Sunday, April 19, 2020

No hugs under lockdown

I posted the above graphic on my personal Facebook. I added:

“It turns out that’s how living alone in this lockdown has hit me the hardest, and it’s made me miss Nigel all the more. I mean, the dogs are sweet, and they snuggle up to me, but—yeah. Just not the same.”

I talk to people on the phone all the time. I’ve used the apps House Party, Zoom, Whats App, and Skype. I even had a brief driveway chat with a family member, as I mentioned on Friday. But none of that allows us to be in the same space, to just sit in nearby chairs and chat, over a coffee or wine, like we used to do—and may not be able to for awhile yet.

So hugs are kind of at the apex of what’s being denied under lockdown. If Nigel was with me, I’d have his company, we could sit and talk about anything, and we could have hugs. I had no idea how much I’d miss that in particular until it was gone from my life completely. It’s making it so much harder to adjust to life without Nigel—as if that wasn’t hard enough already.

Things won’t improve much any time soon, either. At 4pm tomorrow the Prime Minister will announce whether Alert Level 4 (lockdown) will be continued, or if we’re goint to Alert Level 3, which is basically “Lockdown Lite”.

At Level 3, stores (apart from supermarkets and pharmacies) will still be closed, but some more may be able to open for online orders. Bars, cafes, and restaurants will still be closed, too, but those that can offer delivery or contactless delivery will be allowed to provide food. Some people, like construction workers, will be able to return to work, though those that can work at home are supposed to do so. Our border will remain closed. In general, we are supposed to stay at home except if we must go to work, to go to the supermarket, or to exercise close to home. We can have an “expanded bubble” which is a way for people to join another bubble to theirs, providing the two bubbles are exclusive to each other, something that’s similar to a restriction that was in place at Level 4, though that was more restrictive.

In short, there’s a little more freedom of movement, but the country is still mostly under lockdown.

Sooner or later, we’ll go to Level 3, and then be there for a time before going to Level 2, which is a little more like normal. However, “aged care facilities”, which includes retirement villages, will remain under lockdown at Level 3, and virtual lockdown under Level 2, meaning that over 70s are to self isolate. And this bothers me,

It’s possible that it could be weeks, or even months, worst case scenario. before I’m allowed to see my mother in law. At least under Level 2 the rest of the family and I can get together again, and I now appreciate how important that is.

Right now, I miss hugs the most.


Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

No, they aren't. But things are what they are, I guess.

rogerogreen said...

yeah. Virtual hugs just aren't the same.