Suzie Eisfelder

This virus has everyone in a tizzy. People around the world are going into self-isolation or mandatory isolation. What we’ve seen in China and Italy has been awe inspiring. China seemed to do everything they could to limit people’s exposure to the virus, they built two new hospitals and closed as many industries as they possibly could. Factories that remained open were manufacturing only essential items and that included masks. They are now starting to open up again. When Italy finally closed down it was with the knowledge that they should have made people isolate themselves much sooner. There are videos coming out of Italy from normal people talking about how things would have been much different had they self-isolated ten days earlier. There are videos from Italy and Israel with people standing on their balconies singing. Some of a tenor singing to the community, others of someone leading choir practice and others of a man leading the singing with a guitar and a sound system.

What is going to happen in Australia may end up being different. The panic buying started a while ago and people are being very selfish about it. Busloads of people from the city heading into country towns and emptying their supermarkets. People buying toilet paper and hand sanitiser to last them six or twelve months. There are now limits on so many things. Our supermarket is looking quite good. There are empty shelves for various items, including toilet paper, but they’ve done a good job under trying circumstances to ensure people get what they need. The strange thing about all of this, in Australia, is that we actually make much of our products here. Three popular brands of toilet paper are made in Victoria or South Australia, all people need to do is buy what they need for the moment to allow supply to flow again.

Things to do in isolate include but are not limited to:

  • reading, and thank goodness many books are now available in ebook format
  • watching TV or movies, it’s entirely possible to watch many of these for free
  • joining in on virtual parties or functions
  • making something
  • playing games
  • playing board games
  • painting or drawing

If you have the money send it to one of your favourite creatives. I guarantee they will be very grateful. Many of them live from job to job, they have had so many jobs cancelled. Find them on Patreon, give them a chance to make it out to the other end of this nightmare and do what they do best. Or, if you’d prefer to just give them a one-off amount of money then you might find them on Ko-fi.

I suspect I won’t have time to be bored. By the time I clean, pretend I can actually cook, and work on my book there won’t be time. But I will take some time to make sure people are okay and to give them something to do in the virtual world. I’m in the middle of signing up to Zoom. No links yet as I don’t know if it will work well. I may do writing days where I sit there and talk about my research…other people may be bored…or days where I actually write. I have ideas for short stories and I’d dearly love to write while people watch and make comments, I’ve no idea why, but I do. And, as of today, I’m going to be writing my blog more often. Potentially, this may mean I’ll actually diminish the pile of books I’ve read and am considering writing about, it’s currently about thirty centimetres high and I continue only writing about one book a week it will only increase. I’d like to also get back to writing about the book industry.

So, wash your hands and be safe, wherever you are in the world. Keep an eye on your mental health and be sure to get something that passes for sunshine.

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