The Isolation Diaries
Days 9,10 and 11: 6 – 8 April

Such a fun remote Zumba class, each of us in our own space

I had meant to finish this yesterday …..I didn’t and already some of it seems out of date
We woke to the very sad news that a family of seven from our hotel had been taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with symptoms, three of the children on stretchers and now the father and another child have been diagnosed with COVID-19. So very distressing for them and hard as for the parents who would want to be with their children. The rest of the family are now in another hotel which is being used as a hospital. However, I only know what I have seen here. My thoughts and hopes are with them all. I found out much of this from a reporter on Channel 7 News who rang me and I did a brief interview with them for the 6pm news. Sadly he also told me what I feared, about another inmate in lockdown losing it and needing to be moved to somewhere he could get mental health support. I am sure there will be more.Also today, I heard banging on a door nearby “police, police”. They were checking up on someone in a room nearby as their food was banking up outside the door. A hotel staff member let them in with a key to check. The room was in darkness though it was the middle of the day. Fortunately the couple in there were only asleep. A huge relief but this is the reality.I have been thinking about the ramifications of EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE as we are all not living our lives as we once did. See RUOK? further down. Evidently people are no longer allowed to go for a drive, which mystifies me. Surely if you don’t get out between your garage and returning that could be OK? I can see we are going to have to learn all the rules for our departure.
Speaking of departure, our latest advice is that we can leave on Saturday, subject to a health check on Friday. We had three times had a call from a nurse (and another today following the family being diagnosed)  asking if we were ok. We did ask if they were going to take our temperatures but they said no. It is only if you exhibit symptoms that they will do so. Anyway, looking forward to it, but we don’t yet know what time. Yesterday I went  through all our details a second time on the phone with a police officer and if all is OK we can leave Saturday morning. Yah!
When I lie awake for hours in the middle of the night, I think about what I might cook, depending on what I can buy. What are you cooking?

Thanks so much again for your lovely messages of support and feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

I hope you are still seeing my video diaries which I continue to do daily on Instagram and Facebook. 

Isolation Life

Surprise gifts brighten the day

Kindness brings kindness

I realise I am very, very lucky to have so many friends and family who surprise me with kindnesses. I am blown away by the kindness of so many and conversely the unkindness of others.  Special mention of Michelle Roberts, whom I don’t know in person but who has contacted me and sent me a crocheted flower. She is a volunteer who visits dementia patients. She can’t at the moment, because of the social distancing regulations, so she has crocheted one for everyone of them and sent it in with a letter. Crocheted flowers will last and not die. She sent me one and I was proud to wear it on my video diary last night.
There were so many lovely comments about it.
Also my adorable sister made a care package drop for the couple across the hallway – Tasmanian smoked salmon (as that’s where they come from), strawberries and fresh milk – which I knew about – but she also sent them each a book to read!
Another friend was able to buy some face masks to send to a friend in Melbourne who is having chemotherapy and had no mask for when she goes for treatment.
So lovely to see kindnesses passed on.


It seems to me that in a time of isolation of any sort, that we need to worry about people’s mental health.

Another colleague posted on social media about RUOK? so I thought I would highlight the work they do.
R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.
Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.
Their goals are to:
1. Boost our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life’s ups and downs
2. Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others
3. Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us
4. Be relevant, strong and dynamic

Now they have a new initiative and say “In these challenging times we need to be there for each other. A great way to do this, and support local businesses doing it tough, is to ‘Takeaway Together’.”  The idea is you order takeaway (helping the hospitality industry), so does a friend or workmate and you eat together, connected by phone,  or video call. Then you can get the conversation flowing and see how they are.  If they’ve got a lot on their plate you can use the 4 steps (ask, listen, encourage action, check in) to show them they’re supported and help them find strategies to better manage the load. Share what you’ve done using #takeawaytogether and encourage the people in your world to do the same.

More on life from inside

Zumba in isolation – made me feel great afterwards

I have developed some new skills.

  • Yesterday I cut my partner’s hair which I have never done before – with his razor and nail scissors – and I didn’t do a bad job.
  • Big shout out to my neice Rachel of Inspire Bellydance  for inviting me to join her classes online even though they are in the last week of term. I was so pleased I could follow and keep up – looks like I haven’t lost it, after all! Our daily exercises must be working.
  • My neighbour across the hallway, told me on the house phone, that if you walk between the door and the window in your room, it is 9 metres, so go both ways and it is 18 metres. Do 60 laps and you have done over a kilometre. We are now doing this a couple of times a day, also calculating that 1000 steps and 10 minutes is one kilometre. I hope we don’t wear out the hotel room carpet.
  • Also, I found the Queen’s recorded message very moving. What an incredible individual she is. 93 years young.

Ode to our Youth

A couple of readers of these updates have shared this ditty with me: 

I’m normally a social girl
I love to meet my mates
But lately with the virus here
We can’t go out the gates.
You see, we are the ‘oldies’ now!
We need to stay inside,
If they haven’t seen us for a while
They’ll think we’ve upped and died!They’ll never know the things we did,
Before we got this old,
There wasn’t any Facebook
So not everything was told.We may seem sweet old ladies
Who would never be uncouth,
But we grew up in the 60s –
If they only knew the truth!

There was sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll
The Pill and miniskirts,
We smoked, we drank, we partied,
And were outrageous flirts.

Then we settled down, got married
Turned into someone’s Mum,
A wife, a mother, and Nana dear-
Who on earth have we become?

We didn’t mind the change of pace
Because our lives were full,
But to bury us before we’re dead
Is like a red rag to a bull!

So here you find me stuck inside
For four weeks, maybe more-
I finally found myself again-
Then had to close the door!

It didn’t really bother me…
I’d wile away the hour
I’d bake for all the family –
But I’ve got no bloody flour!

At least I’ve got a stash of booze
For when I’m being idle,
There’s wine and whiskey, even gin
When feeling suicidal!

So let’s all drink to lockdown,
To recovery and to health
And hope this bloody virus
Doesn’t decimate our wealth.

We’ll all get through the crisis
And be back to join our mates
I pray I’m not too fat and wide
To fit through the flaming gates!

Thank you to the police

I promised in my last written diary to write to the Police Commissioner with thanks. Here is their response: 

Hello Lyndey,
Thank you for contacting the NSW Police Force.  Your Reference is # 1126174 G2J1
Your compliment has been forwarded to the Sydney City Police Area Command.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the efforts of NSW Police Force Staff.
We hope the remainder of your time in isolation goes quickly and smoothly.
Customer Assistance Unit

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