Mar 6, 2020

The Week That Was.

What.  A.  Week.  I'm so glad it's done and dusted.  

I don't even know where to begin except to say that I'm safe and well, the house is still standing and we have light and electricity,

Because on top of everything else that this crazy week has brought, it also gave me a dead downlight and some weird situation where my dishwasher started flashing an ominous 'F21' on its display.  Google told me that 'F21' is the code for faulty heat and water sensors in dishwashers which is code for either expensive repairs or slightly less expensive repurchasing of said dishwasher.

Somehow, the gods chose to smile down on me because both problems were quickly fixed.  YouTube instructed me on how to replace the downlight lightbulb and the Miele website told me what to try with the dishwasher.  'On and off' at the powerpoint then pressing 'start'... it's the universal fixall, isn't it?

It's easy to make light of the toilet paper situation now that 4 pack purchase limits have been enforced and the papermills in Adelaide are now operating round the clock to make the pulp that makes our loo rools but gee these have been dark times for Australians.

Under forbidding skies, we've been greeted by dystopian sights at the shops like these - 

bright and fully stocked displays of Easter treats with fresh produce in the background

while further inside, the spot where the toilet paper was is stripped bare with nothing but packaging and paper towels left behind.

Pantry staples like flour, rice and pasta were in short supply too.  The shelves stripped almost bare by those financially and physically able to stock up for themselves and their families.

I justified my own purchases by telling myself I was buying the fancy non-staple versions of groceries and thus not really depriving those who rely on dry goods and non-perishables for the bulk of the diet (and would presumably be buying plain flour and no frills teabags).  But that all sounds and is just as smug as the doomsdayers who've shared their hauls via social media.

It does get to that 'each person for themselves' mentality when fear and the sight of bare supermarket shelves kick in.  I paced the aisles in a state of irrational panic rummaging around for things like that last box of shop damaged dry yeast because I imagined that if I were to be told I had to self isolate, I'd have no time to hit the ships for bread.  Nevermind that I'm not a huge bread eater but in my mind, self isolation would be a time of eating from cans and making my own carbs from scratch.  Some weird twilight zone where I'd be connected to the rest of the world hopefully by the internet while living under refugee camp conditions in my own home.

It's taken close to a week for the supermarkets to recover from the country's panic buying.

Even with purchase limits, the shelves are still mostly bare in the toilet paper aisle.  It's getting better each day and I hope that one day soon, I'll be greeted by those reassuringly full shelves at the supermarket. 

I'm suprised at the intensity of my own reaction to the supermarket situation.  I wrote earlier this week about being prepared and how civilized things seemed to have been but these last few days of bare shelves and stories of the vulnerable having to do without due to the extreme pandemic preparations of the rest of us has been very unsettling.  It doesn't take much to tip the balance of life in a city in a nation of wealth and stability into a downward spiral of desperation and panic.  That in itself is very sobering indeed.

Against all of this, then, the special moments have been treasured even more than usual, making them practically magical in this climate of fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

After a crazy day of delays and frustration, I found myself a free hour in the afternoon to go for a bit of a run before hitting the road for school pick up with a can of fancy sparkling water.

The arrival of our gift of Bonds for an expectant first time mum at school.

That the horrible rain of Thursday did make my shoes squelchy but I did get to wear a cardigan for the first time this year.  And a favourite Red Phoenix necklace.

And on that note, I'm feeling better about the world already.

I don't know about you but I'm going to be spending this weekend recharging.

Be well.

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