Time of Adjustment

In my hometown, our level of social activities is ALMOST back to normal. There are some limitations to large gatherings still, however restaurants, pubs, cinemas, galleries, and sports centres are now open. I ventured into Chinatown for the first time in months today, and boy did it hit me how much I hated searching for a park, and walking past crowds of people. Are people still social distancing? Hell no. As much as they play over the loud speakers the reminders about social distancing, no one is paying attention and no one is even enforcing the rule.

It’s strange, I miss the quietness of the roads and streets…

Isn’t funny how you miss going out, when you can’t? But when you can go out, you don’t feel like it anymore. But anyways, at least people are able to go back to work and earn a living…

Life is a funny thing, isn’t it?

Well, I complain now,  but someday when border restrictions are lifted and we can fly overseas again, I’ll be a happy chap. Let’s hope I still feel like going when it does happen…

Health Care Heroes?

I am somewhat conflicted on the special treatment that ‘Health care workers’ have been receiving during this pandemic. While I think it is great that people are acknowledging the blood, sweat, and tears that happens in the health care industry and how tough and risky it can be…I feel somewhat guilty, almost, because there are so many other essential workers that aren’t receiving recognition for their commitment and hard work. Even as a health care professional, I am just doing my job…and I am getting paid for it! So I feel a bit bad that others are just doing their job, but not getting the recognition they deserve too.

I have mentioned in previous posts, the perks that have been on offer for health care workers during the Covid-10. Free soup, free coffee, discounted food, free parking in hospitals, free public transport, VIP early access to supermarkets on certain days of the week…and recently I heard they were giving free road side assist until the end of the year for AAMI customers. Thank you for acknowledging the hard-working health care professions who continue to go to work day in and day out, and they are unable to ‘work from home’, where it is safe…because our work revolves around patients and being onsite. It’s almost like token days like Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…these days where you show love and appreciation for your parents or your lover. BUT, does that mean on all the other ‘normal’ day of the year, you won’t show your love an appreciations? I feel like it should be a permanent thing and not just a temporarily we finally acknowledge your importance to society kind of thing. Hope that makes sense.

In saying that, while health care workers are on the front line and incredibly important to fighting this Covid-19…I feel bad for the other ‘essential workers’ that are keeping the country running too. There’s not much love for those truck drivers who continue to keep food getting to all parts of Australia, the taxi and bus drivers for transporting people, the postie that has been working hard to deliver our letters and packages that we’ve ordered online… Then there are those food delivery drivers who are delivering food to those who might not be able to leave their home and are helping keep restaurants running during this time. There are the police, firemen, and the politicians who are working hard on planning for the recovery of Australia to become a stronger and better nation. I am sure I am forgetting a WHOLE lot of important people…the supermarket staff, cafe staff, farmers, electricians, receptionists, petrol station workers….SO MANY. We have to remember to THANK them too for continuing to work and keep this country running during the pandemic.

So, in conclusion, no hate towards health professionals or myself…but I do believe there are many ESSENTIAL people who may not be getting the recognition they deserve for doing their job as well. I am just doing my job, so why should I get praised for that?

Your thoughts are more than welcome.

The Covid-19 Apocalypse

This Covid-19 has allowed our minds to run wild and to jump to many of us having irrational thoughts and behaviors. Once the pandemic dies down, I can already imagine all the films and movies that will be made about this Pandemic that took over the world. I’ve been thinking my pitch for a science-fiction documentary titled the “The Covid-19 Apocalypse“.


 

It’s December 2019, while most of the world are celebrating the festive Christmas season and spending time with their loved ones, people in Wuhan, China are fearing for their lives. A strange new virus, now known as the Covid-19 has been sweeping through the Wuhan and leaving countless of people to die. The virus can be spread even if people are asymptomatic, leaving people to fear for their lives when among other people. There is currently no cure or treatment for this virus and the virus does not pick or choose who it will infect. At this stage, the virus gets very little coverage and it seems like its a virus only affecting this location in China at the moment, the world is not ready for what is to come. Little do they know, that this virus originating from one province in China, will soon be spread to every country in the world and lead to the what I call the Covid-19 Apocalypse.

….

It’s March 2020, in Adelaide, South Australia. The city is still in lock down and boy has my life changed. The message from the leader of Australia is clear, “STAY AT HOME” ,”WASH YOUR HANDS”, and “GET TESTED IF YOU SHOW ANY SYMPTOMS OF THE VIRUS”. Gone are the handshakes, hugs, kisses, any type of physical affection is banned. Restaurants are closed, any type of entertainment places are closed, universities and schools are closed, basically this town is a ghost town. It is almost like there an apocalypse going on, WAIT, just let me look up the definition of apocalypse, I think this DOES count as an apocalypse. The people more anxious have already hoarded all the toilet paper from the super markets, canned food, hand sanitisers, soups, flour, eggs, there is global medication shortages…people are believing, this is it. This is the end of the world. Panic and anxiety is wide-spread, people showing their true colours…Some are selfish only thinking of themselves and their family, others show kindness even among their own hardships and difficulties. How long will this last for? How long can we last not seeing our loved ones? How long will the mental health state for those isolated be able to handle this? When will this all end?

….

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

Working from Home

Just a disclaimer, in my type of job I can’t work from home, unfortunately…however, I know plenty of friends who are having the opportunity to Work from Home (WFH). However, despite the huge perks of not having to wake up so early each day to “get ready for work” and the time saved on travel…I think there are some huge disadvantages to working at home too.

PROS:

-Can sleep in (This is worth 10 bonus points)
-Enjoy and finish a full cup of HOT coffee
-Don’t need to commute in heavy traffic to and back from work- saving money AND time
-Don’t need to put on your professional attire and face =Less laundry to wash each week
-Work in the comfort of your own home and your pjs
-Fewer distractions *…
-Lunch break whenever and however long
-Change of scenery
-Home is the best*
-The abundance of snacks, coffee, FOOD
-No need to deal with those annoying colleagues that you secretly hate
-PRIVACYYYYYYY
-Work at your own pace
-Great for introverts

*if you don’t have kids

Cons

-Tempted to keeps snoozing forever
-Tempted to not work and play with the phone all day and watch cute youtube videos of cats and dogs
-Probably eat too many snacks
-Boring Zoom meetings- I mean what if you need to go to the toilet?
-Technical difficulties
-Sucks if the internet went down or if your connection sucks
-The temptation to keep working past your normal hours
-More difficult if you live with other people in the house…i.e Kids, Parents, housemates…and I imagine the background noise may be distracting…
-Could get FOMO of those who AREN’T working and seem to be enjoying themselves
-Feeling isolated and lonely from lack of human contact..
-Lack of Morale or Zeal when working alone
-Parents or family members could walk in anytime during meetings or while you are in deep concentration
-Bad for extroverts

These are what I imagine would be the pros and cons of working at home :O I know, for one thing, I can’t even switch off after work lately…I go home and ruminate about what I forgot to do, write feedback for interns, checking stock availabilities, plan schedules for the other staff, answer emails, look up stuff at home…Not good 😦

Keen to hear your experiences… Are you working from home?

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