Crazy Month of May 2020 Meme: My Pandemic Experiences

It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in a blog challenge, but good friend and blogger Pauleen (aka Cassmob) came up with one that I just had to take part in. It’s the “Crazy Month of May 2020 Meme: My Pandemic Experiences

She writes:

“It occurred to me that perhaps we should have a meme which captures our response to the hopefully-once-in-a-lifetime May that we’ve just navigated….it might be a way to preserve the tip of our experiences. Remember that many blogs are being archived in Pandora so perhaps this is a way for our descendants to learn about our experiences during the covid-19 crisis.”

So here’s my responses:

What are you most grateful for during this covid-19 crisis?
I would have to say I’m thankful that I still have a job when so many now don’t, but also that most people in my area are doing the right thing with social distancing, which of course helps stop the spread of coronavirus.

What have you missed most during the full or partial lock-down?
As an introvert I love being home, but just now and then it’s nice to randomly go out for a meal. So that is something I have missed.

Has your hobby sustained you during this time?
While not sure if you’d class it as a hobby, keeping an eye on my local wildlife (koalas and kangaroos) and enjoying them coming around, makes me happy, and is a stress reliever. But as for actual hobbies, I haven’t had time for them recently …

What changes have you seen in your life over May 2020?
Work is BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!!! I work in a family history business, and it has been non-stop crazy busy over the past few months. So clearly those in lockdown have been getting stuck into researching. I know there are newbies who have just started, while others have picked it back up after putting it aside for years, and then there’s the non-stop researchers have enjoyed the ‘stuck at home time’ to research as well. So all up, there’s a LOT of family tree research going on.

Have you been exercising more or less?
I would say no change actually. I do some, but should always do more.

Has the refrigerator been your friend or foe?
Due to not going out for meals, there is more food in the fridge. But I’ve been good and haven’t food binged.

Have you been participating in virtual gatherings with friends or family?
Work meetings are now done by Zoom, so that’s been handy.

Have you taken up new hobbies during the lockdowns?
Again … no time for new or existing hobbies at present.

Are you cooking or gardening more?
Maybe a bit more of both, but the gardening is more because of the time of year, as it now needs it.

Have you shopped more or less? Online or offline?
I’ve been grocery shopping more … in person since it’s close to my work. But other shopping (clothes, shoes, hardware, etc.) no, not at all. In fact I’ve probably done less regular shopping than normal.

What have you found to be the strangest change to your life?
Not so much a change, but an observation that I found werid. When the lockdowns first came into effect in Australia (end of March), and only essential travel was allowed (ie. supermarkets and docors), to see the line-ups for the supermarket was very odd.

Have you found the changes and experience stressful/anxious/worrying?
I think I’m fine personally, but I know some people are jack of the whole subject of it, and are ready to argue/lecture about it. While I can see a lot of people are anxious about it as well. And why wouldn’t they be. There’s a disease out there, that doesn’t always show symptoms, and you don’t know if you have it, and are unknowingly spreading it, or the if ther person next to you has it.

How have the closures affected your local community?
I’m sure the lockdowns and closures of businesses will have had a big impact on numerous small businesses and probably sports clubs too. But nothing immediately identifiable at present.

Have in-person meetings been replaced with virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype etc?
Yes, fortunatley.

Do you enjoy the virtual meeting format?
It works fine, and is so much better than having to travel to go to a meeting, then travel home.

Are you working from home instead of in your usual place of work?
I was working from home for a few weeks when lockdown first came in. That was nice as I was able to work, while also seeing the local wildlife that comes to visit during the day (ie. our regular koalas and kanagaroos), but I’m now back in the shop everyday.

Have your habits changed over the past months?
Not excessively, though I do have more hand sanitizer around than I used to.

Have you had to cancel travel plans for work, pleasure or family?
I was on a work cruise that got cut short, and was due to fly to Queensland shortly after that for an event – all just before the lockdowns in Australia came into effect. Obviously both of those were cancelled.

Do you think you’ll be able to travel in 2020?
I believe Australia and New Zealand travel will be do-able later this year. As for other countries … time will tell. But hopefully later in 2021 I think is more likely.

Have you/others been wearing masks when out and about in your area?
I haven’t been, and very few people do in my area. But we are relatively ‘safe’ with no current cases, and no local cases for about 30 days now.

Will you change your lifestyle after this experience?
I don’t believe so. But maybe just be more tolerant of others (though I think to think that I was anyway), because you don’t know what they are going through (thoughts, fears, current situation).


Just some final thoughts in relation to my observations during the pandemic… seeing hand sanitizer available to use at every shop you go in, seeing the 1.5m social distancing signs on the floors in shops has now become normal. Having take-away food only (no sit down meals available). Visting your local coffee shop, and seeing the chairs and tables stacked up. Having the playgrounds closed, movie theatres, amusement parks, libraries, genealogy societies, museums, archives, department stores and small clothing stores, beauticians, tattoo stores, pubs all closed as well, until just recently – when they’ve started reopening in limited ways. Then there were all the events that got cancelled .. including the Tokyo Olympics, Anzac Day, every sport Australia wide, social get-together meetings as well as work ones … it goes on.

After the horrors of the Australian bushfires over November-December-January, no-one thought there would be anything ‘bigger’. But seeing the devastation and heartbreak from friends and others around, who’ve either had the virus themselves and survived, or have loved ones who didn’t – there are no words.

Coronavirus has changed the world. It is a global catastrophe on both the health scale, as well as the economic scale. While no doubt some things would have been done differently in hindsight, I still don’t think to world was prepared in any way to cope with a pandemic of this scale. And yet the heath authorities tell us we’re still in the first wave.

People say the ‘heroes’ of this pandemic are those in the health industry (the doctors, nurses, those in the labs, the researchers and so on), and absolutely they are doing their best to help you recover once youre sick, but the other ‘heroes’ are all the individuals who have been self isolating at home for months now. They have forgone seeing family and friends in person, and who by doing so have been doing their bit to help not spread the virus.

Please, stay safe my friends.

6 Responses to “Crazy Month of May 2020 Meme: My Pandemic Experiences”

  1. Pauleen says:

    Thanks for joining in Alona. I liked your additions…there’s so many “little” changes that they’re easy to overlook. We have all enjoyed the photos of roos and koalas – it’s helped with our stress levels as well as yours. Those of you who had the fires and the coronavirus have had a horror year. Stay strong and safe.

  2. Jane T says:

    Perhaps I should do the crazy month’s of April May and June as we have been locked down since the end of March.

    Keep safe all.

    • Alona says:

      Yes, I gotta agree with that Jane. Likewise here in Oz, though we are reopening up now … fingers crossed as to how that goes.

  3. You are right, Alona. Like 9-11, coronavirus has changed the world. It remains to be seen which portions of our new normal will become permanent, but there will be some. Glad to see a post from you – I’ve missed reading your stories as you used to post much more regularly.

  4. Lois Michel says:

    Thank you for your interesting and informative posts. I always enjoy them. I was particularly impressed by this one. I think it is important that first-hand writing of experiences in this momentous time should be preserved for future generations. The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society is seeking permission to reprint this – either in full or in part – in our newsletter as a means of urging others to put pen to paper to preserve their experiences.

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