How have you been coping with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic?
What are some of the positives you’ve experienced during lockdown?
We know that many are struggling during this difficult time, but others have found that the lockdown has provided them with opportunities to strengthen connections with others and try new things.
We asked some of our staff members about their positive lockdown experiences, and there were themes that resonated among them.
Take a look – you may find that you have had similar experiences too!
Our staff mentioned that food was a favourite way to bring people together. Some got innovative, trying new recipes, and others formed routines:
“My husband has been making us all breakfast (his special is French toast) and with me making home-made fish tacos for dinner.” - Rozanne
“We’ve been baking every Sunday afternoon and dropping off the goods to neighbours, as well as buying chocolate biscuits for staff at a local supermarket.” - Jeff
Another staff member mentioned they dropped off traditional Easter food to family members by leaving it at their front doors.
The value of personal contact was an important theme among our staff.
They felt that although contact was maintained by electronic means, they were eagerly looking forward to face-to-face contact and hugs.
“One of our daughter’s friends was celebrating a birthday. We bought the gift and dropped it off at the front door of their house. And gave a call to the parent to let the child know to open the door and to have a surprise.” - Nevin
Another staff member also mentioned they dropped off Easter and birthday gifts in a non-contact way.
“My brother celebrated a significant birthday in south west Victoria recently. His wife and family put together “this is your life” celebration messages for him. I made and sent four films, 3 minutes each, with well wishes in costume from musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, S. Mouse (star rapper) and one of my alter egos.” - Brian
Our staff found extra time for activities they wouldn’t often do, such as walking, playing board games, and solving a jigsaw puzzle as a couple.
Several mentioned the value of a nearby nature reserve or park as a place for walking, or walking through the local shopping centre (keeping social distancing).
Electronic technologies have made keeping in touch a very different matter during isolation.
All responding staff said they were grateful for opportunities provided for catching up with family and friends, colleagues, prayer group.
“My daughter asked friends and family from Melbourne, interstate and overseas to send her messages (which ranged from written, voice, photos, singing and dancing) to create a Virtual Birthday Card for me. ...Also, Facetime sessions with us was much more regular than usual. We have quite good conversations and we get to spend time with our grandchildren” - Rosemary
Our faith plays an important role in our wellbeing and how we connect with others in a crisis.
One staff member summed it up very well:
“My faith has given me strength during this time of uncertainty. It’s grounded me when I feel a bit lost and anxious, it’s taught me to be thankful for all the good things in my life right now (no matter how small it might be). It’s also pushed me to connect with people more – to check in with them, to see how they are doing and to just give them company.” - Rozanne.
Others said that it gives “the spirit of hope” and reminds them that no matter what, God is with them and cares for them.
Recognising the challenges
While many of these reactions are positive ways of responding to isolation, our staff are also aware of the bigger issues the pandemic has caused:
“Firstly, whilst I acknowledge and am horrified by the devastation caused to many families and individuals by this pandemic, I must say that isolation has not been particularly difficult for me. I live with my husband in a comfortable house with a lovely garden and I’m quite enjoying having a break from our busy lives.” - Rosemary
This final comment probably reflects many people’s feelings:
“The worse thing for me about isolation is that we are unable to visit dear friends and family members who are doing it tough due to ill health and other difficulties. Although we stay in touch by various forms of technology it doesn’t replace a hug.” - Rosemary
What have you been doing to remain positive during this time?
How do you remain aware of the needs of people who are unable to enjoy the same freedoms?
Share your thoughts and responses on our Facebook page or by tagging us @cathcare
Jeff Wild, Community Engagement Coordinator