2 June 2020

May 2020, May or May Not

Personal experiences during Covid-19, May 2020

Since late March in Australia, everyone has had a variety of experiences as lockdowns were imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In response to a suggested blog post by fellow genealogist Pauleen this is a record of some of my experiences during May 2020 that may or may not be of interest to those in the far future! The questions supplied by Pauleen on her post serve to focus my thoughts about this last month. 

What are you most grateful for during this Covid-19 crisis?
The last two months have proved a torrid time for many people as restrictions imposed on daily life were compounded with job losses and business failures. I am very grateful that my husband and I are happily retired from the paid workforce and live a comfortable life with good health, in our own house and in a place of our choice. My gratitude extends of course to the health workers who dedicate their lives to caring for the sick.

What have you missed most during the full or partial lock-down?
I have missed face to face interaction with friends and acquaintances through both formal and informal meetings.

Has your hobby sustained you during this time?
My genealogy and sewing hobbies have both had some extra time devoted to them. Some more photos have been sorted and named and some more data added to ancestors on my husband's family tree assisted by the cooperation of some of his relatives. Free access to Ancestry and FindMyPast provided by local and State Libraries has been invaluable. 
My sewing cupboard has been sorted with some material donations ready for appropriate organisations.

deserted pathways

Have you been exercising more or less?
Exercise became a priority to prevent endless hours hunched over screens or buried in books or puzzling out sewing patterns. It has been a pleasure to walk uncrowded paths and enjoy the quiet beauty of our surrounding areas. My bike has had more use in traffic free areas too. Two YouTube channels I have found particularly useful for seniors are The Girl with the Pilates Mat and More Life Health Seniors. Both these channels provide simple and sustainable short exercise sessions for seniors.

Has the refrigerator been your friend or foe?

Have you been participating in virtual gatherings with friends or family?
I have a regular virtual Friday morning coffee session with four friends, we will resume face to face in the real world in the coming weeks.

Have you taken up new hobbies during the lockdown?
I have been teaching myself how to use LibreOffice Base via online tutorials. While I have been a long time user of a wide variety of databases, I have never had to set one up from scratch.

Are you cooking or gardening more?
No, we are both regular cooks and share the load so have seen no need to change that pattern. The garden mostly bumbles along with occasional interference for maintenance.

Have you shopped more or less? Online or offline?
We have shopped less often for groceries tending to make a list rather than popping down to the supermarket on a whim. I have probably bought a few more titles on Amazon when I have run out of titles to read via the online libraries to which I have access.

Have you found the changes and experience stressful/anxious/worrying?
Not particularly apart from the distressing news from around the world as the death tolls increase.

How have the closures affected your local community?
As this region depends on tourism several businesses have closed permanently and many are under severe financial stress. The local libraries, often a haven for seniors and parents with young children, have been quiet and closed while still providing their online services. They have been targeting the young with online story times. A click and collect service has been available now for two weeks for those wishing to borrow paper books. Our local genealogy society reopens in a limited manner today after 2 months closure. The local playgrounds were still off limits during this last weekend 

Have in-person meetings been replaced with virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype etc?
As mentioned above, a virtual coffee morning via Zoom has replaced the real thing.

Do you enjoy the virtual meeting format?
It is suitable for a wide range of circumstances and is useful for sharing factual information. Face to face interaction allows for more personalised interpretation of body language and its accompanying gestures.

Have your habits changed over the past months?
I have watched more online educational content through YouTube.

Have you had to cancel travel plans for pleasure or family? Do you think you’ll be able to travel in 2020?
We had to cancel travel plans in April but are hoping to visit family south of Sydney before the end of the year.

Have you/others been wearing masks when out and about in your area?
I have seen very few masks out and about. Early on I did make one, but have never worn it.

Will you change your lifestyle after this experience?
I will continue with the exercises provided through YouTube rather than attend gym classes. Overseas travel may be a casualty after this Covid-19 experience.

My sympathies are extended to those severely affected by Covid-19, I am well aware of the privilege of living free from debt, infection and any major inconvenience. 

This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin


  1. We are in a similar situation as retirees in a comfortable home in Australia. Like you I am so grateful for the situation I find myself in. My heart goes out to those who who are suffering distress here and overseas and I give thanks to our frontline workers who support us.

    1. Yes indeed, we can be grateful for many things.

  2. Thanks for joining in Carmel. It has certainly helped to be retired through this time even though that likely puts us closer to the age-risk zone. Thanks for the YouTube tips...I’ll have a look at them. I was interested in the database program you mentioned and its planned use.

    The world statistics have been horrendous as have the implications for those who’ve lost families and those who’ve lost jobs. We have much to be grateful for.

    1. It was an excellent idea on your part to encourage us to record our thoughts about this time. LibreOffice Base is just an open source alternative to MS Access. Just exploring for use for our genie society as appending to the various iterations of the local history spreadsheet is getting unwieldy, one limited online public version, one more detailed in house version both generated from a master.

  3. Hi Carmel - I too cleaned out my sewing cupboard, finally realising that I was never going to finish my mother's unfinished sewing projects after 25 years!!

    1. Some pieces of material I knew I'd had for more than 20 years!


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