Sydney: And when this is over?

In a few short weeks, the #Coronacrisis has changed the world and changed our lives. Through the blizzard of words and hashtags online, and the strange new realities in the world around us, writer Maria P Frino can see some good pointers for life on the other side.


Australian beaches are closed. We must abide by social distancing rules of 1.5m (or two arm lengths) from others. Parks are also closed. Exercise is allowed and you can walk as a couple. Groups of more than two people are illegal at this time. Photo by Maria P Frino


We are all living through the worst pandemic in history. All of us are making history as I write. I've been wondering what will happen once all this is over. According to our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, we are going to endure this crisis for possibly six months or more. So, what will we have learnt once life does go back to how it was before the crisis? When we have our freedom returned to us will we have learned anything? Coronavirus has changed our lives forever, or so that is the rhetoric. Forever is a long time. Here in Australia, we are lucky as we are not in full #lockdown, although most of us are choosing to #stayathome and only venturing out for essentials. We still have plenty of fresh food, meat and many staples, except for maybe #toiletpaper. A few idiot hoarders decided they needed toilet paper more than anyone else. I'm not too proud that Australians started this crazy trend. Thankfully, the hoarding has stopped but products such as toilet paper, tissues, serviettes and kitchen paper still remain in short supply. There are shortages of some tinned food as well and we are being rationed to two tins per shopper. I am one of the lucky people who is able to #workfromhome and I have been doing this since the late 1990s. This gives me the advantage of being used to spending the day at home and only speaking to people via email or video chat. Working from home is one of the things I think should remain after this #Coronacrisis is all over. Why? Well, a good reason is you are now set up for it and know that it works. Here are other reasons - There is no need to travel when you work from home. This means less cars are on the road, so less emissions. You tend to be more productive at home because of less interruptions. If you have children, you are home when they arrive from school. Working from home a day or two a week breaks up the week. The other thing that should remain is #washingyourhands. We should all practise good hygiene even after this crisis. Keep washing your hands for 20-seconds and do it frequently. Now we are used to this, why not keep it going? This may prevent humans ever having to go through something like #Covid19 ever again. Wash your hands for 20-seconds. Rub them vigorously with soap. Keep the tap off while you scrub. When you turn the tap back on keep counting or singing that song, washing your hands a little more than 20-seconds won't hurt. Travel, especially flying, has been severely hit. Who would have thought there would be a #lockdown on travelling in our own country, let alone overseas? Australian states and territories have closed the borders. We cannot travel interstate until this is over. Only essential services are allowed to cross borders. It might be a good idea to only go back to essential travel only for some time until we are absolutely sure it is safe. Again, there will be fewer emissions if we do this. Travel within your country more than overseas. Use video chats to stay in touch with family and friends instead of travelling. Keep in touch on socials or start a group chat. Organise a regular Friday night get together through your favourite chat app, feel free to have snacks and drinks while you chat. Being in #lockdown has forced us to slow down. This is not such a bad thing because our lives were so fast paced before this crisis. How many of you secretly like the fact you don't have to rush for a few months? I know I am taking stock of how lucky I am to have more time to be with my family and look after myself better.

Photo by Maria P Frino

Many countries and businesses will take years to recover from this. The families devastated by deaths of loved ones they were not able to say goodbye to, may never fully recover. Maybe we all need to remain humble and learn from the lessons this #pandemic is teaching us. Be kind, be nice and lend a helping hand to your neighbours even after this crisis ends. Reach out to others and be a better human. I for one am craving the closeness and company of my parents, my friends and even my work colleagues. I'm sending you all a virtual hug right now. These are my thoughts on how we move forward after this #Coronacrisis. I intend to learn from this scary time and appreciate the many important things in life including love and kindness. Be ready to hug your loved ones again, be ready to keep being vigilant for some time and don't forget the lessons the whole world is learning from this crisis. Also, I'd like to give a big shout out to all the health professionals; supermarket workers, cleaners, couriers, delivery drivers and all the essential people who have kept our country going. Remember we are all in this together. When #Covid19 #Coronavirus and this #globalpandemic is over, keep staying safe and well.


Maria P Frino is an author, content writer and copywriter from Sydney, Australia.


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