A personal experience of the covid-19 plaguepocalypse
MAY 29 2020
I've been extremely terrible about keeping this blog. I had intended to record the changes I saw around me as the virus spread and our society adapted, but things move so slowly, and it's very hard to observe the world from your bedroom. the biggest thing I've noticed is that everyone seems to be grappling with the long periods of forced introspection that have become the daily norm without distractions. Despite the prevalence of the internet, online shopping, food delivery, netflix, alcohol, drugs, work, and whatever else we use to distract and numb ourselves, I see that most people are still experiencing a lot more self-reflection than before. I have yet to find someone in my social circle who sees this as a bad thing, though I imagine it must be very hard for a lot of people.
Because of this forced state of introspeection I've learned a lot about myself, but didn't really consider it fit for this blog because a) it was supposed to be more from an amateur sociologist point of view and b) I ususally put that stuff up on my Dreamwidth anyway. The lack of a comment section here makes it difficult to motivate myself to continue posting. At first that was the intention, to record stuff and shoot it into the digital ether without worrying about its reception, but I'm a social creature and that sort of shit is thin on the ground lately.
Idk. Drop a comment in the guestbook or something if you're reading this, maybe I'll see if I can whack up a comment form or something.
MAR 31 2020
I left the house for the first time in a while today, to walk the 30 minutes to my psychologist in the next suburb over. I don't want to be on an enclosed bus if I can help it.
Stage 3 lockdown has started, we progress through all three confusing stages in the last two weeks. People are stressed and either panicky or in denial, and Scott Morrison's idiotic flip-flopping about how many people can go to a personal training session at once, or how long a haircut can last for, is not helping at all. My housemates and I have been following the warnings set out by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, since they actually make fucking sense. The Premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews, has also come out with some much better guidelines than the national ones. No leaving the house except for food and supplies, medical care, exercising with people you already live with, no gatherings of more than two people who don't already live together.
My psych today mentioned that she had a couple's counselling session she has to do individually because three people who aren't living together or related can't be in a room together. How weird is that?
On the way home I noticed an odd trend that seems to be taking over the neighbourhood: putting teddy bears in windows. Some windows also had children's drawings stuck up to face the outside. It really touched me to see how even in times like this people can still find ways to cheer up and encourage each other. It made me smile, and that meant so much to me.
MAR 13 2020
My name is Quinn xxxxxx xxxxxx. I am 27 years old, and it is the year 2020 AD, and I live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I have decided to keep a diary about the effects of the new COVID-19 "corona" virus because it's just starting to get interesting.
I don't know whether writing this online is a great idea, since it doesn't seem likely that Australia's internet infrastructure will be able to handle a large amount of people working from home, so if that does become a thing my internet connection might get patchy.
So far, the virus hasn't had much effect on my every day life, except that it's now the only thing anyone in the streets talks about. Today I passed two security guards chatting at the State Library. One of them said to the other, "They can't really make everyone stay home, can they?" My dude, governments are capable of all sorts of whacky bullshit.
For instance, it was recently revealed that they've decided to give everyone on NewStart a $700 "economic stimulus payment" because they're worried about the country falling into another recession. The fact is that our society, our economy, our infrastructure, is not set up to handle this. I expect it's going to be very hard and very scary, but this seems like crunch time. The government will either need to adapt, very quickly, to this new status quo, or else things will collapse. They may seem very stupid, corrupt, incompetent (insert your favourite descriptor) but even if they don't care about their people, they care about the economy.
The Russian is weirdly optimistic about the whole thing. He says that social services and infrastructure will need to improve, and is hopeful about those prospects. Normally he's very doomsday-minded, but now that we're actually at the beginning of a major crisis he seems... calm, prepared even. He is ready to help others and start building something new once the storm has passed.
I am too. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited to see what happens next. I've grown so fucking tired of the entire world pretending everything is okay, going about regular bullshit like the fucking world isn't ending. I hope that this will wake everyone up a bit, make them ask questions about why our healthcare system is so inadequate, why we've commodified things like housing and medicine, how we would take care of each other and do things better, be more prepared if something like this happened again. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but given my depressed state of mind most of the time I'm not complaining. It feels good to know that this horrible, stagnant way of life is going to come to an end soon, and contrary to my beliefs I won't have to kill myself for that to happen.