I knew it was coming. The spread of the delta variant was just too fast.
We heard the news on the way back from Kiama, one last escape from the city, a last chance to stare at a distant flat horizon.
It is the first day of the winter school holidays, but I had already cancelled our upcoming accommodation and activities in South Australia yesterday, the border closed to all from New South Wales.
In some ways that makes the lockdown more trying. I didn’t mind the first one in May last year. It was a chance to be closer to the family. But now it feels like we’ve already been in lockdown since the last school holidays, when we had the most wonderful, most restoring, trip to Darwin.
Though I’ve been going to the office once or twice a week, I’m lucky if I see anyone and have a 15 minute morning tea conversation. Yes there’s been karate three times a week, but even that was mostly action and less interaction. Alex has been so busy with assignments that weekends are mostly a meal out and homework. Other than that it’s my wife and I at home.
I finally go on a solo trip out to IKEA a week and a half ago and it ends up being a casual covid contact situation! Fortunately, my two tests since then have been negative and I’ve had no need to isolate more than anyone else.
But looking through the lists of exposure locations has been sobering as some have been places we’ve visited in the past or nearby. It gives me a sense that it would only be a matter of time before I was caught. And I don’t want to be caught. It’s only a matter of days until my first vaccination. My wife finished hers last week. I would have too, but I was too honest about a recent flu vaccination and my application stalled.
So even if the government hadn’t mandated a lockdown, I would have acted like there was one anyway.
The last trip taught me that you often don’t realise how much you need a holiday until you have one. I’m at that point again. Feeling cranky and unappreciated at work (17 years without a promotion! Hearing the manager ask for team members to spend their rewards before the end of financial year and knowing I never got one), tired of the constant flow of ever changing demands.
“Look after yourself,” they say, “Don’t be afraid to slow down.”
Also, “Have we had any progress? This is important! We have PLANS to adhere to,” as I try to teach myself a new skill set to handle their request.
So here we are. Mostly stuck at home again for two weeks, dealing with an additional set of demands from the other two.
I shouldn’t complain. Others have it worse. Shut up, keep smiling, do your job and hope that somebody says thank you at least once.
You’ve got this.