I have run out of interesting things to do. I posted that on my Facebook page and got a mixture of comments. Some people claimed to be very busy, some gave me a run down on what they are doing to keep occupied, some had some suggestions for me. Our restrictions are lifting a little and so one of the groups I belong to that were going to be having a picnic in the park on a very rainy day instead booked a table for five in the restaurant of a local Club . One of the ladies said it was her first meal out in three months. Now large restaurants can have up to 50 diners depending on the floor space so our local restaurants are slowly opening. Smaller cafes can only have ten people still but many have developed a profitable take out trade. My church is having the first service on Sunday but a very regimented one, no singing, no shaking hands, no morning tea, just walk in, walk out and drive away. I suppose we will get used to that way of doing things and at least it is a start.
I did have my daughter Shirley and family come and visit me last Monday for my birthday which was the previous week. It was nice to see them and have them here for a chat after we had been out to lunch together. I heard a bit about how they are living through the Corona virus. Both Shirley and Craig are working now. Craig because the larger of the Salvation Army Stores he is Chaplain to are opening up now so he can can support the managers and workers. Unfortunately those which are just a shop front are not big enough to open, those more like a factory have the floor space for both staff and customers. Shirley's been an essential worker being the Chaplain of an Aged Care facility. Naomi is back at High School, Christopher doing University on line. Both seem to be doing well. It was great having the grandchildren particularly here.
I have been looking at current affair programs and think it is sad so many people are involved in nasty political debates. Whenever that happens I tend to turn away from anything that will produce negative thoughts. I have enough stress without taking in any more negativity. As a former telephone counsellor I have a lot of phone calls from people calling because they are anxious or upset or bewildered by what is going on around them. Some are old friends, some not so old but all are wondering why this is happening, when will it be over, what is going to happen to them if it goes on for much longer. I don't know any more than they do so just listen to their concerns and reflect them back to them. I don't have a crystal ball and although I try to remain positive I'm only human and have my own small concerns. We all have our blue days.
I have a lot of people I think of as friends who are going through hard times, sometimes financially but mostly through health or family worries. We all have some of those, no one is immune to life's ups and downs.. Unfortunately the shut ins in particular do have too much time on their hands and too much time to think about all the things that could go wrong so have become depressed. It is a pity that the social contact that keeps this from happening is absent from our society at present. Some of my friends have family troubles as well. It seems the family bonding is not universal and some families are suddenly realising that they don't like being caged up with people they can usually easily avoid. Oh dear relationships are so complicated in our modern society.
So some days I am happy to be on my own now with my no one to tell me what to do, how to think, what is missing in my life. On the other hand with social distancing etc unless you have a partner or a family living in your household there is no one to sit close to, no one to hug, no one to show they care about you, I wonder how long social distancing etc is going to last? How long before we can shake hands, give a hug, walk,along arm in arm with a friend. Will we be less outgoing, less gregarious,less generous with our time? I know at all levels of government and business seem to be pushing to get back,to "normal" but what will a new normal look like. And will we be happy with it? And are we putting ourselves in danger when people do start to forget to wash their hand before serving us as customers? Or stand too close in the queue?
I went to a funeral last week and there was no sign that the people there, most of them elderly, were aware of social distancing rules as they sat side by side in rows with their friends in the seats next to them. The funeral director did ask them to consider that they could only sit close to members of their own household but nobody moved. I moved twice as seats filled up. No way do I want to catch this virus and as some people sniffed, maybe from emotion rather than infection, I found myself wondering if anyone in the room was infected. Isn't it a pity this is now part of my thought patterns, this awareness of who is in the same room I am in when I am out. I found myself doing the same thing at the restaurant, looking around, wondering about the other people there. It is not how I want to be.
So, isolating, opening the door, looking out, moving out into the community, whatever mode you find yourself in do take care. We as widows and widowers whatever our age and status have people depending on us. Whatever our family situation we can help support our families and each other. I am glad I am part of a group that does care for each other,as much as is possible with the distances between us. I loved the birthday greetings from all over the world I got on my Facebook page. I also got emails, cards in the mail and phone calls. My family members may be scattered but I have friends just a click away on social media. I know that is not the same as we were used to but in a way with social distancing it is almost as good. God bless you all.