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Parents/carers chat and connect: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Pandemic Fatigue

Parents/carers chat and connect: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Pandemic Fatigue

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Let's Chat: Coronavirus COVID-19

I was encouraged to hear your daily routine is going well despite lock down. Establishing a routine in our place has always been a struggle for me and I'm currently torn between being set in stone and firm about it or the need for flexibility. We're not in lock down here in NSW and my husband is working from home and he's pretty good with routine and is great in the mornings. I have severe health issues on and off and am trying to isolate to ensure I don't get covid (also why my husband is working from home still. We had to fight for that). I got a chest infection around the time covid was at its worst here and I was terrified of going to hospital but reassured by my specialist it would be fine. Wasn't busy. I wouldn't be fighting to get treated. HOwever, I seemed to fall off the wagon after that. My husband is now doing the morning shift and taking the kids to school and I've got into this thing of staying up late. Tried to reset and had an alarm going off and I know this is what I need to do. However, something keeps happening and there are so many variables. I'm a creative and more intuitive person so more inclined to go with the flow but also needing more structure. I think I know the how to on this and I have occupational therapy where we work on this. I was wondering how you maintain your routine or if there are others out there like me? Covid has definitely thrown me around and it's been difficult to focus. 

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Let's Chat: Coronavirus COVID-19

Covid has been a huge concern for our family. I have an auto-immune disease which affects my lungs and I'm down to 50% lung capacity. At the NSW peak, I developed an awful cough and couldn't shake it and came very close to going to hospital. At this point in time, Italy was at it's peak and people like myself with disability and chronic health conditions were seriously concerned about being left to die if, and more likely when, the hospital systems became overloaded. My husband would come home from work and ask me about my evacuation plans. I didn't have any and wasn't sure what I'd do. Where I'd go. I chatted to a friend and he suggested we set a caravan up in our backyard. That way, if one of us got sick, they could go out there, or I could go there. We bought one the very next day and fortunately haven't needed it yet and plan to travel with it.

I have been very thankful when the government has stepped in and applied restrictions or lock down as it's enabled me to stay safe and it's also kept my family out of circulation.

The biggest trouble families like ours is facing, is that you have a family member in your household who would more than likely die from covid and needs to isolate. Then, you have other family members who need to keep living. Our kids are both in high school and the NSW Education department abruptly ordered them back to school without much warning or an adequate stepping stone program. This threw us and families like us in the deep end. We were terrified. It puts a lot of pressure on our kids that they might catch covid at school and in effect kill mum. Our son has also had moments of severe anxiety going to the shops and breaking out into a stress rash as people came near him. Around the time they returned to school, his mind was racing and he couldn't sleep and all these issues accumulated over a number of years popped up. Fortunately, he approached us and said he had a problem and talked to us over a couple of nights. Our family also has ongoing occupational therapy and psychological support, but we always need to be up to these challenges ourselves because you don't know when some kind of kick back to what is happening is going to strike. Our son is also quite chatty so that made it easier too. 

Meanwhile, our daughter disappeared into her room. She cut herself off from us for a few months and thankfully is re-emerging now. A girl from a few of her classes was diagnosed with covid after she'd caught it from her Dad. Fortunately, she'd isolated and hadn't been to school when she was infectious. 

We've had a lot of trouble trying to social distance when people around us aren't doing it and even I've had a few glitches when I've seen close friends and I'm fastidious about it. 

After infection rates started to drop and I noticed some shops were easier than others to get in and out of safely, I started venturing out more and I now mix with a few friends, go to Church and go to a local cafe once a week. Aside from the cases of the father and daughter, there's nothing else locally and I am treating this situation as more of a marathon than a sprint. I can't stay in lock down forever, especially when there's virtually no disease nearby. 

The thing that keeps coming back to me is back in WWI they thought the war was going to be over by Christmas. We laugh at that and think how stupid they were. Hey, that war lasted four years. Didn't you know that? We might have a vaccine soonish but he advise is that this is not going to wrap up until there's a vaccine and they can't pull a rabbit out of a hat. So, that's why I'm perhaps taking a few risks and getting out more because it's a juggling act. My kids need their education, friends, jobs and for things to be as normal as possible. My husband needs to work and fortunately after taking the university on, is back working from home. We have masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and we still have friends. Lastly, I should also mention that we have three dogs and they've made such a difference and helped us get through this. You can hug them and rumble with them and they get us throwing the ball on a semi-constant basis but they're life savers. 

One last thing about covid. What with all the adjustments and considerations we're all having to make, I've noticed what I call "cognitive overload". When we go out, we're having to think about so many things. Have we got our mask, hand sanitizer, gloves. We go into a shop and there are screen up. Where do you pay? There's dodging people, kids. I don't personally see this as a mental health issue. More a physical load thing even though you're carrying it in your head. I have friends who are pretty level headed and they've had moment were it's got too much and when I ask them about it, it's this extra thought load. I'd be interested to hear what others think of this. 



Re: Let's Chat: Coronavirus COVID-19

Hello @Birdwings, sorry to hear that covid has been a huge concern for you and your family. These times have been very hard as we deal with the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen in the future. It must be especially hard for you during this times as you are feeling concerned about your health and your ability to receive help. I hope that you are able to travel soon with your caravan. Are there any places in particular that you are thinking of travelling to? It is a shame to hear about how the stress has impacted your son and daughter. The concerns that you mentioned can’t be easy to deal with, I am sorry that your family has been experiencing this. It is nice that you have been feeling comfortable enough to take occasional trips to the shops and to see your friends. Seeing friends once a week really can make a difference and might give us a bit more of a sense of “normal” at times.  It sounds like you have really supportive family and that you have all helped each other get through these restrictions- that is so lovely.  I wish you and your family all the best throughout these hard times Heart


Re: Let's Chat: Coronavirus COVID-19

Trostle explained his desire to spread the message about social distancing was inspired by an email from a famer in Lamb County. Billy Tiller, who owns a geosciences company that caters to the agricultural community, expressed to Trostle his concerns that some producers weren’t taking COVID-19 seriously enough.

Casual scribe

Re: Let's Chat: Coronavirus COVID-19

Welcome to this Science Matters on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) - a free course to learn about the science underpinning the outbreak response.

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