Life in the time of Coronavirus | Sydney

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?

empty streets in Sydney CBD coronavirus impact on life pandemic
One of the busiest streets of Sydney CBD – which was once filled with traffic, and people trying to go home after 5 pm

By Friday, the number of people and vehicles in Sydney CBD had thinned considerably. The train station at peak hour looked depressingly quiet.

sydney train station at peak hour coronavirus impact on life
Coronavirus impact on life – A quiet Town Hall train station at peak hour

Just as I was getting used to this beautiful view, I had to start working from home.

Darling harbour Sydney CBD

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.

growing methi at home
Methi (fenugreek) growing well

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.

sunset in sydney

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.

software engineer working from home coronavirus impact on life
First Day of working from home – until further notice

Related Post – Life in a Sydney Suburb

linking to All seasons

18 thoughts on “Life in the time of Coronavirus | Sydney

  1. I can imagine what it means where groceries run out. I had a similar situation but after looking into a few stores, I got the stuff I needed. The pictures you shared are a true representation of the times we are in.
    I truly believe good time will come. I am staying hopeful.

    Take care, Raji! Stay safe.

  2. So glad to hear you are keeping sane in this trying times. I hear you about what will happen when we meet again. Take heart and stay busy right now and spend this time watching your lil one grow – I am sure he is thrilled to have you both around so much!! Much love and hugs Raji!

  3. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your daily life. So wonderful to hear that there are actually thoughtful buyers out there. All our shelves are also bare. I really wish people would not panic buy as it leaves us “normal” people without the essentials for our family. Wishing you all the best through these difficult times.

  4. We are facing similar situation Raji. Working from home since 2 weeks, kids at home as no school. Fortunately, we have some supplies available though situation is changing every day. Let’s hope for the best. We are all in this together.

  5. It’s the same situation here… the day before the national lock down, the groceries section of Reliance Super Store was giving a deserted look. Almost all the dals, rice, flours were absent from the shelves. People have stocked up like crazies. Glad that you at least got your moong dal. Take care and stay safe, all of you!

  6. these are indeed unforeseen situation where no one could have helped in anyway. we all can just wait and watch it pass by. i’m keeping my fingers crossed as the positives are rising in India. let’s hope we all fare well in these trying times. take care and be safe.

  7. We all needed some kind of motivation in this difficult time and your write up is just doing this noble cause. If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. There’s only one reason why you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have, but, right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.

    Stay blessed!

    Pinkey Sen.

  8. Nice post! Panic buying and hoarding is a problem everywhere. I like how considerate you are. This is the third day of our lockdown and it’s feeling like I’ve been working from home for a month. Stay save!

  9. Your positivity is infectious. The crisis has hit the humanity hard. It not only playing on the lives but also waging a war on sanity as home confinement or social distancing is a difficult job.
    Stay strong and stay healthy Raj.

  10. I can understand! Last weekend I went to do the supermarket and there was barely anything on the shelves. Panic buying is causing a lot of problems. We are under complete lockdown since yesterday and our neighbourhood grocery store also wasn’t open yesterday. Thankfully, it was open today and we were able to buy a few things.
    Stay safe!
    I loved the view of the sky from your garden. I need something like that but all I’m surrounded with is the concrete jungle.

  11. Pretty much the same here Raj. We are now in full lockdown. Yes, no salt here either 😦 stay safe Love your eggshell containers.

  12. Life suddenly took a turn for everyone of us. This time we are all battling the same problem from different corners of the world. We are dealing with the same thing here in Indian stores and other grocery stores – things are running out of stock as people are buying in bulk. We are not stocking up though. It’s only common sense to leave some behind for the next person. I hope things settle down soon. Take care, Raj.

  13. Thank you much for this sober but realistic post. for All Seasons! This happens at the wrong time for you. You may have to prepare yourself to find some other things your baby can eat. A funny thing: here all the white beans were gone, but lentils were left (Americans don’t know what to do with lentils, smile).
    Thank God, you still have your job. Yes, it seems hard for people not to hoard. It took us one and a half week to find toilet paper and 6 stores. Was already prepared to use the wash cloth instead! Things on the country side look much more like normal than in Sacramento – and that is not even a big city like Los Angeles where I lived before. Luckily now you work from home, you don’t need to deal with those eerie and depressive views.Keep yourself strong mentally, and I pray you will find solace in God who always has time to listen and to give us his perspective when we ask Him, instead of leaving us alone to figure it out for ourselves. Have an uplifting week!

  14. Sending positive vibes right back at you. I like your sense of reality and being able to find solace in your garden in the evenings. We will get through this. Take care.

  15. Very thoughtful of you Raj, to leave that extra packet of Moong Dal. We too have avoided hoarding, and are rationing instead. If we all do our little bit, then we atleast have a hope of every one getting to the essentials.

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