March 20, 2020

The best thing to come out of what has so far, for me, been a scary time is our family unit coming together in a group text message. 

Don’t know about you but I am finding myself in a glass case of emotions Anchor Man style at this really weird time in the world right now due to COVID-19. I am either laughing at inappropriate memes, or I am taking it fully seriously and listening to every piece of information that comes through the news and then wondering what is right information and what is wrong information. The thing that has really hit home with me is that this virus will go in and attack our most vulnerable, those that are 65+. All I can think of is all my friends and loved ones who are this age, especially my Nanna, who will be at home isolated all by themselves…lonely, possibly scared and not knowing their future.

We have decided as a family, against her will I might add, that Nanna, being 85, needs to stay indoors at all times and have no interaction with anyone. Some of you may remember a previous article I wrote about my Nanna Trell from a couple of years ago… Nanna fought for her life against a hard case of cancer and won, and we’re NOT letting COVID-19 take her away after that. She has not liked any part of us telling her what to do and we have used scare tactics to get her to stay behind closed doors which is only JUST working because she is the most stubborn of Nanna’s you have ever met. She has her own Instagram page and it is the most hilarious thing you will ever see, the best thing that comes out of it is her comments on all of our posts… she says what she wants, when she wants, and doesn’t give any care in the world! Cancer taught her to be true to herself and then she added in some sass.  

The one thing we didn’t think about when making her go into lockdown was the isolation and loneliness it would create for her. Nanna would have one of us visit as least every second day, and she would get human interaction at least once a day from someone somewhere…! But because we have put her under house arrest we have made her lonely and isolated. So the best thing we did was create a family text message which literally has 15 of us in it… and it has turned into the best chat you have ever seen. It has turned into ‘Nanna’s Advice’ – first my sister asked in the group chat how to pick the best avocado to which Nanna texted straight back – ‘Hold it in your hand, squeeze it see it feels soft otherwise just leave it out. Put a banana with it, that will ripen it.’ *MIND BLOWN* Next was a discussion over whether you should put syrup or rice malt syrup in your Anzac biscuits to which she was quick to reply with ‘syrup’, but I have some here so don’t buy any…’ to which we needed to remind her that we can’t come and get it because she is in isolation and that defeats the purpose. It will be slow and steady with Nanna making her understand what isolation is, but having her involved in a group message on mobile phone has given her new importance. 

 ‘Nanna’s Advice’ at our beck and call. We will be able to check in on her, tell her movements around what is happening in the world and what is real and fake news… this is an important one for her as she is used to watching so much news and listens to talkback radio she really gets mixed information. We are also then all able to stay up to date with how she is going as a family, what she needs and then work as a team to make sure she always gets what she needs without having to leave the house. We have spoken about voting and how that will work for her now because we don’t want her leaving the house and she missed postal vote cut off… Nanna’s comments on voting…she is happy not to vote and cop a fine instead of a possible COVID-19 infection…  ‘F*ck ’em! I’d rather the fine, there will be heaps of others in the same boat.’ Nanna Trell always telling it like it is! We also get to ask her secret recipe’s ingredients and she has been giving them away…! 

If you haven’t done it yet, isolate your loved ones over 70, set up a group family chat to make sure they know they aren’t alone and they can ask for anything they need and also keep them updated with the correct information… not the mass media BS that is circulating and scaring the hell out of them! Although, sort of want Nanna to be scared and stay home…so trickle that in every now and then.

I guess the point of my story and babble is… take care of your elders… check in on your elderly neighbours to see if they need anything next time you are going to the grocery store? Cook an extra meal and drop it to them.Give them a phone call once a week at least. Pop a letter in their letterbox giving them your details if they need anything during this time. They have given us so much and have so much left to give. They need our support more than ever right now, they haven’t finished their time here yet here and we owe them! 

And while I am on this high horse of looking after people, look after yourself as well. Don’t be niave as things have drastically changed in our society and lives will forever be different from this point forward. More so than ever it is a time to protect our thoughts, hearts and stay truly kind to one another. All while making sure we can have a glass of wine when we need to while still taking the piss out of your brother who still can’t kill a spider without screaming! (A regular Snapchat video I get sent through from my sister in law). In this time of mass communication try to feed your brain with some good news stories that will make you smile…give yourself that! Read SheSociety.. ha! I have found the below memes have really put a smile on the dial when freaking out casually at 6am in the morning prior to turning on the news. Share the love…

While we are sharing the LOVE… Have a loved one that needs to learn how to FaceTime over this isolation period? Here is a super easy infographic you can send through to them to help them through the digital age we are in! It is also on our social media channels so tag away for those who need a quick crash course!