T.L., 61, full-time employee in Perth, Australia

It’s been amazing to see the changes in just one month or so. We’ve moved on from the stupid panic buying frenzy and people are settling into a new way of doing their life. 

We are not in lock down. We are in important movement only. This is pretty open but the roads still have cars on them. We can drive to work. We can drive to recreational pursuits. Many more people are out and about in the parks, often practicing social distancing – who ever heard of that phrase two months ago!!!! It’s nice. I saw a guy flying a kite – or trying to – it’s a lost art. Dogs are fitter, some are hiding from the next walk. Three a day is just tooo much.

I’m working from home and quite like it. First stages were getting over the guilt. Not mine so much but that good catholic guilt that flows so easily from my boss who is slowly realising that valuable work is not only able to be completed by properly attired people within her sight in an office.

I’m naturally introverted so am comfortable doing my own thing. It’s easy to get distracted but once all the chores are done….. no not the chores… but the interesting distractions. Once the interesting distractions are done and there are things to do work wise, I can be productive, perhaps more than being in the office with all it’s regular distractions.

One of my colleagues in recruiting is very much an extravert and is really missing her work buddies. Working from home is not easy for her, the loneliness gets to her. It’s different for different people.

We’re blessed to maintain full time work. Our government has quickly implemented incredibly Green/left/socialist income supports. It’s an amazing turn around for a mob of extreme conservatives who’s cruel perspective on job seekers and asylum seekers has been a total embarrassment, for them now to implement a Job Keeper payment of A$1500 a fortnight for all employees who have lost hours. No income or assets test, just an even payment across the board. The unemployed have had their payments increased to the same. This has stabilised the community, there is less stress I think, less alienation. Of course those on high incomes feel like their throats have been cut, but it’s been a godsend for the low paid, young people and typically marginalised. I commend the conservatives for doing this. They have also formed a war like federal cabinet where the state premiers have come together with the federal executive team and made national decisions. This has been an outstanding success and such a turnaround from the normal sniping between different levels of government.

The bill for the future generations will be stunning – who knows what that will be. A generation of baby boomers leaving the workforce. Unbelievable government debt. Young people have a tough road ahead I expect as these things need to be paid off. Maybe they just keep printing pretend money and it all just goes away…….. ???

[submitted on 4/18/2020]

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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