• Helen Ferguson

Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

I began writing this piece on the day that this years Sydney-Wide lockdown was extended, for the first time, by another week. This included the news that my outdoorsy, sports mad 15 year old was returning to

On-Line Remote Learning for the first week of Term 3.

As my eyes rolled extravagantly to the back of my head, I reflected on the impact this would have on me, but also what Covid had possibly given me and taught me.

On the day of the extension announcement, I’d already had 1 dose of Astra Zeneca, and was scheduled for my second in August.

Dose Number 1

A week after my first dose, the Federal Government changed the advice to AZ for over 60's only.

I'm 54 and probably one of the most enthusiastic recipients of any vaccine in history,

so 'Keep Calm and Carry On' was my mood of the day.

I know there are people out there who are not a good fit for that jab, and understand their right to choose what is best for them, so I resolved not to jump into conversations about anybody else's vaccine status.

Pretty soon, AZ became perfectly acceptable for under 50's, under 40's, 18's to 30's et al!

Heck, we were even given the option to speed things up and move our second dose forward.

I'm packed away in a corner at home in a pretty quiet neck of the woods, so I decided to stick with my original 2nd date and garner as much protection as was available.

I really want this vaccine to do as much heavy lifting as it's able.

I'm absolutely prepared to wear my mask, keep my distance in public and stay home as needed.

However, for those moments when you encounter that person who, in spite of everything, needs to stand right on top of you in a queue,

or the delight who won't wear a mask and eyeballs you defiantly, willing you to challenge them;

that's when I want to lean-in hard on my vaccine status.

Waiting for Dose Number 2

So here I am!

Finally fully loaded with my second jab!

It's late August, and the Lockdown that came into effect for me at 6pm on Saturday 26th June, is still going strong.

It's currently scheduled to run until the end of September.

My Teen is in week 7 of Remote Learning, with November his possible return to school, and all extra-curricular sports have long since been abandoned.

So I guess Covid has allowed me to sleep late at the weekends for the first time in 10 years, but I don't get to watch my kid confidently inhabiting his happiest space.

I have not been able to work outside of my home since the beginning of lockdown.

As 90% of my work normally takes place inside my clients homes, that has been a colossal challenge to keep our family business moving forward.

I'm missing my clients, and the rush I get when another customer makes the choice to work with our business. I hope that we will be able to ramp up again in the future.

I'm learning to play a hard waiting game.

On an individual level, whilst I’m frustrated by it sometimes, I’m not completely hating Lockdown.

I have embraced silence in a whole new way.

I was a radio and podcast addict in the Pre-Era.

My car is my office and my audio system is my everything.

Radio Plays without interruption, my choice of music to sing along to, deep-dive News documentaries...

Oh Man! I used to love planning my listening menu for the day ahead.

Now with working from home and sharing my workspace with remote learning, we have multiple Zoom Calls at varying times of the day.

Background music and rolling news updates are just distractions that are always demanding volume adjustments.

Weekends and evenings are now my audio playgrounds.

My weekdays are library-level hushed.

I've noticed how much value I get from a routine.

I've imposed one on this shapeless expanse of time and it's making it easier to manage.

Work hours, exercise time, dinner at 6pm then social calls, Movies or Dance Class via Zoom.

Breaking the day into zones helps me focus and gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day.

I might be the only person in Lockdown who hasn't made bread…….that will continue to be the case.

I have baked all manner of cakes and brownies though.

Apparently Remote Learning is fuelled exclusively by anything with a chocolate chip in it.

Who knew?

My equilibrium in lockdown has been preserved by walking and dogs.

Walking alone, breathing in the quiet and empty beauty of the surrounding Bush.

Walking with a loved one, talking, figuring out how we are feeling one day at a time.

Walking with my dogs, adoring passing dogs, loving the opportunity to be outside doing something that feels timeless and normal.

In a world where I have no control over the big stuff, I have wrapped the small stuff around me like a protective blanket.

When we return to ‘normality’, I’m really hoping that some significant changes stay with us.

I hope we can get on Public Transport without routinely being squashed into someone's armpit.

I hope we can sit at a Café table without the remnants of the previous customers Bagel hanging around to join us.

I hope that our workplaces hold on to some of the flexibility that women have been chasing for decades, and suddenly became workable and mandated18 months ago.

I’m hoping that people who are genuinely unwell will feel justified in staying home from work rather than dragging their germs into the office to keep their Boss off their back.

I hope that some of the female dominated professions; Nurses, Teachers, Care Workers, who were finally acknowledged as utterly essential continue to be valued and are paid accordingly.

Stay safe my lovlies,


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