Friday, April 24, 2020

May we live in interesting times...

2020 has definitely been a red letter year so far.

In early March I had another cardiac arrest which landed me in hospital for three days this time. Silver linings? We know the Defibrater + pacemaker works. Also, we know the medication wasn't working. Clouds - well, there is the cardiac arrest in public this time, which is scary. Luckily by 'public' I mean at work, so I was sorrounded by people I know and trust. Also, the medication didn't work which means I had to change to the other medication most often used, and that medication doesn't have the added benefit of warding off migraines, so the migraines are back.

Still, I live to die another day.

This COVID-19 is a riot, isn't it? At least Australia is doing much better than other countries. The lockdown seems to flattening the curve. It will be interesting to see how the lockdown lifting will be managed. I suspect it will need to be done in ebb and flow stages, just to keep the pressure off our medical system. It's not going to just disappear, it will mutate and perhaps that will lessen the impact on humans, but viruses don't just disappear. So, it will always be a matter of managing it.

Human behaviour has been fascinating during this time. A lot of people panicked, and they were highly criticised for doing so by the general public. The so-called 'blue collar workers' were able to show their important contribution to society, the fact that without them, society simply wouldn't run. Big business was shown to be very vunerable, and not as useful to everyday survival as food and shelter and medical institutions. Yes, a lot of people have been laid off, which is also a very big problem. In the wake of all the new unemployment a lot of people who scorned people on social security have come face-to-face with just how unaffordable the level of financial support really is. In fact the Government was forced to increase the fortnightly payments so people could survive on them because there would have been hell to pay if everyone had to live like the people in our society 'living it large' on unemployment benefits.

Then there is working from home. This is where having a white collar job pays off. For those of us who do a lot of paper work, taking our work to our home office (aka my bedroom) has been relatively easy. There has had to be a crash course for many in various computer programs and web-based collaboration, which can only be a good thing. My clients, who are mostly in their 90s have learned many new skills in the past few weeks. It has been challenging but also stimulating and self-affirming.

Personally, I'm loving the lock down. I am an introvert with agoraphobia, so not only have I destressed considerably but, I'm pretty much a social hero for adhering so stringently to the lock down rules.

Oh and all the parents 'homeschooling'. I put the word homeschooling in quotation marks because it really isn't homeschooling. It's remote learning. The teachers are still doing the work, organising the curriculum, being available to students all day long. Yes, parents are having to supervise their kids, but when kids are home - certainly primary kids - they need supervision anyway. It's much more like helping kids with their homework.

Aside from the fortune of having kids in highschool and upper primary school - which makes them more independant - because of my experience with actual homeschooling, I not having to do anything new. Mind you, I have motivated kids (thank goodness Erik and Luey have finished highschool because they really were not academically inclined). A case study out of New Zealand after the Christchurch tragedy showed the kids there - who didn't go to school for months - actually didn't 'fall behind', but rather scored better on tests when they returned.

Then there are all the people who used to lament not being able to spend more times with family. They must be thrilled now!

I would love to see this become a reboot of our society and attitude, especially regarding individualism, being reassessed. One can live in hope because, as Reddington said, 'Without hope, we are hopeless.'

Let's be better than hopeless.

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