I wish to give you my reflections from Lockdown this year.
I am a 73 year-old who lives alone in a townhouse.
I am a retired teacher who still takes 11 children for literacy each week.
I don’t have family living nearby, and had to rely on the goodwill and kindness of friends who cared for my immediate needs.
I began Lockdown 10 days earlier than the rest of NZ because I happened to be in a café at the same time as our first case was diagnosed in Invercargill – 19 March 2020. I was classified as asymptomatic, meaning I was rated a very low risk.
I felt I could not take any sort of risk, because I tutor 11 children on literacy, at home. I put a sign on the door to say I was now in self-isolation.
At this point I felt I had the plague, because I saw friends approach the door then recoil in horror and almost run out the gate!
I contacted all of the homes, set up on-line lessons using Facetime, audio/phone calls, and some families emailed photos of the completed work each week.
The next issue was getting food. I had an emergency kit in the garage, but it wasn’t complete. I tried to have my groceries delivered by Countdown, but their registration form wouldn’t accept my address. Suddenly offers came in from friends and the families I work with. I was so grateful when they would ring and deliver to the front door.
But the big question soon surfaced: how do I keep the mind under control and keep a healthy routine each day. I have always lived with The List each day, which gives me the necessary routine to step into.
I needed a balance, so I used the following daily format:
A heart health issue surfaced unexpectedly, at this time.
The Doctor detected an irregular heartbeat, so scans were required. Atrial fibrillation was diagnosed, and 2 medications were prescribed.
After 6 weeks of this routine, I hit the wall.
I began to feel my ‘family tank’ was empty.
I was used to flying up to Christchurch during the terms, or driving to Dunedin to see my family. Because this couldn’t happen, I was now sitting on 3 cancelled flights. I am not good at talking about my inner feelings but realized I had to tell a family m ember that the isolation from family was getting too hard. They responded and we began Zoom games meetings, bringing 3 families together. These were organized by my son in Dunedin. We had 2 nights of Family Feud, working in teams. It was great.
During this time, I knew of a friend who lived in a flat nearby. She lives on her own and had no family here. When we got to level 3, I put 2 plastic chairs in the garden and carefully placed 2 metres apart, so that she could come by on her way to the New World. She would call by at least twice a week to pick up means and baking. As a result, we are now close friends who help each other out in many ways.
In conclusion, I hope this window into my Lockdown is helpful.
All the best with the Project!