It seems not possible that a whole year has elapsed, and I remember so little of it! Maybe that is a common feeling of lots of my readers. Perhaps its because we don’t want to remember, we just want to get on with our lives. It was a time of hardship and sadness for many people especially those who have been affected by coronavirus either directly or by having their work and income impacted. Regardless of how deeply we were personally affected it has touched our lives in many ways. My condolences are sincerely sent to those who have lost loved ones and whose lives have been irrevocably changed because of it. My prayer is that you will learn to transcend the sad times and be strengthened by them to start the healing. If we only remember the sad times of our lives it lessens our optimism for tomorrow and makes us dull company indeed!
The most dramatic effect that coronavirus had on me, apart from wearing a mask and staying home, was that it closed down visiting almost entirely at aged care facilities, including where my wife Dorothy lives in the special care wing along with a dozen or so other Alzheimer’s folk. That enforced disruption in the otherwise almost daily visiting has had a profound effect on my lifestyle and psyche and has caused me to re-evaluate my lifestyle. The resultant change in my routine seems to have caused a subtle change in my relationship with my wife and our children, and also with my neighbours and friends. Suddenly (or so it seemed) the days became longer and, definitely, the nights as well; I had time to for my mind to dwell on all sorts of things, and I became despondent and probably, depressed. Recognising what was happening to me, I resolved to find a way to break my melancholia and learn to adjust to a whole new approach to the rest of my life. Well, less dramatically I needed a ‘break’.
So, as soon as the coronavirus restrictions allowed, I took myself off the treadmill for a whole week for a ‘retreat’ to a timeshare cottage in rural Victoria, just an hour or so drive away, but in a bushland setting. It worked, to a degree. Even though it rained a good deal of the time I did manage to take a long walk each day and finished the week somewhat refreshed. But I have to say, the euphoria did not last very long, and I am back to a familiar lifestyle and regaining my usual non-vigour again. It doesn’t help, of course, to recognise that Dorothy is still responsive to my presence, but, perversely, not unduly affected when I give her a kiss and say, “I’m off now, see you again, soon”. As I drive back home and try to settle back into a routine, I still feel sad, and sort of disoriented. This morning I am playing Scrabble with a group at Dorothy’s care home, then I will spend some time with her and later, this evening, I am having a ‘Pizza Night’ with a few dozen other residents at this village where I live. That’s another time when being with some other folk does seem to change at least something, for a while…….