Feeling strange

It’s been a strange old year. Everyone and everything has been different. We have been through something that none of us have seen in our lifetime. A global pandemic that has affected every country on earth. It has become the norm to avoid having parties and interacting with other humans. There has been a lot of fear and uncertainty all over the world. I am just going to go through what has happened for posterity. In December 2019 or around then the Chinese city of Wuhan started having a lot of people show up to hospital with a respiratory illness that had no known cause. It was soon thought to be a viral infection that possibly started in the Wuhan wet markets. The theory was that a new Corona Virus has transferred for animal to humans. It was thought either by bats or pangolins but no one actually knows for sure. In Adelaide South Australia (where I am from) we starting hearing things on the news in January and it seemed like the previous pandemics like mad cow and Asian bird fly and SARS. We didn’t really think a lot about it at first. Then we started getting more and more information from the WHO and it became clearer that it was going to be something different. Something that no one alive today has seen before. The graphs started coming out about it’s trajectory and mortallity rate. people started comparing it to the spanish flu of 1918-1919. In 1918 the Spanish Flu infected an estimated 500 million people about one-third of the worlds population and killed at least 50 million people.

Everyone was scared. Scared of the unknown , scared of not having enough food and supplies. Toilet paper, rice, pasta, tissues hand sanitiser and other items were missing from the shelves because of panic buying. Fights broke out in some supermarkets over toilets paper. The supermarkets had to limit a lot of different products that I previously mentioned in order for everyone to have enough to go around. It really started here on the middle of February. Things started to close, all the gatherings started to get cancelled. On the 31st of March 2020 the Hotel I work at was temporarily closed. The whole chain of 7 hotels, 6 in Australia and 1 in Auckland New Zealand. The Australian Government brought out a scheme called “Job Keeper” it started on the 31st of March coincidently. The scheme was there to help businesses pay their staff and keep them on the payroll while they were forced to close. Sorry yes the government forced some businesses to close completely. Actually pretty much all non-essential businesses. Chemists, supermarkets, hospitals and doctors rooms were the only things allowed to stay open for a good few months. Banks put all loan repayments on hold for 6 months and the Prime minister said that no one could be evicted from a rental property or a commercial lease if they can’t pay. Although I don’t really know if this was ever law. Schools in South Australia were only closed for a few weeks before the school holidays that started on the 9th of April until the 27th of April. On the 24th of March I logged into Zoom with my mother-in-law as she is a retired teacher and I must have had the two youngest kids at home around this time. I think they had two weeks before the holidays off and one or two weeks after the holidays still at home being home-schooled. Victoria was the worst hit with the Corona Virus and have only just gone back to school in September or October 2020.

I received a letter from my Hotel on the 26th of August 2020 stating that the Hotel will open and I was to start work again from the 31st of August 2020. The Job keeper scheme was still running but it was going to reduce from $1500 per fortnight to $1200 from the 28th of September and then $1000 per fortnight from the 4th of January 2021. Job keeper will end on the 28th of March 2021 a full year after it started.

Things are only just starting to get back to more normality now, around 6 to 7 months after the start of the shut down of a lot of businesses. The most disappointing thing for me is the closure of a lot of the school activities. Sports Day was on a couple of weeks ago and no parents were allowed to attend.

book week was the 26th of August, a day where all the parents and grandparents come to the school and the kids have a parade in their costumes. This year the parade was video recorded and put onto YouTube for the parents to watch.

Let’s hope things get back to normal soon for the world and we can all continue to enjoy watching our children in the activities that they do at School. Also all the other activities that have been cancelled during this time.

All the best to you and your family,

Simon.

My new way to try and get healthier.

I have always struggled with my weight. As a child I was chubby and enjoyed a lot of food. My teenage years were a bit better lost the weight with constant sports and just being generally pretty active. Then into my adulthood the activity became less and the eating became worse. I am now the heaviest I have ever been. But I am on a real plan to just reduce my portions and only eat whole foods. More fruits and vegetables, not processed foods, cut the chocolate and junk food. It is pretty basic stuff, I know but I have never counted calories before as a strategy. I have a new app on my phone that is very good for foods made and eaten in Australia. It’s called East Diet Diary, it’s free on the Apps Store and made specifically for Australia. It is super easy to use and sets out an ability to easily add individual foods or create meals and add them in one go. I am looking to keep under 1700 Calories per day and increase my exercise gradually. I have created a few simple and tasty recipes that are under 500 Calories per meal.