Today, our state government announced that South Australia would be going into a hard lockdown.

It was not unexpected. We have had a Covid-19 cluster break out, called the “Parafield Cluster”, and the number of places individuals in this cluster visited while infectious kept growing and growing. I had said to others that the place-list was getting out of hand, and there was no way that they could keep just adding to the list. The easiest thing was to lock us all down. And they did.

Over the week, my work team has had a habit of watching the premier’s news conferences as a group. It’s nice that we’ve been allowed to do this, and experience the growing restrictions as a team. And try to work out what they’re all talking about!

So today, the news was, we would go into a hard lockdown for 6 days. It seems entirely appropriate, and I am optimistc that we have learnt from Victoria’s mistakes. It’s hard – but if we can have a hard 6 days followed by an easy 6 months, then I’m all for it. I’m not a scientist, and instead I trust the health experts to tell me what to do. Will it work? We will find out. This whole Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and so we’ve had to learn on the go. If it doesn’t work, it will inform the responses of future governments to future clusters.

I don’t want one more person to die from Covid-19. If me, being home, chilling, can help, then I’m so on board. During Victoria’s lockdown, I remember seeing the death figures. I remember the news showing faces and telling stories of those who had died. I remember feeling like I had to watch, out of respect and solidarity.

T L Whalan wearing a face maskSo how am I feeling?

Immensely relieved.

All my extra-curricular activities have been cancelled, and now all I have to do is turn up to work (from home).

For some people, Covid-19 restrictions causes anxiety. For me, Covid-19 restrictions mean I get to do less. And not feel guilty for being lazy. It’s government-imposed me-time. I’m almost excited.

I know I am so lucky that my husband and I have the priviledge of maintaining out employment. It’s something that many have not got to experience.

Today, before the premier had even finished announcing the restrictions, people were flocking into supermarkets. My husband rang me saying that he was going to go shopping. I told him that was stupid. He admitted that he only wanted potatoes and beer. I said that the bottle-os were also stupidly busy. He said he was going to Roseworthy (a country town). I told him that he was probably safe. He was. He got beer. He did not get potatoes.

As a bonus, as we left work, we cleaned out the fridge (as things would go off over the next 6 days if we failed to take them home). I got a pumpkin and it feels like the best day of my life.

I understand lots of South Aussies are ‘freaking out’, because this is their first time at a lockdown. After doing my mandatory self-isolation period earlier this year, I can’t help but feel like I’m zen about it because I have the experience. Actually, this lockdown will be better because I can actually go to the shops.

I thought it might be a fun challenge to only cook from food already in our pantry, fridge, and cellar over the course of the lockdown. We will see how long that goes. My husband does like potatoes, and we don’t have potatoes.

There is immense relief that the government has explicitly said that veterinary services are an essential service. Knowing that my dogs can get vet care if necessary is such a relief.

The biggest problem for me is the rescue dog I have in care cannot have adoption meets, and cannot be adopted. Generally, dogs in my rescue are adopted within days. She will be here for at least two weeks. Luckily, she is not hugely inconvenient. She was surrendered after her owner died and I still feel like I made the best decision for that dog. We will be okay

I am continuing on with NaNoWriMo, writing the story I’ve called ‘Matty and the Merman’. I’m close to 36k words, and not all the words are terrible.

I am so lucky that I have a 7 acre property to walk around, and a home-gym to exercise in.

Amongst my optimism, there is a degree of realism. I am surprised I have been able to keep my job for so long in the current climate (I am supposed to facilitate about 92 sessions a year – but because of Covid-19 related cancellations, I’ve done about 12). Victoria’s lockdown was initially supposed to be short, then became months – and ours might be too. I was storing some of my husband’s Christmas presents at work, but have brought them home – in case I don’t get to go back before Christmas.

When I finished work, I wanted to get take-away to support a business that risks throwing away stock due to this lockdown. (Our lockdown includes the shutting-down of take away, due to a covid infection from a pizza bar.) When I went in, I wore a mask for the first time. It was hot and itchy but presumably a lot nicer than having Covid-19.

I’m pleased to be home, because of the current risk of fires to our property. We had another small fire near our property today, which I think takes us to about six small fires in the last week, within 10km of home. With lightning forecast for tomorrow, staying home to prepare for fires is reassuring. This is especially important seeing the SA CFS announced today that during fire threats we are not allowed to leave our properties during this hard lockdown… I can’t imagine this is true, but none of this seems real, to be honest.

Australia is a compliant-country. We rarely complain about restricitons. We’re mandated to wear seat belts, we’re not allowed guns, we have to pay staff a minimum wage. People just follow rules and carry on. I have a theory that our convict ancestory makes us cheerfully-placid. Without any minimisation, I want to say, “She’ll be right, mate.”

Follow Rules and Carry On