Do not adjust your sets…

This is your new reality.

Self isolating…

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.

Before my appointment…
After my appointment.

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.)

My skin care order, with extra care and goodies….

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.

Uncertain times.

Scary times.

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.

Love,

Caity

Just this tonight…

I spent way too long online this morning trying to buy some simple art supplies. And I couldn’t. And I missed my mental health appointment because I couldn’t go in, since I had a temperature and a sore throat, which is also why I was trying to shop online instead of just going to the store.

Tomorrow is another day.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter B…

Teddy Bear Bee
Teddy Bear Bee, photo by Mr Beloved

This wonder was spotted by Mr Beloved while he was pottering amongst the plants the other day. “Nearly as loud as a hawkmoth!” he said. After some searching, he found out that’s it’s an Australian native bee, a solitary bee with a stingless barb, known as the Teddy Bear Bee .

Teddy Bear Bee in the Rosemary bush, photo by Mr Beloved

Apparently the Covid-19 panic buying (just STOP, people!) this weekend extended to stripping Bunning’s shelves bare of plant seedlings. Here’s my prediction about that: in two weeks time, most of those seedlings will be dead, because people have short attention spans and will go back to Netflix or Disney+ or whatever. And plants take too long for most kids, if they’re not already used to seeing the cycle of planting and waiting. Even a tomato plant takes time.

I did let the stress of everything get to me last night and today, just a bit. I probably didn’t eat enough (which is very easy for me to do, I ignored my phone alarms, and at the moment I don’t generate my own hunger signals. It’s easy to slip down into a vicious cycle of not eating, not noticing, not eating…) So tomorrow I’m back on the alarms, back on the supplementary meals. I had Vanilla Hospital Strength Sustagen with some frozen raspberries blended in for a meal this evening, and just had lactose free cheese and gluten free rice crackers as a snack.

And I read the news too often. I’ve been limiting myself to twice a day, but today I kept going back. Not helpful. Learning that South Australia would be closing its borders from 4pm on Tuesday made me surprisingly anxious. The rest of my family are there, and my first instinct was to try and get a plane ticket, at any price – but realistically, I’d be more of a hindrance than a help. And Mr Beloved and Emmalumpdogg need me here.

So, what to do?

Read more. Eat more. (Cook more). I’m grabbing a few new art materials to replace things that have dried up or run out, and doing things with those. Write more. Maybe if I’m strong enough if I can even help walk Emmalumpdogg more.