As Covid -19 restrictions begin to wind down slowly across Australia, here in Tasmania, (due to our issue with hospitals in the north west of our state being hit hard and closed with many all staff and families having had to go in total isolation) we are a bit behind the mainland.
Many many people here will be really discovering how slowly things such as many businesses being able to reopen, and being able to live as we did prior to this virus is actually going to be. (unless your a football player it seems?)
A deep fear is running through many mental health workers across Australia. Community mental health support organisations and indiviudals have been complaining of how little continuing support and cutbacks that were occurring before the current situation. Rural and remote mental health services virtually non existent. The reality is already being seen by many of these workers and organisations.
The long term impact on people who have been isolated and/or lost their jobs, and/or worrying about financial concerns is and will be only coming out slowly as some things slowly return to a form of normal or new normal. Perhaps credit card bills are coming in and that may be how some individuals and families have been surviving.
Those who have lost their jobs in the last few months will possibly only now be receiving their first Jobseeker (Government benefit) payment and Covid payment. After waiting for some weeks.
Potentially the whole amount they are receiving will be paying outstanding bills.
The impact of the death of someone due to Covid-19 on those who loved them and were not able to be with them at the end, or to be with family and friends to say a final goodbye is immeasurable. Grief is always difficult but in these circumstances widows/ers grieving alone with no one able to come home with them, as they have to go into quarrantine is so hard to imagine.
The numbers who have died in Australia (98 so far as of 16/05/2020) represent grief for many hundreds. grief that has not been able to be shared with hugs, and for many an opportunity to say goodbye. Depression and Post Traumatic Shock Disorder are likely to increase. Anxiety may also impact some of these people. How will these families be supported and helped?
The numbers of people phoning all mental health help lines has blown out during the last couple of months. Most of these organisations of course are manned by volunteers. Thanks to all of them.
These same organisations are saying the situation is getting worse for so many people.
I also feel concerned for all those essential front line workers. Who have kept going. My greater fears are for the health professionals. Many who have worked long hours, in protective gear that is tiring to wear as you become so hot inside it. I can not imagine wearing it for 12+ hours a shift, it was bad enough wearing it for an 8 hour shift.
The truck drivers, the cleaners, the business proprietors who have had to install new management customer strategies.
Some people will develop mental illness now, others may not show anything for a while and something may happen that will just flaw them on their feet. (As happened to me my resilience just could not bounce back). Nurses and Doctors police and ambulance emergency workers in rural areas such as SES give so much of themselves in caring for people in their job every day they work.
I fear for so many youth, who were just beginning their working lives, when this situation stopped many of them. The financial stress, the emotional stress, anxiety, fear, distress, and loneliness.
The families of people with disabilities, where carers may not have been able to visit? Where routines have not been able to be kept, that enabled the individual with disability to live a independent life. How have these people been impacted?
I have thought often about families where domestic violence has always been a way of life. Alcohol is and has been available, the whole time. I imagine the possibility of domestic violence escalating, and the person doing it home all day every day, with no escape for their partner and children. I wonder how it may have been if bottle shops were closed and not considered essential services?
The homeless how have they been managing? It has been very wet, I do hope that with so many less people about they have been able to sleep more safely and in better locations. I think of all the volunteers who have been out supporting and caring for all the homeless across Australia.
I wonder about the addicts to gambling, drugs, alcohol…how have these people managed? Their families?
I have thought also of the impact on children and if lines of education have been drawn even more as schools have had to go online for most kids. How have the children who have no access to the internet managed? What about those whose parents have not been able to teach and support them at home schooling? Those who care but whose own education may not be up to their kids level.
The children who have had both Mum and Dad home with them for the last 10 weeks or so how good it may have been, and or how difficult.
The parents who could not care less. How will this three-four months impact the kids. I wonder about how it might impact bullying.
Some times my mind gets so overwhelmed if I do not reign it in. I am well enough to do this now and not let myself go down into places I have no ability to manage or control. I still am concerned about the possibilities.
I look at the projections of housing prices falling a lot according to some analysts in Australia. I can not imagine having purchased a home, and having a mortgage to find in a few months the house is now worth 20-30% less. Yet you have to pay the higher mortgage. Interest rates are basically as low as they can go, and most banks have put mortgage payments on hold for a few months.
The problem is once they start up again interest will go on the missed months and compound. I am not sure if you will be expected to catch up over the time of your contracted mortgage or if the mortgage might be extended,
The fear for those who have lost their jobs, and the uncertainty of if their jobs may return or not? Will people really spend all the extra money that is being paid out by the Governments to help simulate the economy or will they save it. Or pay bills clear credit cards?
How to pay their mortgage? Their rent?
I do know the next few months maybe the next few years will be hard. There will be very few tax breaks as our Government needs to make up for all the money that it has been giving out to help our country. I see quite a few businesses not being able to survive.
I envisage the potential for suicide to increase across age and gender. I hold little hope for better mental health services in rural and remote regions. With ongoing 1;1 commitment with psychologist, psychiatrist on health care cards. Instead of the reducing number of 1;1 visits as we have now.
I wonder how the new unemployed who are receiving the Covid-19 payment along with the job seeker payment (seeing the fortnightly payment go from $550 to over $1100 until September 2020), manage when the Covid-19 payment stops and they have to live on the Jobseeker payment of $550 a fortnight?
I also think of all the dogs, cats that have been adopted out of animal shelters and refuges. Where the owners have been home with these new family members 24/7 and in the next few months the human members will return to working, and school. How will these animals fare? How many will end up back in shelters?
I worry about all of you who read my posts. Even though we have not met, and only know each other through our communications, I do care that you are all coping OK. That you have people about you who love you unconditionally, and support you. That you are managing and caring for your self. You are the most important person in Your life, regardless if you are in a partnership, a parent, If you are not doing OK speak to someone, be honest about your concerns.
If you are concerned about financial issues, contact your bank, contact your lenders, offer to pay a small amount every month/fortnight/week (this will show intent, and makes it hard to be taken debt collection or to court for non payment but you have to instigate it) Same goes for bills. Or anything you are not alone, reach out speak up.
If you are in a domestic violence situation, get a plan to leave begun. tell someone you trust please.
If you are concerned about your rent, and the real estate is not helping ask to speak directly to the owner. Have them ask the owner to contact you directly. Be honest with the owner and if you are a good tenant, many owners would rather have you catch up/not raise the rent for twelve months to retain a good tenant.
I looked at the cost involved when I was a land lord, and by the time I advertised and had the checks done by the real estate agents, ( a $10 a week increase would give me $520 a year extra..the cost to find a new tenant would cost me a months rent which was at the time $1000) so if your agent or landlord is talking about increasing your rent, ask them how much it would cost them to find a new tenant who may not be so good. it is worth a try.
Mortgage? speak to your mortgage provider.
If you are thinking of buying a property. Perhaps you really do not need a four bedroom house with three bathrooms. Or a two bedroom unit for just one person. If it means you can afford the lower mortgage. Rather then risk loosing your home.
Being thankful for what we have is important. It can be so easy when it seems the worst is happening to us to feel alone, to feel it is not worth it. It is important to know I value YOU.
I am thankful for all of YOU who read my writings, look at my photos.
I am thankful for the beautiful weather we have been having the last couple of days. I am thankful for the beautiful colour of the Autumn(Fall) leaves. I am thankful for the birds, their song. I am thankful for the weed I saw popping up in the cement in my local town yesterday, showing me that nature is strong but we need to care about it. I am thankful for the wallaby I saw yesterday eating some of my grass. I am thankful to the birds that come and eat the bugs in my garden.
I am thankful to fresh vegetables. I am thankful for being able to see positives in some really dark times. I am so very thankful that I am continuing to move forward on my improving mental health. I am thankful that my maiden hair fern and chain of hearts are thriving in my home. (first time I have ever had success with either )
I am thankful for internet. I am thankful for my dogs, neighbours, and community.
I am thankful to Mother Earth and the Goddess.
All valid points. We are not out of the woods yet.
some countries are in better situations than other here in Australia I do worry that we may have a very hard winter coming.. May You and your loved ones be safe.
I hope the winter is not too awful. I really hope not.
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I was so glad yesterday to read a story on a local news site about a woman in my area who was finally able to get away from her abuser during this pandemic, and I hope so much that more people who’ve been victimized may be able to do the same.
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One woman and family being our of this sort of situation is wonderful and I like you there will be more who are able to leave, and be able to let go, as it such a really difficult thing for so many to not go back. Breaks my heart.
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I worry about all these things too, Tazzie. One of the major problems in Australia is that many people live on their credit cards because we are such a material nation. They have mortgages, extra cars, the latest technology and every time some new technology comes out they buy it when they really can’t afford it. I suspect we have higher credit card debt, per capita than many western nations.
Up to 2010, when I was still working full-time, I had high credit card debt too, but it was mainly medical bills. I couldn’t afford the specialists so just put it on my credit card and in general, the Medicare refund less than half of a specialist consultation – even if you have a referral from your GP. You only got reimbursed $110 from Medicare for a $290 medical bill.
I can give one example being, the Allergy/Immunologist I consulted last year was $680 and Medicare only refunded $224 I think. The Health system needs more funds injected so that people (like me) with serious health conditions, can seek treatment fully funded by the government. I was on the brink of giving up my private health insurance as I really couldn’t afford it, but with 3 potential surgeries coming up, could not afford to be without private medical insurance. Most people on a pension don’t have have insurance.
I suspect people are just hoping everything will work out OK once the country returns to ‘normal’, but what they don’t realize is that our whole lives will be changed for, perhaps, many years to come.
There will be a new normal.
As you say, unless those financially and emotionally stressed reach out for help, nothing will change for them. You have to speak up, phone or physically go into your bank or contact your landlord. You can’t sit back and do nothing hoping it will all go away on its own.
To be quite honest, I’m fed up with the TV advertisements that constantly say “We are all in this together”. Saying that doesn’t help people pay their rent or mortgage. It just reinforces that many people have rent and debts to pay. The advertisements should be changing to more constructive advice now that 3 months have passed.
I consider myself very lucky to have a Government pension, a modern apartment I can afford, and more recently, a small inheritance to now pay for the extra medical bills in the future.
I am definitely thankful every day for what I have and accept that THIS IS IT. This IS my new normal. Enough money in the bank and no debts. I may be pretty much housebound, but at least I have a nice home to be housebound in. I
Hey Good morning Tazzie 🙂
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i love Abba and I like your choice
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Hey Tazzie 🙂
Phew good choice it was then 🙂
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