Alright Vegemite…..

The last few days in this isolated state, now nearly 2 weeks of it, have gone pretty well, we’ve got the boy being educated still, and between that, I got my Netflix account going again. I wanted to start collecting the Arrow series on dvd, but have now discovered the whole lot is on Netflix, so have been doing a bit of binge watching.

It’s been raining a bit, so outdoors hasn’t been a great option, and also with dad floating around and we being cautious over whether he has it or not because of his stupid recklessness (what is it about men in that age bracket??), we’ve been more or less housebound. It has, even for this introvert, been a bit much. I might be an introvert, but I love the outdoors, preferably where nobody else is.

I have had to make a couple of outings. First was a real head mess, we have local government elections this weekend, however you can early vote, but that was a bit of a mission. We thought we’d go early, but the first day we went, there were all those annoying booth workers handing out how to vote cards, I mean, strangling the entry to a polling booth when there is supposed to be social distancing?? Anyhow, during the week the government sorted out that and banned them. Then, by chance, I discovered they were opening pre-poll booths longer on Wednesday and Thursday night,  until 9pm, so I said to mum, why don’t we got around 8pm. I guessed that not many people would have read they were open later, so we went, and lo and behold, we were the only ones there, except for the 3 staff. I was nearly prepared for the $133 fine for not voting, because if we couldn’t vote without mobs of people, we weren’t going to.

Then yesterday, I had a doctors appointment, and visited the tobacconist on the way (yes, I am one of those dirty smokers, I am nearly stopped now though) and luckily nobody was at the tobacconist, so that was a nice dodge again, and I hadn’t been in there for ages, so it was nice to see the awesome Chinese guy there again, who is the same age as me and has a little girl. We had a chat for a little bit, and then off to the doctors, the bit I was actually dreading, because, where else are you likely to come into contact with sick people than a doctors surgery ?

It went well, they had the patients moving through quickly, and were not letting anyone with any symptoms of COVID-19, even if it wasn’t it, into the clinic.

My doctor will be calling me for the time being for our appointments, unless there is a reason to be there physically, and my surgery on my back has been postponed for a month, as the doctor who will be doing the procedure is in the high risk age group, so for the time being he is avoiding seeing patients unless vitally necessary, and my surgery isn’t that important yet. I did however walk out with a great big blister on the side of my face near the temple, a stubborn sunspot (which was biopsied and tested last year and found not to be dangerous but has the potential) was given a deep freeze with nitrogen. Twice. I have a large  1 inch in diameter blister (that bloody popped today oozing crap all down the side of my face) on my right temple, and it was aching like hell last night, not so bad today, but it was like having a brain freeze just on the temple last night.

Tonight, I also decided, for the first time in about 3 years, to go zero with the hair clippers on my head. I won’t need a haircut for a while !! The stubble feels like velvet when you run your hand over it !! It was partly so I could stick a massive band-aid (because the smaller ones weren’t big enough) over the blister on my temple, and if I hadn’t cut the hair, the band-aid wouldn’t have stuck properly, and ripped out a patch of hair anyhow. The other side was when I cut my hair like this, I look a bit badass, so people generally give me a wider berth, and it’s all about social distancing, isn’t it?

Anyhow, tomorrow will be another outing, for some vegetables and fruit, and to pick up my sons last remaining equipment from the school, as the schools are finally going into a semi shutdown, and will only be open for children of essential workers from Monday. Hopefully, after that, we might go for a drive out in the countryside, not stopping anywhere where people are, just to see something different and regain a little sanity. It might not last long, as I think that we are going pretty close to a complete shutdown this weekend, we will have to see, but if the government is serious about stopping COVID-19, it is the only option.

Andy.

End of the first week of self imposed isolation.

Although it sounds scary, it isn’t. When you are already an introvert, (well, apparently I am an extroverted introvert) staying away from people really isn’t all that much of an ordeal, in fact, you might call it ideal, or even paradise.

Toady we had our first day of home schooling, it went more or less well. He breezed through his maths (he loves maths, so hardly surprising) which he did with my tuition, and Mum looked after him with his language work, which was a little bit more……..well, it was…….trying. Anyhow, we got through, and he did really quite well. It was only the first day, and we will refine it all a bit to find what best works.

I had to invest in a new printer last Friday, and it has been earning it’s keep ever since it was plugged in, getting school work printed and ready for his daily lessons. I have already ordered more ink for it, online, so hopefully what I have lasts until it gets here. We have plenty of other stuff we can work with him on, so it won’t be a huge disaster if it is a little slow, just not too slow, in getting here.

Finally, the rival supermarket chain to the one we normally use has approved mum for home delivery, as our regular one isn’t doing it. So, we should be able to get that happening in the next week. This whole protect yourself thing is not an easy task. There is so much involved in getting the systems in place, and at times it is very stressful, not a good thing if you have medical conditions that become worse with stress. Anyhow, we are getting there, we are surviving, so far.

One major development today is we have had to ban dad from the house. He hasn’t been taking this seriously, and this morning he was coughing badly, and has complained about having asthma. He hasn’t been paying attention, and has taken stupid risks, like last week, he was adamant he was doing his own shopping, so he did, and did so without any precautions. I did the whole mask and washing myself when I got home thing. He didn’t. He also went to sell books at a market a week ago, and we told him he shouldn’t, apparently we were over reacting. Now, he is showing signs. He has been told not to enter the house, and to stay away. We haven’t done all we have done for the past week and a bit for him to just nonchalantly bring it in the door.

I think this whole thing will fundamentally change the world. I think it will, once it is over, make us appreciate everything just that bit more. Hopefully it will suppress the racism and hate, and the selfishness that seem to have enveloped the world in recent times. I think Capitalism, in it’s current form, is dead. I think the hoarding of wealth will end in pain for those who have been doing it. After this, I hope we appreciate the people that do the actual work more than those who just collect the money and do little else. We are realising the most important people are the workers, the ones that actually make the business, rather then the CEO’s, who do very little, apart from steal the wealth from the rest of us. The poor handling of this situation by many political leaders will, and should, see the power shifted back to people, not just those who pay the politicians the highest bribe. I really hope this happens.

I also hope that we all realise that there is more to life than working away our lives for the right to just survive. Yes, we need a purpose, a job, employment, but it doesn’t have to be 50 or 60 hours a week. 30 hours is plenty, if we are rewarded with the correct wages. We will hopefully appreciate our family and friends more. For too long, we have distanced ourselves from our families, parents outsourcing their children’s care to schools and after school care, sports clubs and dance clubs. Outsourcing the care of our elderly parents to nursing homes. Hopefully, we will start to care again.

Andy.

COVID – 19 is now in our town…

I know a lot of you have probably already been here for a few weeks, but our town is pretty damned small, so the fact it is here now is a big thing.

I am glad we have done everything we have, but this damned stopping of home delivery of groceries is a big damned problem.

Tomorrow, I will have to venture out to the supermarket to get food. I never thought I would ever be scared of doing that, but here we are. I never thought I’d live to see something like this, but here we are.

I will be going alone, to get supplies for our house and Dad’s. That in itself will be fun, as there are limits on things now as well, so I will have to just see what I can get, and if I can’t get everything we need, well, it’s either another supermarket, or we miss out. This is crazy shit.

I also have to go and get a new printer, I have discovered my old printer didn’t survive the move here 14 months ago (yeah, I haven’t used it until I tried yesterday), and I also have to get a ream of paper and some lesson/activity books for Jack, as he is certainly not going back to school until this is over now. I have to get a printer, as the school will be providing worksheets, which I will print from online, and then after he is done, I will need to scan and upload them so his teacher can see them and grade them.

I had a very productive meeting at the school this morning with the principal and his teacher, which is how we have all these learning materials organised, and things set in place. I had to bring all his work books home, and his other stationary, and we will be setting him up on the dining table permanently, that is his new school. The dining room is now a classroom.

I have also set up some stuff with his instrumental music teacher, and I will be doing lessons with Jack to keep him going on the saxophone. I may even see if his music teacher would like me to upload video of him doing his lessons, so he can give feedback, I will email him tomorrow and see if he wants to do that.

I am glad I have that all sorted with the school today, I have been so super stressed about it all, to the point that when I got home, I collapsed into bed for 3 hours, as having that weight off me just sent me down. The school has been super supportive, and I am so, so thankful to them all. They aren’t really set up yet for remote learning yet, but this is a trial I guess.

It is crazy times folks. I hope you all make it through this one, now it’s on my doorstep, I will be taking every precaution possible. The best I have for a mask is a dust mask from my workshop, so it will have to do when I am out tomorrow. When I get home, I will be stripping all my clothes of and having a shower, ( you thought I’d say I’d burn them, didn’t you ??) to make sure I don’t bring it into the house like that, the clothes going straight into the washing machine. It may seem like overkill, but, we REALLY can’t afford to have this in our house, there is too much at stake, so I will do whatever it takes.

My head is done in

Today, I had to make a decision. Send my son to a place where, with all prior experience germs spread rampantly, putting others in the house at risk, or keep him home to avoid him getting COVID-19 at school. Currently, the Australian government has this misguided view, because of their unnamed experts, that keeping schools open is the best idea. This is despite EVERY LEADING expert in the field saying that schools should be shut.

With the fact that we both live with my mum, who is in her 60’s, one of the high risk groups for negative outcomes if they catch it, and the lack of reliable information based on facts from our government, I decided to keep him home. I was stressed all weekend, was I overreacting, what are the pros and cons, and to be completely honest, 3 things finally made up my mind.

Firstly, I wasn’t prepared to put my mother at risk, she has co-morbidities that would put her at higher risk, even disregarding the age factor. I want my mum around for a few years yet. I too have co-morbidities that elevate my risk as well, but as always, I never usually factor in the consequences for myself, it is those around me.

Secondly, yesterday all the government “experts”, and countries leaders gathered to make changes to our response, and they more or less didn’t. Even to the point, the Prime Minister sat there and told us 3 people had already died, when he was full aware that the deaths had climbed to 5, one on Friday, one on Saturday, you can’t tell me that he didn’t know about those. He lied. Doesn’t exactly instil confidence that everything is being done that needs to be. But add to that the fact that they are not yet implementing anything that the World Health Organisation is imploring them to, which anyone with an internet connection can find out, they can’t hide it, and yeah, pretty much no confidence in what they are ‘doing’. (Which is bloody nothing, adding to the widespread panic the country is embroiled in).

So then, we go onto the third reason. Yesterday, they said they wanted groups of 500 people or less not to happen. They talked about social distancing. They said schools didn’t count when it came to the 500 people limit. It wasn’t anything new from what was already being done, but Prime Minister Scotty from Marketing (yes, that’s what we call him, among other things like Scummo, Captain Dipshit, and lots of other even more crude ways of describing an absolute moron), always one to spin everything, tried to present it as some new thing, a new approach. So onto the crux of the new thing.

They wanted social distancing, saying things like they were going to implement this in schools. IN SCHOOLS!!!! How the hell do you get kids to social distance at school, especially the young ones who just don’t understand. Everyone had to maintain 1.5 metres distance, but how was that even possible in a classroom where there simply wasn’t the actual room to achieve that? I took these questions to our school via Facebook, and then via email. I waited until 8.40am, 5 minutes before school start, to see if they could tell me what the plan for social distancing was. No reply. There wasn’t a plan. The schools, I believe, had thought the Prime Minister would have followed W.H.O.’s advice and closed schools in his announcement yesterday, so they wouldn’t have been a need for a plan.

Needless to say, seeing there was nothing to convince me everything was being done to make sure the spread of COVID-19 was being contained, I made the call, that for the foreseeable future, my son will not be going to school. This decision has set of a completely new shit show. Anyhow, that needs to be dealt with in the course of time, but we can deal with it. The school is actually supportive of my decision, given our circumstances, but this whole scenario could have been avoided, the scrambling of the school to try and come up with a plan, me having to make this decision, if our Prime Minister just DID THE RIGHT THING.

Then, we come onto the next pearl of crap to happen today.

We have, for the past two weeks, been responsibly limiting our outings to what is essential, avoiding situations where there are large groupings of people together. We have been doing our grocery shopping online and having it delivered since the beginning of the year, partly because it was becoming more difficult for me with my FND to do it, but we could see the benefits as this pandemic was spreading of doing our shopping this way, to help avoid us catching it, and slow it’s spread. The past couple of weeks have seen us unable to get things in our deliveries, but somehow if we went into the store the next day, they had the items. It made it a quick in and out of the store, rather than over an hour in store, so it was okay, even though we didn’t particularly want to have to do it that way, but… that’s what happens sometimes.

Well now, the two major supermarket chains, the only ones who do delivery, have suspended deliveries, for completely misguided reasons. They are telling people to stay isolated, especially high risk people, but now, we can’t get groceries. We haven’t stockpiled 3 years of toilet paper, we have enough for a little bit, but I somehow don’t think toilet paper is very edible anyhow. What will we eat, without exposing ourselves to a huge risk of catching this thing by going to a supermarket? It is beyond a complete debacle. It’s outright negligent.

So, I spent all weekend stressing myself about whether or not to keep my child home to keep our entire family safe, got past that, thought we had things sorted to minimise exposure, and now….we will have to got to a supermarket with hundreds of people and take a huge risk to our health to have food to eat. Well done Coles Supermarkets and Woolworths Australia. You have now inadvertently put thousands of vulnerable people at unnecessary risk.

Right now, having done everything I was able to do to keep us as safe as I could possibly within my own means, I have now got to face the prospect, because politicians are playing politics and putting citizens second to big business, that I can’t keep us as safe as I had tried. I am angry. I am once again very stressed, and none of this helps my ongoing medical conditions. My head is done in.

Andy.

 

It’s begging to feel a lot like Chri…..no, ….. a post apocalyptic sci-fi movie.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would see what is unfolding now in my entire life. Deserted cities and towns, everyone shuttered away. It’s like a movie where all the robots have turned on the humans, or aliens have invaded.

The silly thing is, it is the most reasonable and best way to combat this problem we all face, shut down normal activities, isolate, and hopefully get through. There are so many countries that have acted, but like my own, there are so many politicians still in denial about how bad this actually is. I mean, they are quoting 1/4 of all people will get it. With a death rate currently around 3.6% on average, in a country like Australia, that means that of the 26 Million, more than 6 million will get it, and around 216,000 people will die. That is just what they predict in the first wave.

I have seen our government (and I have been taking notice of what the USA and UK are doing as well, which, is the same thing, nothing of any real worth) fumble and lurch around, and it is a complete mess. They don’t want to listen to actual experts, only the ones they appointed themselves, who haven’t attained their positions on merit or any real expertise, but because they are a mate of someone in the government, and will agree with what the government decides, not what is best for the citizens.

Australia has been more concerned about Big Business, than the health and safety of it’s citizens. “We can’t shut down flights, it will hurt business”. “We can’t order a nationwide shutdown, it will hurt the economy.” We can’t hurt business, so we will hurt all of you instead. If we ever wanted proof that to these corrupt wankers who have lied their way into public office care more about money than people, then this is it. Nothing is more important than people, but here we are.

I hope, when each and every one of you, when it comes around to vote for the respective governments of your respective nations, remember this, that when you needed them to care the most about you, they shied away, behind their piles of money, and left you to fend for yourself. Don’t give them the chance again next election.

I have a feeling I haven’t felt for a long, long time…….

Hello everyone. This is going to be a COMPLETELY different post tonight, something that has come as a bit of a surprise to me. I am still in disbelief, and i hope that it is real, and not just a dream.

We are fast approaching 8 years of me being single. Probably close to 10 years since I was in love. Something has been happening over the past couple of weeks, and I am falling for someone.

I got a message on a dating app, I had got so many scammers come through, I was actually close to deleting it and resigning myself to the fact that all the women I am interested in (that I have actually met in real life) are married, and I won’t go there, I am not a home wrecker. Then this lovely woman, who I have seen her profile for a few months, but thought she would never be interested in a guy like me, messaged me. This dating site is very quick to delete scammers in a matter of hours after they join up, unlike others I have been on, and so it was highly unlikely she was one, as, I had seen her profile for a while.

I do know she is a real person, I have talked to her before. Like, real life, and she remembered, it was at a cafe (oh my god, that sounds so cliche), and when she contacted me, she mentioned it. Only she would remember that, it was a brief one on one conversation, but obviously, she wanted to get to know me better.

Anyhow, it is awkward,  I haven’t done this for so long, the getting to know someone and potentially developing a romantic relationship, and I hope I am not sounding too goofy or anything like that. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and when I say “when I get a new message from you…….” (we are messaging away from the dating site now) “……..it makes my heart flutter”, it is genuine, it might sound cliche or corny, but unbelievably and I can’t even believe it myself, I feel that butterflies feeling.

She is a little younger than me (not a huge amount, but it is the biggest difference in age of any relationship I have been in), so I guess that is freaking me out a bit too. Bloody social anxiety, stop already…… I don’t want to stuff this up. I haven’t said it to her, because I really don’t want it to come across as a bit weird, but as I said, I mean what I say, she seems so….perfect. And her eyes………oh my god, they are just….stunning. Most blokes are, and this is a bit vulgar, tits or legs guys, but for me, I can get totally lost in nice eyes. Her’s are hypnotising. Funnily enough, they are a bit like my sons !!!! He has that affect on people as well.

Anyhow, I might keep you updated here, we will see, it has been such a long time since I have felt this way, and right now, I am going to enjoy it.

Updates.

The first and most important update, is that I have ceased the Lyrica. It had become a very, VERY big problem. It helped my Fibromyalgia somewhat, but it absolutely wreaked havoc with the FND. I think I was about a few hours away from it bringing on a seizure. Seizures are one of the nastiest symptoms of FND, and I haven’t had one yet, but came close to passing out at the supermarket a few days ago. I saw my doctor as soon as I could, and we agreed that it was not the right fit, so medication number 4 is now thrown out the window. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles……

I have been readjusting back to ‘normal’ the past couple of days, not there yet, obviously still a bit of that stuff coursing around the body. Currently feeling like a wreck, and not able to sleep even though I am beyond the point of desperately needing sleep.