Have we stabilised?

I’ve been reading of people struggling with the challenges of being in lockdown (in all but name). Initially, I’m surprised and wonder if I should be feeling it more. In point of fact, I’m thriving, though it’s early days. In my case, it makes a difference being so busy. I’m flat-out from first to last and expect to remain so for several weeks. The days pass quickly.

Not that I’m only doing work. I take time to take my two scheduled walks daily and am now managing close to 7,000 paces every day. That’s bolstered by the bustling around I do in-between times, whether it be in cooking, or in the patches where I clean or organise. Like most people it seems, I’m catching up on the things that mostly get lost in the rush of living. Cleaning definitely falls into that category for me, but I’ve knuckled to it so keenly that I’ve even given the wooden cabinets a clean and polish with marveer. I’m also going through my filing cabinet to either dispose of or scan, the documents and files in it. The aim is to get rid of the filing cabinet altogether.

What might make it difficult for me in the longer term is that I live alone. I’m on the phone all day and sending messages here and there, but it’s not the same as warm human contact. I am self-reliant in that regard also, and perhaps too much so, so we’ll see how that pans out.

For others, I wonder what the particular issue is? Is it a sense of confinement? Is it the disconnection from standard routine? Is it missing colleagues and friends? Probably a bit of each, and more besides. Real challenges are being faced by thousands now, either for health or financial reasons. A friend, working from home, has had his hours reduced by a quarter and his salary with it. Many others have either been stood down or made redundant altogether.

Since I last wrote, the government has finally come to the party with a comprehensive wages subsidy policy. They’ve gone big, and though it’s late, it looks like it’s most of what it should be. It’ll make a real difference because thousands will have some job security now, and be able to continue living. Most importantly, it preserves some readiness for such a time when we come out of this.

There’s a long way to go, but you can’t help but wonder what happens when we’re through this. The government has adopted policies and measures ideologically foreign to them. Though they’ll be keen to reverse most of them, I figure some will be so entrenched in the public consciousness that it might be difficult. As I’ve said before, there’s opportunity to reset in this, on both the personal and national level. This is a wake-up call.

I’ll follow up on that another day, but in the meantime, I’m curious to see how the government pays for this – perhaps it’s time, and with a national justification now, to take the franking credits windfall off the table?


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