The Corona Diaries 2: adjusting to the new normal
Well it has now been over a week since I, along with many others, became unemployed. It’s hard to keep track of the days, and it feels like it has been much longer. We are adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and mostly stay inside. I don’t mind the days too much at the moment. Mornings include a lie in, relaxing with a cup of tea, and then a workout. After brunch, which usually consists of some sort of eggs, there is some form of afternoon activity. Some days I clean, some days I write, and other days I take a long walk on the beach. I always look for more work but that seems very unlikely to happen now. In the evening we cook a nice dinner and watch movies or play games.
We finally have confirmation that we can stay in the country as long as the business that sponsors Conor is still planning to re-hire him once they are allowed to re-open. However there is still no financial support for people in our position. I expect that clarification on that point may come soon. Fingers crossed.
I have good days and bad days, and I think everyone is the same in that respect. Yesterday was a positive day until the evening. I read a news article, which stated that the Prime Minister was telling those on student visas to go home if they can’t support themselves for the next six months. Whilst it didn’t address my visa specifically, it was a little disheartening. However what was worse was reading the comments on the article. I realised that there are plenty of Australians out there who don’t want anyone on temporary visas here at all. Based on their comments, they couldn’t care less that we may have spent thousands on visas and other costs to be here, would incur more major costs in travelling back to our home countries, and worst of all may put our health and lives at risk by leaving. It was pretty upsetting and goes against my original view of Australians as a whole. That said, there are also plenty of Aussies who are actively looking out for those on temporary visas. They recognise that we play an import role in Australia’s economy in various ways, and they understand that we are in a difficult position with no income and no financial assistance. They offer out their homes to strangers, or spend time brainstorming ways to help. They offer to cook for people or donate food. I guess like anywhere, there will be some bad ones amongst the good. The online trolls just have too much time on their hands at the moment.
Australia seems to have a pretty good handle controlling the spread of coronavirus, and it seems that there are less and less new cases per day. However there is talk of us remaining on lockdown for three or six months. Thinking about this makes it seem impossible when we’re only on week 2. It’s best to take it day by day – it’s the only way to keep your sanity.
I wonder what will have changed by the time I write another coronavirus update. Hopefully there’s some good news.