Crazy Month of May 2020 meme: Pandemic experiences

The wonderful Pauleen Cass is at it again, challenging her readers and fellow bloggers to sit back and have a think (and write) about the past month and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.  Many institutions have been encouraging us to document our experience so that others in the future can see how we have coped or not coped.  So, in for a penny…..

Pauleen’s questions:

What are you most grateful for during this covid-19 crisis?

I find I am grateful that I am warm, dry and not in need of support to survive.  So many people have found themselves challenged by the loss of income, employment, a safe and secure place to live – just for once, when life threw curve balls at us, I am in a secure place.

What have you missed most during the full or partial lock-down?

Not being able to be with my family when it counted – significant birthdays, funerals for friends and relatives.

Has your hobby sustained you during this time?

The garden gives – monster potatoes for warm winter dinners!

Reading and gardening have kept my mind and body occupied.  Funnily enough, with plenty of time to spend on genealogy, I have not taken advantage of this as I found I couldn’t concentrate too well. My writing has screamed to halt – I was regularly posting in the #52ancestors52weeks blogging challenge and that has fallen by the wayside. I’ve spent more time pulling weeds instead!


What changes have you seen in your life over May 2020?

May has been no different to April nor to parts of March as I was in voluntary isolation from the outset.  I can now buy toilet paper though!

Have you been exercising more or less?

If you consider gardening to be exercise then definitely more!

Has the refrigerator been your friend or foe?

Neither – the pantry with its biscuits and cake ingredients – now that’s another thing altogether!

Have you been participating in virtual gatherings with friends or family?

Once, in  Zoom hookup for a significant birthday.

Have you taken up new hobbies during the lockdowns?


I have been studying online with UTAS for some years now and that has continued uninterrupted – no time to develop new hobbies!

Are you cooking or gardening more?

Gardening more – absolutely.  We’ve had rain and the weeds  are

Baking banana bread – one for me and one for the house mate!

outpacing the plants that are meant to be there! Some long overdue fencing has gone in around my veggie garden and that has led to some extra landscaping, planting and gardening adventures.

Cooking – just occasionally for more than one and sharing those meals.

Have you shopped more or less? Online or offline?

Food and grocery shopping has been more or less as normal except that our local farmers market has been closed, so no Sunday market.

Online – probably more as the reading habit needed feeding and Book Club was cancelled.

What have you found to be the strangest change to your life?

Having a Telemed appointment with my GP

Have you found the changes and experience stressful/anxious/worrying?

For someone like me who has anxiety issues, you’d think this would have kicked off lots of issues however it hasn’t.  I like being with myself and not having to deal with people, crowds, crowded spaces, aggressive behavior and awkward social situations.

How have the closures affected your local community?

Living in a small town that is heavily reliant on tourist trade, the retail and accommodation providers are suffering.  The town thrives on its volunteer workforce and they have all been hamstrung by these closures.  Significant events have been cancelled, others just squeaking in with online options to keep spirits up but there are many who are finding it hard to manage their impatience to get the town back on its feet.

Have in-person meetings been replaced with virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype etc?

In the past, a cohort of Victorian based UTAS students met infrequently in person, however May has seen the start of regular catch-ups via Zoom.  This has proved to be quite a successful way of sharing experiences and skills with each other until such time as our research visits/trips can be restarted.

Do you enjoy the virtual meeting format?


Are you working from home instead of in your usual place of work?

Not a worker.

Have your habits changed over the past months?

Time to marvel at the wildlife – this moth was HUGE!

I’d say no as a first reaction, but if I look carefully at myself and how I would normally spend my time, I would have to say that I have actually spent less time at the computer and more in the open air. Thank goodness for a half acre garden.

Have you had to cancel travel plans for pleasure or family?

Yes – firstly, a conference I was to attend was cancelled, then my plan for a trip overseas that was supposed to happen in late April scotched, and now my plans to attend graduation in Hobart and to visit my brother have been thwarted ….. and I was considering the UK in November and that’s off the agenda too!

Do you think you’ll be able to travel in 2020?

I hope so – even if its only across the state to visit a friend who has been ill.

Have you/others been wearing masks when out and about in your area?

I haven’t resorted to masks although I have seen others who have – but often they have not been residents of this district – they’ve been citysiders who have come out into the country for a breath of fresh air.

Will you change your lifestyle after this experience?

I hope that this experience will have led to more people demonstrating compassionate behaviors and respecting those people who have been at the ‘pointy end’ right through this.  I am less likely to spend time in the city unless it’s unavoidable as I am relishing the space and the quiet and the lack of frantic pressured ‘keeping up with the latest’ consumerism that has driven our society for so long.  I will be extra vigilant on the roads as the wildlife has become used to getting the land back. I’m saving my close contact hugs for the people in my life that really matter.

Why don’t you join with Pauleen and other bloggers and create your own Covid-19 pandemic reflections? This is the link to Pauline’s blog post on Crazy Month of May 2020

Author: Robbie

There's a whole new direction to the creative pursuits undertaken by Robbie - writing, photography, genealogy, gardening and, just because she can, a return to study at university. Still dabbling in textiles, volunteering, tutoring and solving the design dilemmas of her students.

7 thoughts on “Crazy Month of May 2020 meme: Pandemic experiences”

  1. Thanks for responding Robbie. I enjoyed reading your perspective and experiences. I had forgotten the strangeness of a Telemed GP consultation. I think I need to learn more about gardening and potatoes….sounds like you have a lot to offer and those potatoes are seriously big. Like you, I’m grateful to have had a roof over my head and feel secure. It helps I think to be an introvert, or at the end of the scale, as we’re less likely to go stir crazy.

  2. There are definitely advantages to being an introvert – I agree wholeheartedly! Ah… the potatoes – a little dose of sheep manure and mound up the soil as the plants grow …. otherwise I ignored them for most of the season. Rewarded me with some whoppers!

  3. Great to see you blogging again Robbie. I’m also surprised that I haven’t experienced anxiety but like you we have a large block with beautiful views – I think our environments contribute to our wellbeing. I’m not so sure I would be as content if I lived in a tiny apartment in the city.

  4. Thanks, Jill. I would have struggled in an apartment – that’s for sure! I just hope this experience prompts developers, town planners, builders and architects to rethink their priorities in how to best design dense housing options. Cheers R

  5. Some really interesting responses here. Usually I commute to work and before I was stood down from work I did notice a build up of road kill on the highway as the traffic diminished. Very sad. I am by nature an extrovert so thought I would hate isolation but, like you, welcome the opportunity to escape the consumer rat race.

  6. Thanks for popping by, Alex. On country roads, we should expect to see animals around – we get kangaroos and wallabies, feral deer, goats, turtles, lizards and snakes, echidna and the occasional loose stock (especially in foggy weather) Its rare to see either wombats or koalas but a friend who wildlife rescues in this area told me about a young otherwise healthy male koala that unfortunately didn’t survive his road crossing adventure recently. We have such a small population here, every one counts!

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