that ‘reaching the other side’ is not in the Biblical sense for too many.
Stay safe. Stay home!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.