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!

Pandemic Ponderings

Just reflecting on how life is changing in the last few days have made me realise how much I have changed during this pandemic. Prior to the pandemic which led to a toilet paper shortage in Australia, I have never tried using a flushable toilet wipe. I have always been a plain jane toilet paper user…I am not even game to use those fancy bidet toilets in Japan…I’ve just been a big toilet paper fan (till now). However, this pandemic has made me discover the wonders and the satisfaction of using a flushable wipe, especially after a heavy meal (if you know you know).

Since toilet paper has been back on shelves, for some ODD REASON I can’t find the flushable wipes as easily in the supermarkets anymore! I am hooked! But, obviously, the supermarket may have decreased buying the wipes since toilet paper is back. Instead of the toilet paper hunt, I am not hunting for these sacred flushable wipes. Oh so expensive, but as it says on the box, ‘Leaves you feeling Shower-Fresh’. If you haven’t tried it before, you really should get your hands on some and then you will understand what I mean. Contrary to some people’s fears, I don’t believe they block the toilet drain, I could be wrong but they are supposed to ‘disperse’ in water somehow.

Another pondering that I have, is whether or not I still need my gym membership!?! I have my own yoga mat now and I have cleared out enough space in my room to do exercise AND cleared enough photos from my mirror to be able to see through it. It’s so comfortable and easy to work out from home with Blogpilates or some other Youtube Instructor… I feel like life is going to start changing back to how it was and I feel like it will take time to adjust to ANOTHER new normal again…

Though I miss seeing my friends at badminton gatherings, to be honest. Not much has changed, I didn’t go out much before and I don’t go out now. BUT I guess during the pandemic, there is less FOMO for me because everyone else is staying in too. HAHA? In a way, it’s a plus.

I am going to be taking my first exam online through a Proctor Website which is going to be exciting and scary…but a new experience none the less.

I have also confirmed that indeed my thumb is not green and is probably black. The seedling that I planted in my front garden, has not been able to sprout! I think it possibly has died!?!?  Ohwell, at least I tried. A for Effort.

I have learnt that there are many more shops I can avoid going into, by shopping online and taking advantage of their FREE SHIPPING!! Many websites have lowered minimum buy to qualify for free shipping!! I just feel like it saves a lot of time, rather than going into a shop and realising they don’t have what you want..!

I’ve also had a few phone calls from the GP instead of proper face to face meetings and I actually don’t find it too bad! It can be a bit awkward with the unexplained sudden silences, but it is much more convenient for someone as time-poor as me.

 

These are the things I have learnt and experienced for the first time during Covid-19, how has your life changed?

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