I stared at the empty shelves of the store, surprised to find that the lentils and legumes section was bare. No chickpeas, no Kidney beans, no soybean – not even one variety of Dal was left in this popular Indian store that I had visited on numerous occasions. It’s not just the hand sanitizers and toilet paper that panic buyers are hoarding as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. I shortened the list to only Moong Dal – which is required for my baby. But even after looking hard I couldn’t find it.
I stepped out of the store and made my way to the only other store in the vicinity that sold lentils. There weren’t many choices left but at least I found Moong Dal. I didn’t have the heart to buy more than a kilo as I was pretty sure that there would be another mother like me struggling to find Moong Dal for her baby.
Today, we couldn’t find salt anywhere. Even in Woolworths supermarket. I will have to ask my husband to go out again tomorrow to find salt as we are running low. The impact of Coronavirus on our lives is going to be unprecedented.
I joined work last Monday, after taking a year of maternity leave, and had to take the public transport to reach office. The train car smelled strongly of hand sanitizers that kept on getting stronger as more passengers got into the train. Most of us were practicing social distancing. Not sitting close by, covering face when blowing nose or sneezing. But many weren’t so careful.
Here’s a great article on safe hygiene practices: Coronavirus – How to be safe?
By Friday, the number of people and vehicles in Sydney CBD had thinned considerably. The train station at peak hour looked depressingly quiet.
Just as I was getting used to this beautiful view, I had to start working from home.
From tomorrow onwards, our company’s offices will close in Australia and New Zealand. As we said our goodbyes, I felt the impact of the pandemic. With the situation being so fluid and capricious, I wasn’t sure when we would meet again in real-time, and have lunches together or talk non stop about our babies.
Thankfully my parents are being extremely cautious back in India. They have placed a bucket of water along with mug and soap right near the entrance of our home, for anyone who wishes to enter.
For now, I try to distract myself from the mayhem and the financial losses of share-trading by gardening. Watching seedlings sprout from the earth and new growth appearing from succulent leaves provides some kind of peace and stability to my mind.
Also grew some happy tiny plants in the tiny eggshell containers.
As I haven’t gone outside since Friday, I am getting into the old habit of spending the evening in the garden – feel the breeze, watch the sky change color and find solace in nature.
I look at reports every single morning, check numbers and mortality rate. Not to get scared or feel depressed, but to get a true picture. We cannot remain aloof forever. We all will be impacted one way or another, therefore it is essential to prepare ourselves emotionally. We are in this together.
At the same time, please look after your mental health. Don’t let social media or WhatsApp forwards overwhelm you. This page – Look after your mental health – has some wonderful tips and helpline numbers to assist you.
Sending you all much love and positive vibes.
Related Post – Life in a Sydney Suburb
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