As I write this the situation in NSW is deteriorating and the UK appears to moving into a much more troubling phase. Given all that we as Victorians endured in 2020, it would be easy to feel as though the raging river that is COVID-19 is about to swell and overflow again, but instead I am quietly confident Victoria will be okay.
Be confident that we as Victorians know what to do to reduce the spread of the virus. We already know if cases emerge again in the community we will apply our masks, wash our hands, see fewer people and socially distance.
Be confident that we can find creative new ways of doing things that we have always enjoyed. The Manor and Lodge always host a Residents’ Christmas lunch with each Resident bringing 2 family members for a sit down, 3 course lunch. This year we knew that we could not host 180+ people in each of our facilities so instead we had 4 lunches over 4 consecutive days and discovered that these smaller, more intimate lunches were overwhelmingly better for everyone. The quality of the meal improved because we had more time and space to serve it, the quality of the conversation was better because there was less noise and people could share stories, the quality of the experience for everyone was better because it felt more personal.
Be confident that everyone is doing the best that they can, even if their ‘best’ is not your best – everyone’s best looks different. Early in 2020 during a family Zoom call, I used the catchphrase “we are all in this together”, and my sister, a schoolteacher, pointed out that we may all be in the same storm, but we are each in very different boats depending on our personal circumstances. Recently I was talking to a checkout operator at my local supermarket and she commented that masks are just to keep the bosses happy and I said, no, they are to keep us safe and she looked genuinely surprised. It was really early and there were no other customers, so we got talking and she was so grateful to have masks and how COVID-19 is spread explained to her because no one had ever taken time to explain it her in a way she could understand. This experience reminded of the importance of strengthening other people’s boats with compassion and recognising that we are all just doing the best we can with the resources we have available to us.
Be confident that we begin 2021 as a much more creative and adaptable community, celebrate the coming of the new year with hope for a successful vaccine and more compassionate and understanding world.
Take care, Kim Jackson