Lockdown April 2021

My city two days ago entered a snap three day lockdown. Unlike most of the world, Australia has fared extremely well during the pandemic largely due to closed borders, individual states adopting strict measures early in 2020 to stamp out the virus and our hotel quarantine system. As a result, for most of the last 12 months, we have lived a fairly normal lives. Aside from international and interstate travel, we have been able to go where we like, mix with whomever we choose, go out to dinner, and go to work all with very minimal restrictions. Life was good. For the most part I’ve felt safe. Fortress WA (as I affectionately like to call it) has kept us fairly unscathed. That’s kind of what it’s been like to be honest, it’s like living in a fortress, our own little island of freedom. Almost three days ago now, that all changed.

As a result of a hotel quarantine breach (for my international readers – we are allowing Australian Citizens to return home in small numbers but they must complete 14 days in hotel quarantine upon arrival at a designated hotel at their own cost of AUD$2,500) which resulted in a positive COVID-19 case moving around the community, we almost immediately went into lockdown. There are only four valid reasons to leave your home and when you do, mask wearing is compulsory. Pretty much everything is closed, however restaurants are allowed to offer a takeaway service and we are allowed to exercise outside for one hour per day. I’m sure many reading this will ask me – is this not a violation of our rights? our freedoms? In my opinion it is not. Most of us are thankful we are able to do this, it keeps us safe and healthy. I feel strongly that health equates to freedom.

The past two and a bit days have given me a chance to catch up. Aside from the normal household tasks such as laundry and cleaning, it’s given me a chance to read some books, to go through my wardrobe and discard unwanted items. I also cleared out the bathroom cupboard discarding expired items and near empty bottles. I’ve been making good use of my hour a day exercise too which also fills in the time. It’s easy to complain though, and to think of all the things we are missing out on. All the things we can’t do, all the plans that were cancelled. But this lockdown I’ve been trying to think about all the things I can do, all the things I haven’t got around to in some time. I want to feel like I’ve made use of this time, achieved something so to speak.

Yesterday was ANZAC day, a commemorative national public holiday that serves as a tribute to Australians and New Zealanders who have served in conflict. Usually at this time of year I make a batch of ‘ANZAC Biscuits’ (though sadly due to my allergies I have to make a gluten and dairy free version which aren’t quite as good). I thought to myself ‘can I really be bothered?’ Do I get up off the couch and turn off the TV to make a batch of biscuits? As I seemed to have all the ingredients including some items that were getting close to their best before date, then yes I absolutely I do! That was the real motivator, the fact that some ingredients were starting to get old, I might as well use them whilst they are still good as opposed to throwing them out.

I feel like I’ve achieved something the last three days, things that didn’t cost money, didn’t bring clutter into my home (but, in fact, reduced it) and didn’t make me feel stressed. I tried not to focus on my cancelled dinner plans and family catch-ups that never happend, but rather the things I could do and the tasks I could accomplish, particularly those that contributed towards my minimalist and frugal lifestyle.

What have lockdowns looked like for you? How were you minimalist? Or frugal?