The last post for 2020

2020. What a year. So much has happened…so much also …didn’t happen. So this is going to be a bit of reflection of what happened in 2020 to me. The good. The bad. The sad. The happy. The whatever.

  1. Feb 2020: I finally fulfilled my dream of travelling to New Zealand for a trip! It was an awesome trip in which I caught up with my good friend living in Brisbane…we did a lot of hiking, horse riding, running, and also went on a boat trip! New Zealand is such a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it. I am also extremely lucky that I was able to go overseas before the borders to Australia has closed.
  2. March 2020: I finally saw my ALL time favourite band, ONE OK ROCK. Having missed out on seeing them when I was in Japan for exchange, I can finally say I have been to my second J-Rock concert. However, this time I actually knew and could sing a long with their songs! I also paid for the VIP tickets and also got to meet them, exchange a few words, and get my photo with them. The night was surreal and it was a great memory I will treasure for many years to come.
  3. Later in March 2020: The lockdown of Australia began as the Coronavirus made it way uninvited into all of our lives. You couldn’t escape it. No matter how hard you try to close your eyes….everyone was talking about it, the supermarket shelves were bare with no toilet paper or hand sanitiser to be seen. Gyms, pools, indoor/outdoor sports, cinemas, schools, universities, and shops, restaurants were closed for dine in. Social distancing was the new norm, everyday we were wiping all the surfaces we touched…everyday I would follow religiously the numbers, the tallies, the hotspots…what rules were changing…The hardest part of all was not being able to see my family and friends…I wasn’t able to see my nephew for the longest time and I was so worried he would forget who I was… It was also during this time that I began spending a lot more time with my family that still lived at home. Yes, we got on each others nerves at some stage…but because there was no where to go and nothing to do, we were just at home. My mum began planting and gardening more and more flowers, fruits, and vegetables…I began learning how to work out at home…For my brother and dad, nothing changed much for them…They usually just stay at home anyways. Skype calls were the best, and I am so grateful for technology that keeps us together, but nothing beats the ability to spend time in person with people.
  4. June 2020. The rules has started to relax in South Austraila. We were finally allowed to have up to 10 visitors in our homes! That meant we were able to gather as a family again and to eat out in restaurants with friends! This was the 1st birthday of my nephew…unfortunately because of the restrictions, my sister only invited the immediate family to celebrate….then they broadcasted it live to their other friends via zoom. My little nephew was sooo spoilt with soo many gifts from family and friends! He got Gucci branded shoes, a small ride on Mercedes, and sooo many toys. June was also the month that I found out that my full-time contract job was not going to be renewed…It was not entirely unexpected, but still a shock to hear it. It meant I had to job hunt all over again…and during a pandemic, that was depressing and a very stressful time…there was not much up for grabs in Adelaide in terms of Hospital Pharmacist positions, so I widened my applications to interstate hospitals. I had 3 sets of interviews for a position in Melbourne and that how I ended up where I am now!
  5. July 2020: I found out that I got the job in Melbourne and I would have to start planning my move…Where was I going to stay? Can I even go there during the pandemic? My aunty and uncle helped me immensely in looking for suitable places that I would inspect when I got there. I also had friends help me plan the trip to Melbourne and what I needed to do to make sure my car was okay. Then there was catchup after catchup with all the people I would be seeing for who knows how long? It was more like a one way trip at this stage…once I went to Melbourne, Adelaide would close it’s borders to me…they would see me as an outsider…I wasn’t sure when I would be able to see my family again…This was a really sad realisation and something that made me so anxious and sad. I would be heading to the city which was undergoing the second wave of Coronavirus…and was in stage 4 lockdown, a curfew, and mandatory masks everywhere. I was going into a virus striken city and working in one of their hospitals that have Covid- positive patients…as someone who hates germs, it was a big risk. Saying good bye to my family was the hardest thing, especially my sister whom I am closest with…I hadn’t cried at all at any of my other farewells, but saying goodbye to my sister for the last time was so hard.
  6. August 2020: I made the long ass drive with my car full of lugguage, toilet paper, and stuff to Melbourne. I was not welcomed with any police or officers at the borders, but it wasn’t the same the other way round. South Australia was quite strict with who was able to enter their state…Melbourne however, didn’t give a hoot and still doesn’t. After staying with my aunt for a few days, I found a place pretty quick and moved in on the same week. Then began the journey of living solo and managing to not live in a pigsty. I had to figure out what I needed and what I wanted…money didn’t grow on trees unfortunately… Then I started working at my new job and that was incredibly tough at first because of all the competency standards that I had to meet to prove I was worthy as a pharmacist.
  7. August-October: So basically nothing happened. I may have took Gamsat…but other than that I rarely went out. I think the lockdown was still ongoing, so there was no house visitors allowed and everything was Click and Collect or buy online. I think I did a lot of cooking…and buying stuff for my house. The video calls with my family and friends in Adelaide continued…We did group chats, group games, and I played ‘Amongst Us’ Once… lol…. I also did a seminar entirely online at home for work…that was interesting, but also made me extremely sleepy.
  8. Nov 2020: Somehow we managed to have 60 days free from Community Transmitted Covid- Cases! The city slowly opened up and restrictions eased in a gradual step by step process. Restaurants were finally open for dine in, but for limited numbers…Retail shops were allowed to open again! Gyms, schools, universities…and most importantly BADMINTON RESTARTED!!!! This is what I missed most (Asides from family and friends in Adelaide)!! Was the desire to hit a shuttlecock! I write this as my whole body hurts from a great baddy session yesterday night….
  9. Dec 2020: My sister messaged me and told she was coming to Melbourne and that we should catchup !! I was so excited!! I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back to Adelaide as they have stricter border than Melbourne, but if my sister could come and go back, surely I would be able to? In the heat of the moment I quickly looked up how much flights would be to Adelaide and back…and it was pretty reasonable! Then I remembered I have a whole bunch of Frequent Flyer Points which I was hoping to use to go to England (dreams crushed this year) and I used those points to pay for the return fare in its entirety! It also included checked baggage both ways! BONUS! I was so happy that I was able to come back home to Adelaide and spend Christmas with my family and to see some of my friends! It was a rushed 4 days…as I hadn’t booked any extra leave I was only there over the public holiday and weekend. Adelaide itself hadn’t changed much, but the people had changed…a bit. Since I left, a friend had a baby, another friend told me she is moving to Brisbane for a new job, two friends had broken up with the long-term partners, and I think that is it?
  10. Dec 31st 2020: The last day of the year 2020, I slept in! Because…I can :)! I had a day off today! It was an accrued day off that just happened to land on the last day of the year. Lucky me! I met up with my sister and her family for lunch and did a bit of window shopping in Melbourne city. A friend told me about a special Free parking voucher that could be displayed to park for free in Melbourne city…Then I came home, cooked the last meal of 2020, and did my last round of laundry for 2020…had my last shower, called my mum for the lastst time, emptied the trash for the laste time, and now I am typing the blog entry for 2020 on here. So many last times for everything. Oh, did I mention that the annual firework display for NYE has been cancelled for both Mellbourne and Adelaide? The Sydney famous ones are still going ahead, however they will not allow people to watch it from the shore. Also, sadly in the last few days we got a few cases of local transmission and now we have some restrictions reinposed, i.e. maximum 15 people in a house at one time…so the Family New Years Lunch is cancelled for tomorrow sadly…

    Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better one!! Stay Safe, Wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres a part, and wear your mask!

It is okay to have burger rings for breakfast

…every now and then anyways.

Woke up feeling shi* this morning with a splitting headache… my mouth has been super dry lately and I suspect it had something to do with the Asthma Preventative Inhalers I take… I do rinse my mouth out after each use.. but I still managed to get something called Oral Thrush 😦 thus is basically a fungal infection of the mouth which causes your tongue and maybe the side of your cheeks to become white and patch.. and for me … it’s hard to swallow and in addition to that I have several mouth ulcers…

I don’t think I’ve been taking care of myself as well as I should… it’s hard. We are in the middle of a pandemic and in stage four lock down in Melbourne… I have to follow by the rules.. and that means only been able to eat and drink during designated break times… which often ai will skip if it is too busy. Stress sucks :(.

But anyways, I digress. So I was feeling shi* this morning and because I woke up several times in the night.. I slept in till about 11am? My mouth was super dry and I was always thirsty, even though I drank water! My appetite wasn’t there anymore… I just craved something soft and tasty. I looked in my cupboard.. and ALAS. The Burger Rings which I got on sale for $1 at Woolies.

Should I? It’s breakfast for goodness sake…. screw if. Imma adult now and if I want to have Burger rings for breakfast .. I am going to have it. For those who might not know, Burger Rings are these ring shaped (clearly) orange/brownish delicious snacks packed with Burger Flavour (whatever that is). They are sooo addictive and tasty. I demolished a whole bag 🤣🙃. Guilty pleasure. Yup. Did it hurt my ulcers? Yup. Was it good for me? Nope. Do you think I would do it again?. Yup. But everything in moderation and I don’t have any left anyways..

Anyways, I better sleep.. big day tomorrow ..training is over and the real Residency starts. Wish me luck and also please remind me to buy some oral anti fungal drops…!

P.S. cover photo is of the Japanese Curry I cooked today which I will eat for the next few days 🤣🤣🤣

Covid-19 in the Hospital

So I just read an email that was sent this morning to all staff at my hospital…Apparently a patient who had been in a normal ward for 6 weeks has tested positive for Covid-19. Prior to that he had already had 3 negative tests…So they are investigating how he got it and they have to quarantine all the staff that have been near him during this time. Since I have just started, it is extremely unlikely that I was exposed. But it makes me wonder, am I really safe at work?

I like talking to people and socialising at lunch..it’s great to make friends…but who knows…would the person sitting across from me be positive for Covid?

To help myself feel better, I do remember to scan the QR code that each break room has and I register what time I was there. I wear my mask in the hospital..I am constantly cleaning and sanitising my hands…But who knows?!

I am sure I will hear more about this tomorrow… so far no one in Pharmacy has tested positive as of yet, but I think there are some staff in precautionary quarantine until they get their results back.

What a ‘unprecedented‘ time we live in. (ALWAYS wanted to use that word since hearing it so much these days lol ..XD)..

Stay safe~ and wear your mask!

ps. It makes me feel better that I am living on my own and am at no risk to anyone around me. I haven’t been allowed to see any of my relatives since I moved out. I guess that’s all that I can be grateful for :)!

pps. Can’t wait to be able to play badminton again T_T..I am getting fatter each day T_T…oh yeah I met a colleague that plays badminton! Super excited…..

Day 1 – House inspection

Woke up groggy and tired, but I had some things to do. Firstly I had to go to the post office to apply for my Working with Children’s Check and to get my mugshot taken for the card…plus pay an expensive fee..but apparently, it lasts for 5 years and is tax-deductible. Luckily the post office was not too far away, I saw 4 pharmacies along the way…and restaurants…etc.. Everything will become a ghost town after midnight tomorrow…all non-essential retail shops will not be allowed to be open… 😦

After that, it was off to my first inspection! It was horrible. Absolutely..disgusting. Walking into the property you have to go through a side door, pass an old damaged building…you get barked at by 2 dogs…then you see a kind of shack-like building..it’s not that tall…you have a small kitchen…a place for a bed…and a small area for a living room… yup.. That’s it..it looked much better in all the photos.. so much smaller in real life. I nervously looked around, took a few photos, and then thanked the real estate agent for her time. She could see on my face I did not like the place and didn’t even try to convince me to apply for it.

I couldn’t get out of there fast enough..felt a bit scared when the gate wouldn’t open… I would be freaked out going home at night…makes me feel vulnerable and insecure. no thanks. Next…It was a more expensive room..but which seemed much more secure.

I went in through a sliding door..Into the front of the property..each room had their own mail box. That’s good… The real estate agent opened the front door with a key…looks pretty clean to me. We went to the unit 1 which was on the left…He struggled to open with the door with the many keys… I walked in..Looked like the pictures…but maybe a bit smaller than I remembered? But that’s okay…it had a really nice panty which pulled out with some racks. coz..But a bit small. The other thing I didn’t like about the place that the bathroom in the toilet had some stains from a leaky tap. It just made the place a bit worse than I liked… That’s my only small gripe, nothing major.

The agent said, we have another room upstairs if you want to see? It’s just become available. I said, yes I would love to see it. This room, had a dream catcher still hanging near the door… it felt …larger..bigger..better. and best of all the sink basin was clean…and the toilet was more spacious. I liked it. I asked the agent “How much? Is it the same cost?”…He said he didn’t know and that I would have to ask the other agent in charge of the property, but said “likely to be more expensive because it’s bigger”.  This was pretty much fully furnished… there is a communal laundry with a washing machine and dryer in a separate room outside… It was to be shared with everyone. That’s okay..I don’t mind. With this place..Wifi and electricity aren’t included in the rent, unfortunately…

I felt pretty good about the room. BUT since I was in that area, I might as well check out this other place I had wanted to inspect initially.

The owner was pretty flexible and I met him up at the place about half an hour later…What I noticed first was that there was no gate at the front and no undercover parking…There is this disability ramp that goes up into the house…there were also stickers around the place in both English and Chinese…one said…”Smoking area here”..I don’t like smoke…and I have asthma…sooo that sort of put me off a bit. He opened the front door…and showed me a room towards the back…tiny..small..like a hotel room..not bad in any particular way…but yeah…no sink to wash your hands or be able to stare yourself in the mirror…the only mirror is right behind the toilet. No thanks :(. I went to see the communal laundry as well…It was in an old shed…we have to pay to use the machine.. fair enough… hmm all bills included…tempting…But it just felt somewhat too temporary and not for long-term use… =s

Day -Zero

I just spent a whole entire day literally in my car.. my car is a mess 😦 I normally wouldn’t eat in my car.. but with all the restrictions in place, I really had no choice :(. It’s so dirty now…and carwashes and stuff are all closed as per the stage 4 lockdown :(.

I am exhausted.. but just wanted to write a quick post to let you guys know I’ve reached Melbourne after driving solo across from Adelaide. It was scary.. but it was also exciting and exhilarating experience as well. I wonder if I would enjoy it more with company…probably? Depending on who it is.

I saw a few cool things along my journey.. including SILO art and a giant Koala! I have added these photos to the post.. it made the trip more worthwhile.

This was my first roadtrip on my own…and I gotta say.. it’s quite sad seeing all the dead wildlife that are strewn across the roads :(. I counted at least 12 kangaroos and 1 possum that was dead. For some reason, some dead kangaroos had a red X marked on them :S. Something did jump out In front of me, not sure if it was a possum or a black cat.. but luckily I did not hit it.

Another thing that I noticed there was a lot of police presence on the the side of the road towards Adelaide. When I unknowingly reached the border between Adelaide and Melbourne, the other side of the road had a checkpoint set up to make sure everyone entering Adelaide had a permit. Good to know the borders are keeping the Adelaide people safe.

What people are surprised at is I didn’t get stopped at all by anyone at the borders. I didn’t need to worry about it at all! It was literally cross no questions asked.

I have some house inspections to do tomorrow and some paperwork to do for my new job. Hopefully all goes well and I don’t get in trouble for going out >.<

Silo art

Housing Horrors

Currently have been spending the most of the day today just looking up different suburbs of Metropolitan Melbourne..Since the whole place will be locked down in stage three Restrictions from tomorrow night…I don’t have to worry about hotspot areas any more..the whole place is on fire now (with Covid-19) …=.=”

If you know me, I am terrible with maps, geography, and have a bad sense of direction. I am only able to get around Adelaide to the few places I know without GPS because I go there so often! Any new area and I use my GPS.

Imagine the difficulty I am having trying to learn Melbourne’s areas…I have literally gone off friend and family’s suggestions of suburbs and now I am starting to use a website to suss out reviews about different suburbs. I am getting there. Slowly… I have posted an ad on a a website that lists both people looking to rent out rooms or those looking for flatmates …to say I am looking for accommodation… It takes a lot of time actually! Finding a place.. it is likely I won’t be able to do house inspections…but thanks to technology I might be able to schedule in some live interview inspections…which is good I guess. Less risk for me and the occupants. Let’s see how we go! It’s another milestone for this adulting journey of mine!

Who knew it would be so hard trying to rent a place to stay? I’ve been trying to read up on tenancy agreements, bond deposits, etc…so much to consider..I am probably going to drive down there…so I will need to think about on street parking and hope it’s safe. I am going for safety and convenience.//so I guess I might be paying a bit more for that than other suburbs…

Planes

Planes remind me of freedom, of travel, of excitement.

There are fewer planes in the sky now because of the global pandemic that is happening.

Not knowing when we can go overseas safely again is a sobering thought.

How nice it would be to fly like a bird in the sky.

When you are at home, it feels like you are caged in…locked up…safe..but your soul is deteriorating slowly.

The easing of Covid-19 Restrictions in Australia

Considerations needed before lifting the restrictions in Australia during the pandemic.

Now, more than ever, I think it is really tough to have the top job in Australia, because you have to make difficult decisions of whether you choose to open up the country again or to stay in lock down to prevent the spread of Covid 19. There are both good and bad points about lifting the restrictions in Australia and this post will examine this in greater detail.

Scott Morrison who is the current leader of Australia has made some pretty sensible decisions during this global pandemic in my humble opinion. One decision that I praise him for the plan created to lift the restrictions that have been implemented in the  last month or so. He has left it up to each state and territory to make their own decisions to which phase of the restrictions that they will lift and when. This is good news for Australia’s currently ailing economy because millions of workers have been out of jobs and many are currently only surviving on government handouts. However, the large amount of money that has been set aside for government handouts is not an endless supply and sooner or later, the government will run out of money to support those people. By lifting the restrictions, it means that people can go back to exercising in their gyms, partake in religious activites, and enjoy recreational activities like going to the cinema. I believe this will have a positive impact on mental health, which unfortunately has declined dramatically due to the social distancing restrictions leaving people socially isolated from their normal support networks or from losing their jobs. Sadly, the number of calls to police for domestic violence related incidents also have more than doubled in places like Melbourne, which has been in strict lock down for weeks.

In saying that, Australia has just started entering the cold, winter months, where the   threats of influenza and other illness will also be another issue to consider. By relaxing restrictions it can mean more clusters of Covid-19 are able to break out and there will not be the restrictions that have been in place to help stop it from happening. When rules are relaxed, people can become complacent again, and lead to a second spike in the number of new cases in Australia. There is the risk of many people dying from the disease, and this is especially the case for those vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with chronic health conditions. Another issue to consider, is the risk that we will again run out of personal protective equipment that protects front line workers from contracting the Covid-19 virus and whether or not the health care system will be able to cope with the subsequent outbreaks.

The risks of benefits of lifting the restrictions put in place to stop Covid-19 is one that needs to be carefully considered and implemented. There is a need to restart the economy and to help get people back into the workforce as there is only a limited amount of time that the government will be able to support so many people. However, careful plans to ensure that a second outbreak  in Covid-19 cases doesn’t happen is also essential to have.

The Toilet Paper Returns to Shelves!

Yesterday, for the first time in about a month (since I last went to shop during special early opening of supermarkets for health care workers).. I was able to buy some TOILET PAPER!!! It was a four pack and it was expensive af, but doesn’t matter! I am just super grateful that we have toilet paper on our shelves again!! On a side note, I also managed to get a 500ml of hand sanitiser!

I am taking this as a sure sign that life is sure but surely returning back to normal.. Some elective surgeries are set to slowly recommence from next Tuesday in Australia. While travel bans are still in place for the moment, the daily number of new cases of Coronavirus in Australia is steadily dropping each day. This is great news for everyone, however it’s been dropping due to the social distancing that is being put into place.

Each business and place have their own levels of social distancing measures…for example, the Asian mart that I go to literally has no signs about social distancing… but then again, it is pretty quiet. However, when I went to my dermatology appointment today, WHOA…I felt like I was going through customs at the airport…! I wasn’t allowed into the practice without having sanitised my hands with alcohol gel, have my temperature checked, and signing a declaration that  I hadn’t been overseas in the last 14 days or to certain areas of Adelaide where there was outbreaks of Covid 19…When all was good there was lines and glass screens which separated me and the receptionist. Anyways, when I actually got to finally see the dermatologist, he didn’t even wear gloves when injecting steroids into my ear?! And there was blood everywhere?? HUH?!

Anyways, I am looking forward to the eventual reopening of public places and hopefully GYMS and BADMINTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope I am not excited too early …

 

The Toilet Paper hunt continues

During my walks around the neighbourhood, I think I may have mentioned previously how there are people putting teddy bears or other soft toys in their front gardens for kids to find. I just realised that the supermarkets and shops are also doing the same for adults! Except, ours is the hunt for toilet paper! I kid you not, a facebook group set up for Health Care workers to adopt one another has turned into my latest source of information for where the sacred Toilet Paper is! So and so will post “St Peters Coles- Quilton 20 pack for $10”. Then a few hours later someone will comment “SOLD OUT-None left :(“. I am guilty of checking it just for that reason…It’s become a habit that everytime I enter a supermarket or shop that might sell toilet paper, I am always checking. Is something wrong with me?!?! I’ve had several dreams about finding toilet paper in a supermarket and being super happy.

The last time I saw toilet paper in the shop was three weeks ago when I woke up early to get to Coles at 6:45am for the early opening for health care workers. I kid you not, that felt like a dream come true! Almost as fond memory as when I met Taka from ONE OK ROCK.

Anyway, my hunt for this rare toilet paper continues!

Happy Hunting Folks~

JL

mona lisa protection protect virus

How to help a Hoarder Part 2: Non-perishables

Welcome and thank you for coming back to Part two of How to help a hoarder: Non-perishables, click here for Part one. I believe this is an important area to discuss, I am not sure if it is the same as where you are…but every time when I go into supermarkets, usually the toilet paper aisle is empty, hand sanitiser, gloves, facemasks, etc are all gone. So why are people hoarding this stuff? I guess some are doing it because they are selfish, other want to take advantage of the situation and sell it for an inflated price on eBay, and some may be just doing a lot of sh*t? Anyways, here are some reasons and ways to stop hoarding so much!

  • Just have one good product for each of your beauty/hair products.
    That applies to things like sunscreens, moisturisers, toners, shampoo, conditioners, face wash!! What is the point having several hundred bottles of different facewashes, when you already have one good one? Do you have that many faces to use? If you haven’t even finished the one you are using, what is the point of buying another one? When I look at my bathroom…it is full of half-used, unused, and forgotten bottles of shampoos and conditioners 😦 ….and you know what the sad thing is? Every time my parents see it on sale, they go and buy another one!! Just use up what you have already and save space and time.
  • Don’t keep buying extra things, just because it’s on sale or convenient...
    I am super guilty of this…every time I go to a chemist, I used to buy another Systane eyedrop for my avid dry eyes, but I forgot that I already have bought some at home already! So yeah, no point doing that every time…just wait till you almost run out before buying it. 
  • Be considerate and think about other people who might need the products more than you.
    I am talking about toilet paper, hand sanitiser, cleaning products, masks….etc. Why do you need so much of it? Whenever I am tempted to buy something that is rare…I think to myself…do I really need it or do I just want it? Someone else might need it more than you…
  • Think carefully about buying online, because it’s usually a lot harder to return it!
    I hate buying clothes and shoes online, coz rarely does it fit…and be a lazy and time-poor bum, I am too lazy to return it or file a complaint. More often than not, the actual product doesn’t look like the professional pictures that you were provided with…Sometimes the shipping takes soooo long that you have forgotten that you bought it, and then buy another one, either in person or online.
  • Don’t buy something just because everyone else has it too.
    FOMO is real. I know. I feel you. I am seriously jealous about those who have a Nintendo Switch and playing animal crossing. But let’s be honest here, even if I did have one, I won’t make time or have any time to play anyway. It would just sit there and gather dust…so only buy what you really need and will actually use! Be it clothes, gym equipment, books, games, etc…Save your money and the planet!
  • Donate, recycle, or throw away things you don’t need anymore
    Be willing to get rid of things that are broken and don’t keep them just “Incase” something happens! You will end up with a lot of garbage… If something is still good, but it doesn’t fit you anymore, or suit you anymore…think about giving it someone else who might fit it or donate it to charity! You can also put in the recycle bin things that can be recycled and to be made into something else. Think of it like giving something a new reincarnation. But before you say goodbye to it, do as Marie Kondo suggests, and thank the object for serving its purpose, whatever it may be. My brain is fried. I ran out/forgot what I was going to write. Trying to do an assignment is due in two days. To me, it looks like polished and formatted garbage. It’s not my best work…but… mighty GODS above please let me pass. This is my last topic..and it would be horrendously sad if I failed now. T_T.

    Anyways, cheers to hoarding less, having more space in our homes, and more money in our banks!

people having a toast
Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Positive Points of the Pandemic

How are you guys? I hope you are doing well? Wherever in the world, you may be at the moment. I was really surprised after posting the previous post about things to do in the Pandemic at home…I had a 4000% increase in viewers of my website o.O!? And the majority of them were from America!! That’s amazing that this humble little blog from a small city in Australia has been visited by so many International guests from around the world. Anyways, I understand now is a time where it can be hard to remember to be grateful for the small things that we still have. I am not trying to say that I am glad this pandemic happened, but I want to point out the things we have learnt and the unusual positive consequences that have arisen from it. If I don’t laugh in the face of adversity, I will cry…so why not laugh?

 

  • I have never seen petrol prices so low as it is now!! In my 29 years of life,…I have neverrr seen it so low! the lowest I have seen it around is 80 cents per litre! That’s supppper cheap… The average cost is usually around $1.30 per litre for Unleaded 91 petrol.
  • I have saved money on petrol not only because it is cheap, but also due to the social distancing restrictions, I have literally nowhere to go after work -except back home! No more driving to badminton or to the gym…or to visit my sister..or shopping etc. So one tank of fuel lasts for a loonnnggg time. Due to people using less petrol for their cars and fewer flights, I guess that’s good for the environment…!
  • I have saved money because I can’t fly anywhere…so even though I have the travel bug, there is a reason why I shouldn’t/can’t fly at the moment. I am super grateful I was still able to go on my trip and come back safely from New Zealand before all the travel restrictions and quarantine rules kicked in Australia. Super super grateful!
  • I have a legit excuse to skip the gym after work … xD I am usually pretty hard on myself and force myself to go, whether I feel like it or not! But, now with the gym closed, I am forced instead to take walks during lunch or after work and enjoy nature. I am finding out all sorts of cute and quirky things in my neighbourhood.
  • As a pharmacist, I always felt like our profession was always undervalued,
    forgotten, and underutilised. Through this pandemic, there have been so many changes to the rules that have allowed pharmacists more authority than ever before to exercise their clinical expertise more than any other time before. It is also highly recognised that pharmacists who are administering influenza vaccines to the public are helping to decrease the burden on the already overflowing GP clinics. We have also been given the (temporarily) authority to change strengths and forms of prescription items so that supply can be given to the patient without prior approval by the GP. Emergency supplies of medication to people who can’t get into their GP have also been approved in certain circumstances.

 

  • Random Strangers have been more friendly and strike up conversations. I remember when I first heard of the toilet paper shortage, I went to the grocery store and bought two small packs. The random stranger next to me asked me why was everyone buying toilet paper… I said, “I don’t know, but I am just going to buy some in case!”.

 

  •  I have never appreciated the supermarket workers as much as I do now and also never felt appreciated as much as now…With their friendly smiles and small talk, it is pleasant to make small talk with them. In particular, the supermarket near my hospital has been giving away free soup to the hospital, police, and emergency workers. I later went to purchase some items after work and told the checkout assistant that I loved the free soup I got today and she said she was extremely grateful for the hard work that we do. I said, “I appreciate you guys immensely too!”. Because I do, without those workers going in every day to fill the stock, we would have no food to eat! In addition, today, I called Medicare to ask about concession and safety net entitlement cards for a patient and the man I spoke to said, “Stay Safe!” at the end of the conversation…I know these are small things and they are from people I don’t know, it just feels nice to know that people do care about each other. I know these are really small things, but they really do…

 

  • Being grateful for a normal life. After this pandemic, I will always remember how good it will be to meet friends, to go to the gym, to play badminton… to attend concerts, do exams, fly overseas…All of these things that I have taken for granted for so many years… I will be super grateful to be able to do all those things again! #grateful

 

  • EVERYTHING IS SOOOO CLEANNNNNN! I love it. We’ve never been as aware of cleanliness till now. Maybe it is just me, (as you can see in my post about being a germaphobe), but I am glad there is hand sanitiser everywhere and supermarkets having gloves for us to use! I like the idea of having personal space of 1.5 metres between everyone…coz even before I hate hearing people breathe loudly near me or get into my special personal space …xD … My dad is guilty of not washing his hands after going to the toilet, thanks to this pandemic I have stressed the importance of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and using soup! If you haven’t already seen it, you should the video on how to handwash -the proper way by WHO.

 

  • I’ll put the video link here:

 

Stay safe and wash your hands (properly)!!

Things to do at home during a Pandemic

During this time where most of us are being encouraged to stay at home to ‘Flatten The Curve’ and to minimise the spread of Covid 19 by social distancing…it is easy to become bored. With all the chaos going around the streets…now is a great time to have a think of embarking on some home projects and rekindling some past hobbies…and this post highlights what I know people around me are doing.

It is not so bad for me because I am still working 6 days a week…so honestly life hasn’t changed much for me…except I don’t have any social activities or group exercise planned… 😦 I have been trying my best to go for a short walk around the hospital in my lunch break to get some sun and to get away from the workplace…I am quite lucky that I work in a job where I am constantly on the go and get enough steps in a day.

I miss talking and seeing my friends… so I messaged in my group chat and organised a virtual catch up with my university friends! While there was some people that ignored/forgot my invite to the conversation, I think it was quite successful getting about 6 of 9 people in a chat at once! Because we are all supposed to stay home anyways, they really do not have much excuse for not participating :P. As my sister and her family are also in self-isolation after their trip, I have been regularly video-calling them as well. I am not sure if we are allowed to visit them post isolation, unless to drop some food or supplies (which we have been doing). As most of my friends have FB messenger, that is what I’ve used to communicate with others…but I have heard Zoom is popular, Skype, or even Watsapp.

My mother an extroverted socialite and the self-imposed social isolation that she has undertaken has taken it’s toll on her and the rest of the family face the consequence of it…I keep telling her it’s still okay to get exercise and to go shopping (if you need it!!)…I think it makes you a bit crazy and forgetful when you stay at home all the time…it’s not healthy :(..I am lucky to be isolated with my family at home, but I know a few people at work who live on their own and it can be quite lonely not being able to visit friends or invite them over…unless you risk getting a fine from the police. To combat her boredom, my mum has been gardening almost all day and everyday. She’s planted new plants and flowers and have been taking care of them like her little children! She is also growing vegetables for our own consumption which is great! It might be worth learning to grow your own vegetable and fruits and further avoid the mass queues at supermarkets.

My brother has always been a socially distant person and rarely leaves his room to do anything except eat, shower and shit. So this pandemic hasn’t affected him at all. I guess if you are a gamer, this is your ideal life style?! Thanks to the internet you can entertain yourself with paid streaming websites like Netflix, Stan, etc…or for stingy people like myself, youtube is good enough XD.

My sister has been picking up her practice of lettering (or is it calligraphy) and water colouring again. Since you are going to be indoors all day, everyday day…,might as well make use of those art and craft things that you have, but rarely ‘find’ time to use and do. You can post your work on your facebook or instagram pages to show your work to others or ask for feedback. Isn’t it awesome that the internet keeps us together during this time?

Back to me again, asides from work…I try to minimise the amount of times I go to the grocery store, but if I do, I check in with my elderly aunty and uncle (who have been recommended by our Prime Minister to stay indoors and self-isolate for their own protection) to see what they may need. Helping others get their crucial supplies is a way to look after those in your community. When I do walks around my neighbour hood, I have been keeping my eye out for any elderly that I can ask to see if they need toilet paper/groceries…so far I haven’t seen many out (which is far enough-they are supposed to stay in). As I mentioned in my last post, now is the time to really strengthen that community spirit and look out for the more vulnerable people in our society. While I type this, I feel like I am some sort of politician or something…but anyways probably a sign that I’ve been watching the news too much (not good)!.

Lastly, I mentioned before, I have taken up playing the guitar again. For me, playing music allows me to focus on something else and allows me express a part of me that is only through music… even listening to good music is comforting and amazing. On sort of related side note, I just wanted to let you know, I treated myself to Apple Airpods! Since I can’t go to the gym and work outs (if I do them~!!) will be by myself at home…and walks/runs around neighbour hood. I thought it would be much better having wireless earphones! I love them! I have been using them to listen to videos for my studies and its great…kinda like listening to a podcast…Anyways, I promise I don’t work for Apple..I just really like them. The sound quality of music is great too… not that I know much about sound quality…. xD

I hope everyone stays sane during this challenging time!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s this pandemic has allowed me a bit more extra time to write more posts and update more frequently and do a little bit on my book…..

Enjoy your indoor time~

JL

 

How I became a Germaphobe

Before this pandemic crisis, some people have accused me of being too much of a germaphobe…however, I can remember exactly why I am the way I am based on my experiences…It’s time for a trip down memory lane…..

I still remember when I was around 11 years old, I had just finished borrowing some books from my local library…and I needed to cross the road to get to our car. I pressed the pedestrian crossing button…and when I went home, it was all downhill from there.

When I went home my finger suddenly felt incredibly itchy. I looked at my finger and small yellow pimple-like pus filled bumps appeared on my pinky finger. I had to cover my entire in bandages because the pus kept leaking out…Anyways, I used this as an excuse to not play violin anymore…because whatever that virus or infection was…it stayed there! I contemplate that there may have been a small cut in my finger which meant that whatever germs was on that pedestrian button must have gone in. Needless to say, I did my best to not touch a pedestrian button from that day.  Strategies to avoid touching it include, waiting for someone else to press it.. there’s plenty of inpatient people around who will press it regardless whether or not someone has done it already :P. I can also use things (that can be easily cleaned later) in my bag to press it, i.e. car/house keys, pens, or umbrellas! This goes the same for elevator buttons and whatever buttons.


 

Fast-forward the future, I was in my third year of pharmacy school and we were doing a microbiology subject in which we investigated the number of bacteria which was on different surfaces. My friend and I both did a swab of our phone screens…A few days later when we came to see our results…My swab came back with bacteria of all colours..it was incredibly gross! However, my friend’s phone only had a few small dots of the same colour. Obviously, there was a massive difference between the two of our phones…I felt incredibly grossed out about the disgustingness of my phone…and this is when I started becoming a little obsessed with having a clean phone, hand, and surfaces if needed. I bought small single use alcohol wipes and put them everywhere, so that I could have clean hands, phones, etc whenever. If no soap in the toilet, no worries I have my alcohol wipes…I found alcohol wipes worked better for me than those small bottles of hand sanitiser because I am quite bad at putting the lid back on properly after using it and it spilt all over my bag… numerous times..

 


Few more years later, I went on a trip to Canada and I had a friend who was even more germaphobe than me! He would always take extra napkins at restaurants and put his phone down on a napkin. I asked him why he did that, and he said… “How do you know that this table is clean? Maybe they haven’t wiped down the table properly..there might be germs on it” and then your phone is DIRTY. MIND BLOWN and from then on, I never put my phone down on any public surface again…even at work I like to put my phone on my book or on a tissue… and I try clean my phone and watch at least once a day when I get home.


 

Using cutlery at restaurants…I never thought about it this way…but I had a friend who would vigoursly wipe spoons and forks at restaurants a clean tissue before use…because who knows how clean they really are… I remember when I was in China as a child to visit relatives, the restaurants provided you with near boiling water so that you would disinfect and wash all the cutlery they provide you. I now try make sure none of my cutlery ever touch the table and I really really get pissed if the waiters just throw your cutlery directly on the table.

 


Once when working in a community pharmacy, there was a little old lady that was on some anti-viral tablets (maybe for herpes() who suddenly leaned across the counter and gave me a huge kiss on my cheek. EWWWW is all I could hear in my head.. When she was gone, I literally put alcohol gel all over my face…who knew what viruses she may be spreading. I have always been super paranoid about getting cold sores, because I don’t have them…IF i share a drink with someone, I have to ask them if they have had coldsores before….because I reallllly don’t want that thanks.

 


Working in the health care made me aware that I could be encountering people with all sorts of diseases and viruses when working in the pharmacy or in the hospital. I have made it a habit to always shower when getting home and washing my hair and getting rid of my work clothes…I try to wear a near set of clothes each day…who knows what germs are harboured on my clothes :O.


The constant cleanliness that I can see in my community makes me extremely happy…I am glad others are thinking about germs now…I hope this stays even post pandemic..

I will show you some photos of places in Adelaide putting into practice social distancing and making sure that sick people don’t infect others.

Every second check out is closed to allow for social distancing in supermarket.

 

 

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This was my badminton club before they closed the gym..making sure that everyone cleans their hands while playing and yes, they are worried about people stealing the hand sanitiser.

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This was outside one of the pharmacies that I went to…They asked people with any signs of symptoms not to enter the pharmacy… Other pharmacies also had signs saying they would close in the middle of the day to clean all the surfaces. There was also hand santiser at the entrance for all customers entering the shop

 

 

This was my coles at 7am when I went there to buy groceries in the early morning which was open just to frontline workers.. Everyone is standing about 1.5 metres apart…for “social distancing”.IMG_2525

Stay safe guys! Hugs and kisses are out~ Foot shakes and waves are in.

Joy

 

 

 

Positivity Needed

Hi everyone,

My sister recently invited me to join this Facebook group: The Kindness Pandemic.  It is basically a group that shares different acts of kindness that they have experienced while the Coronavirus is going around in the world. It is the much-needed positivity that we need at a time where the world as it seems has changed and become a more grey colour.

I also want to shout out to our local grocery chain, ‘Coles’, who have decided to open early on Tuesdays and Thursdays for Health Care workers! I am planning to go in the morning and suss out who the other health care workers around the neighbourhood are and I wonder if there will be a stampede of people waiting outside when it opens? Personally, I am trying to stay at home as much as possible after work. I am trying to limit my weekly visit to the supermarket once a week. Yes, it is a bit boring at times, BUT on the plus side, I am helping to stop the potential spread of the disease.

My mind-shift about this disease has rapidly changed over the last few weeks…I was a sceptic a while ago….when the disease was overseas in China, it felt so far away! People were dying, yes…But it seemed so far. But now, the disease is on shores…It has reached and it has spread as people spread throughout Australia. My parents took quick action, getting as many things they thought they would need if they were self-isolated in the home. I wouldn’t call them ‘hoarders’ as such, but people who are thinking ahead. My parents are well-informed about the situation in China and were around when SARS also happened. They have refrained from going outside unless absolutely necessary and their church was also very proactive in going ‘Online’ with meetings instead of meeting face to face. It is a lot more than the rest of the population who seem to disregard the seriousness of this pandemic.

I used to think, I am young, I can survive this disease…But then, I also have to think, who may I be spreading the disease to? My patients at work? My elderly aunts and uncles? My nephew? My parents? A pregnant lady? Who knows who could get the disease from me and how can I live with the guilt that I may have been responsible for spreading something. While it can be really tempting to make this an “All about me” thing, we have to remember its also all about keeping “them” safe too. Also, as a health care worker…we have to look after our own health so that we can look after others… Please be patient with us as it’s not our fault there are medication shortages due to people stockpiling their medications :(! There is no need to stockpile medications during this time! There won’t be a shortage if everyone just gets their usual supply…

On a side note, I went to post a package today at the post office and I was really pleased that they implemented a 1.5 Metre marked lines on the floor to indicate how far people were to stand from each other! It’s great when businesses implement these ideas to help STOP the spread of the disease. I have also noticed some shopping centres having installed more automatic alcohol gel dispensers…People at KFC drive-through were also wearing gloves and not accepting cash. I hope everyone is able to see the seriousness of this disease and ramp up hygiene measures to minimise the spread! Good job to those people! I believe we can all do our small part.

 

Stay safe and well,

 

Joy

P.S Wash your hands!

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