This is your new reality.
As of thirty or so minutes ago as I’m writing this, (according to the ABC news site live blog on Coronavirus, the PM had this to say:
‘Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary you go out’
The PM says people should only go out for the “basics, going out for exercise, perhaps with your partner or family members provided it’s a small group, that’s fine”. But people should not go out and “participate more broadly in the community unless you’re shopping for basics or there are medical needs or you’re providing care and support to an individual at another place”. “Going to work [is permitted] … where you can, work from home. That is encouraged.”
So that’s tonight. Beauty salons are closing from tomorrow night and I am going to make what may seem like a shallow and frivolous comment: that will have an impact on my mental health.
Ok. These two images might not seem all that different to most people, but I hadn’t had my eyebrows shaped or dyed since October, nor had I had my eyelashes tinted since then. And since I can’t wear mascara because a) I can’t see to put it on, and b) I have to put in eyedrops a minimum of eight times a day and be very careful of my eye health due to Sjögrens Syndrome, having these two little luxuries taken care of for the first time in months made me feel so happy.
And now they’re gone again. Yeah, boo hoo, small problem, right? Except it’s the small problems that add up in the mental health burden.
So even though the lovely ladies at Plush Skin Body & Beauty are being forced to close from tomorrow night, (and I didn’t know that earlier today), I was still stuck at home with a sore throat and didn’t want to risk Jess or Melitta catching it. So I had a phone consultation, and… ta dah! Melitta even delivered. It was like getting a present. (Mr Beloved went to the gate, I’m staying clear until I’m sure this throat is ok.)
How do we look after not only ourselves but our small businesses in a time of plague? I’m not dismissing the seriousness of this disease. I have family members who are particularly vulnerable. When it comes to it, we all do, because this novel coronavirus is killing young people, too, just like last year’s flu did. (But make no mistake, Covid-19 is way nastier than the flu).
But with the government closing more and more businesses and facilities, mental health in the general population is going to be a concern. I’m not a mental health expert – except as someone who has experienced mental health issues for many years. From my point of view, watching as demand has always outstripped supply, despairing as promised programs were cut instead, often struggling to get (and keep) appropriate access to mental health professionals: we, as a country in social isolation, are going to need mental health assistance.
“There will be greater access to telehealth!”, the government tell us. Really? While that might work for some things, there are other health appointments that telehealth is not going to be so great at managing.
Time to drink my hot milk and listen to a podcast and maybe fall asleep.
Goodnight, if anyone is reading.
And remember- practice random acts of kindness, take care of yourselves and others, and wash your hands.