I found myself in a precarious position, I was forced into ‘lockdown’ in Victoria while visiting my father.  Along with all other Victorians I was sharing their plight in the cold of winter.

I have been known to say to my family, ‘no one is to die in Winter, get married, or have any celebration that requires my presence because it’s just too cold and I won’t be there for that.’

Indeed my trip to Melbourne was to only be for four days.  “Life Is What Happens When You Are Busy Making Other Plans, as John Lennon’s words ring out to me!”   I busied myself sorting out dads’ place by going through various cupboards, draws, storage areas, and more.  Preparing meals for dad, that were healthy and wholesome and enjoying his beautiful company while forced into a Melbourne Lockdown that came out of nowhere but, then when I think about it now, was highly likely to happen!

While I was with my father I was able to access his needs more and get an idea of how he was coping with his living arrangements, as dad lives alone!  it was pretty good under the circumstances.  I stayed with him the whole time, as the situation started to rapidly deteriorate in Victoria with increasing COVID-19 cases, Variants, and all that come with that.

I realized with rising anxiety, that I may not be able to go home to our beautiful land and rolling hills and fresh Queensland air. I set about trying to contact various government departments to see if I could get an exemption, as not only was my flight home canceled by the airline, but then the Victorian government had placed the whole state on a 7-day lockdown.  I was due to fly home on the 29th of May.  This meant my dear travel agent had to get me on another flight in readiness for when the lockdown completed in Victoria.

When it became apparent that the lockdown was to be extended for yet another 7 days, I began to feel more anxious, as I was losing all sense of control over the situation, despite staying within the one area in Melbourne that didn’t show up on the news as a hot spot. Ahh but then, the whole of Victoria has declared a hotspot, and thus, I decided to get out while I could.  Flying home from Melbourne airport with only one other passenger on my flight, was bizarre, we were on our own private jet you could say, for the other passenger and me that was a first!

When I arrived back at Maroochydore airport I pleaded my case to the police officers for being able to quarantine at home because while in Melbourne, I hadn’t left the area where my dad lives. I began my isolation with dad, so to speak, for 9 days, but the Queensland police officer Shane said it was out of his hands without me having physical exemption paperwork for a pardon.  He said I had three options.  Option One:  Fly back to Melbourne and ride it out!  Option Two: Fly to New South Wales, and spend 2 weeks there, then cross the border and possibly be able to enter Queensland.  Option three:  Go to Brisbane and quarantine for 14 days in a hotel.  Option three was what I was trying to avoid, I was worried about being in a confined environment, not being able to exercise, breathe fresh air or move freely!

In the end, I chose option three, because I didn’t fancy my chances if I was to fly back to Melbourne, or that I would ever be able to fly out of Victoria without quarantine by leaving it any longer, and I was particularly concerned about NSW because they were likely to close the border to Queensland and then I would still have to do another 2 weeks quarantine, at my expense!

There were other concerns for me, I had events, retreats workshops all planned for the early part of June, they had to be postponed, canceled and delegates informed of these cancellations, now I know how people felt when they couldn’t go to a funeral, convention or a wedding, christening, or anything like that.  The planning involved and the pain of having it shot in the head.  A little boy’s family had to limit the number of people who mourned his death, to 10 at the funeral.  So many people put into disarray and chaos because of a ‘VIRUS’!!!

I was one of those people that you see on the news, whisked away to hotel quarantine in Brisbane; I was one of those people being escorted into brandless white vans or busses, to an unknown environment not to be seen for 14 days. This was the very situation I thought I would never be in, but blow me down here I was in a white van, with two police officers as escorts, being driven to Brisbane to Quarantine for 14 days.  Ughh.

I think back to my time with my father, it was priceless, I got to meet with his support worker, Jane, we had a chance to go over some family history, talk about his wishes, and what was important to him.  I got to clean the glass cabinet, (which really needed a clean), I got to meet dad’s neighbor (albeit with masks on, and socially distanced)!  I gave dad an ‘essential oil class to bring him up to speed with his oils and how to use them.  I was able to make really healthy vegetarian meals for dad, and he took it all in.  He is managing very well on his own, but I’m so glad for Melbournes 4th Lockdown that I was there at least there to give him some company, some support, and turn some of our homegrown vegetables into soup, that I lugged all the way down to Victoria in my case!

Quarantine:

Lockdown is one thing, at least with Lockdown, you can exercise within a 5 or 10km radius of the home.  You can feel some sunshine, although cold sunshine in the southern states,  like Melbourne sunshine on your face, and fresh brisk air can be inhaled through your nostrils!  Quarantine, as I’ve discovered is very strict;  It’s within 4 walls, and in a hotel room, without a balcony, so you can’t feel sunshine or take in the fresh air, instead, you inhale recycled air through hotel ventilation!  Now, that part worried me a lot!  I’m a  healthy, vibrant person, going into a more sterile controlled area, that If I try to leave, I will be fined considerable amounts of money and hauled back into the same situation with even a longer stay!

Look I get why they are doing it I really do, but I know there is a better way, and I know that it’s going to be an ongoing problem for all the states and Australia as a country.  There are environments that would be far healthier and far more effective than a hotel, which is designed for short stay periods, for people who are coming and going, not staying for 14 days!

So, to make the most of my situation I have planned out my days, so that I remain upbeat, and well.  I exercise in the room, at a set time.  I pace and walk and dance, and stretch and do yoga for at least an hour, then I get myself dressed and prepared as if I was having a working day.  I write, and study, and communicate with loved ones, business associates, and friends, and I am getting through each day.  I have much to be grateful for, and much to achieve while I’m in this situation.  I look forward to being able to give you an update of how it all turns out, but for now the secret to surviving quarantine is how I work the day, my thoughts and my nutrition.

With me, I have essential oils like Frankincense, Rose, and the blend Balance.  I always travel with essential oils because they are a must when commuting between areas, states, and different environments.  The emotion welled up in me when the police officer Shane told me I would be confined for 14 days, but Balance essential oil applied liberally certainly helped me to come to grips with it all.

Choosing the Vegetarian Gluten Free option for food at the hotel, was also a must, keeping up my exercise despite the area for moving in being very limited.  There’s always a better mindset to adopt when placed in a situation you didn’t plan for, as the alternative is just a waste of mental space.  To keep good mental health in a lockdown or quarantine environment, one must remember to hydrate, and hydrate with warm to hot water so that the bowels are able to release better, to breath consciously throughout the day, to pace when each hour is up, and find a way to express creatively.

PS. Lifestyle Reset Retreat will take place on the 18th and 19th of September.  The Age of Anxiety Presentation will still take place on the 23rd June 2021.  Check the website for details on these events and to book your place.

Thanks for tuning in.  I really would love your comments, as I’m able to respond.  Thank you xx Annie

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