After some time out from my blog, I feel I need to write about the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and how it is affecting people in my local area.
Technical Issues With My Blog
I have been having some time out from my blog. Basically I ghosted Midlifestylist. There were several reasons for this, one of which is that I “broke” my website. I have been trying to fix it but to no avail. I put a new plugin on my website which does automatic backups. One of the plugin’s features is that it tidies up your photo gallery. I thought that would be a good idea because I know I have a few images on the website that I don’t use. I thought it was going to delete 10 images but it deleted almost everything.
Images are a vital part of my website because I use them to illustrate statistics and as part of my guides. I have spent a lot of time creating them. It is devastating to lose so much from my website. I attempted to restore an older version of my website from a backup file but have not been able to do it. The technical aspects of running a website have always been challenging for me because I am self taught and really have no idea what I’m doing half the time. It was the last straw for me and I had to step away from it or I would have exploded!
Tough Subject Matter
Prior to that I had been writing and recording episodes for my podcast. The subject material was always going to be tough because it is about my BRCA2 genetic mutation. The last episode was about prostate cancer, which has impacted my family in a huge way. Writing about the cancers that have affected my family, and the ones that I have a high risk of getting like melanoma and pancreatic cancer, caused a lot of emotion. That also was a deciding factor for me taking a break from my blog.
Readjusting to Work
I increased my hours at work and have been struggling with fatigue from the shift work. Because I still have frequent medical appointments to attend, and chronic health issues, I have struggled at times. I love my job and I’m so glad to be back at work. I feel very blessed to have such a supportive boss and I will never take my job for granted again. I just know that I need to maintain a good work/life balance. I am currently doing five shifts a fortnight and aim for six. I know that getting back to seven shifts is almost definitely out of the question because I was struggling with that many prior to my time off last year. I’m just happy to be back and I know it was a huge achievement to get there.
All of these factors combined lead me to taking a break from blogging. I didn’t want to just churn out anything and I felt that at times that is what I was doing. I wasn’t happy with what I was writing. I would rather write less often and with passion for the subject matter. Having a break has been good for me. I won’t be writing as often as I did before as publishing a blog piece weekly is just too difficult for me.
Border Closures Due to the Pandemic
The thing that made me decide to write again today is the current situation with Covid-19. There are some issues that I am not happy with that I would like to write about. Australia is divided in a way I never thought I’d see happen. I live in Queensland which is a lucky state to live in. Our Covid-19 numbers have always been low compared to the rest of the country and any outbreaks are quickly staunched by short sharp lock-downs. We have never seen the high numbers here, meanwhile New South Wales and Victoria to the south of us have struggled with high numbers and lengthy lock-downs.
As a result we are isolated behind an impenetrable border at the moment, not allowing anyone to enter our state at the current time. The problem with this is that, in their effort to keep Covid-19 out, our leaders have created other issues. The worst problem is that they now will not allow medical staff to cross the border. Many of the staff in hospitals, nursing homes, medical centres etc. come from Northern New South Wales. The Queensland government has deemed them to be non-essential so they are not allowing them through.
Media Coverage Does Not Reflect The Truth
The media has not picked up on the fact that they are not allowing doctors and nurses who are fully immunised through, even with a letter from management to say they are essential. The result of that is that staff are doing double shifts and overtime to cover them. Meanwhile these perfectly capable Fully Immunised staff are on full pay at home. You won’t see that on mainstream media because they are too busy covering protests and people sneaking through the border and getting caught.
I have a major issue with the media’s coverage of this pandemic. They have been the cause of the distrust that the public has towards the Covid-19 vaccines. If they hadn’t made such a big deal out of the small number of people getting reactions from the vaccines, there wouldn’t have been so much fear in the community and our vaccination rates would have been much higher. The truth is that every vaccination causes side effects to a certain number of people. The risk of getting a blood clot from the Covid-19 virus is much higher than from the vaccine. The public is given a skewed picture of the risks.
In Australia the vaccination rollout started with nursing home patients and people who already had medical issues. The rate of vaccination complications is always going to be higher in these people than in the rest of the community. The media sensationalised the number of people having reactions which has negatively impacted the public’s view of it. The Delta variant is a huge threat to our unvaccinated population. It changed the whole picture of the pandemic. If we want to control this pandemic we need to get at least 70% of the population vaccinated ASAP.
The Pandemic Has Caused Housing Shortages
Because of our low numbers in Queensland, we have seen a huge influx of people moving here. This has impacted the supply of housing in a massive way. It is now almost impossible to rent a property in Southeast Queensland and the value of housing has risen in line with the demand. Locals are being pushed out of the market because we can’t compete with the amount that people from NSW and Victoria are able to pay. My son is moving back home because it is almost impossible to rent a property in his price range.
Desperate people are offering six months’ rent in advance, or $50 more per week on the asking price, to be able to get a house. My house has risen in value by about $300,000 in the last year. People from interstate are buying houses sight unseen so that they can move here. Lock-downs mean that people are unable to run their business – especially on the border between Queensland and New South Wales.
The Effects of the Pandemic on Business
My brother lives in northern New South Wales and he is in strict lock-down. He can’t run his business because he’s not able to travel more than 5km from home and customers can’t come to him. The Government is propping up many businesses like his with funds but many of them will still go bust. The most heartbreaking image we see on our nightly news is that of families forced to hug each other over the border barriers between our states.
A Glimmer of Hope
We had some good news today, that Northern New South Wales is ending it’s lock-down which means that there will be more freedom to cross the border. This is just for essential workers and students, which means that medical staff should be able to come to work.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic. We are seeing other countries getting back to normal once their vaccination rates are high enough. Meanwhile, I hope all who are reading this are in good health. I would love to hear what life looks like in your part of the world, so feel free to comment below.
Shared on #Life This Week Linkup on Denyse Whelan’s blog
9 responses to “Taking Some Time Out”
Hi Christina, I’m sorry to hear about your blog technical issues. Taking a break is a smart move so you come back refreshed and ready to continue with blogging. You’re busy with work and life so blog when it suits you.
At time of writing, 77.76% of Canada’s age 12 and up population are fully vaccinated. Vaccinations continue to be available to eligible residents. In the province of Ontario where I live, we’ve been at step 3 of the 3-step reopening plan. Indoor and outdoor events and businesses are opened with capacity limits. Students started a new school year last week, mostly in-person learning. We do have mask mandate in indoor public spaces and public transit. Many organizations have started vaccine mandate and proof of vaccinations. I can travel freely in my province and across Canada. Personally I continue the 3Ws (wash my hands, wear my mask and watch my distance).
Hi Natalie, Canada is doing well at nearly 80% vaccinated! I have read your updates on your blog and it appears that Canada has had a very organised way of dealing with the pandemic. I think what is happening in Australia is partly due to the states having different rules, and chopping and changing them all the time. It’s hard to plan anything because the rules could change suddenly making travel impossible. Stay well, and I will still take part in your Linkup, just not as regularly as I did before. Regards, Christina
I’m sorry to hear about your issues with the blog, and I totally agree that it’s a pain to manage your own website. I’ve been doing it for a long time and although I also do it for some other people I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. But I’ve learned how to restore a website if have the wp-content folder and the database file so that makes it easier. I use BackWPup for backups, it’s very good and easy to use.
It was interesting to read about Australia’s lockdown effects. We don’t get much of those details over here. I live in Ireland and over 90% of all eligible people are fully vaccinated here now. The case number is quite high but mostly among children, it’s falling in all vaccinated groups. I couldn’t agree more about how media covers the vaccine side effects. They need to be known but it definitely shouldn’t be published as such a big thing.
I’m fully vaccinated since June but I continue to be very cautious.
Hi Susanne, thank you for the tips about backups – I’ll definitely look at that plugin.
Ireland is doing well at 90% vaccinated! There are increasing numbers amongst children here too. Vaccines are now available for 12 years + which should help. Stay well, thank you so much for commenting, regards Christina
I am not that great on tech stuff either, so I mostly have a backup and if I ever need it (knock on wood), have to hire someone to fix it for me. No patience for that detailed tech stuff anymore!
Also in QLD so much the same as you! I can’t wait til more people get vaccinated now that more appointments are available (I was 1b so was my husband so we’ve been double-shotted for nearly 3 months now).
I am a little tired of businesses here thinking it’ll never come in/we’ll never have another lockdown though. It is inevitable we’ll have more cases and the “it’s over” sentiment being pushed by some feels very dismissive of people who are 1b like me and wouldn’t mind some accommodations continuing for a little while at least!
Hi Vanessa, my husband and I were vaccinated early as well. It worries me that now that NSW is 80% vaccinated they are going to relax restrictions. While lockdowns are frustrating, they do work. I think there are a lot of people who are complacent in Qld. because we have had low rates but I think we’ve just been lucky! Take care, thank you for your comment, regards Christina
I feel for you Christina and don’t understand some of the decisions that have been made re the border issues etc. My daughter in Qld had to move out of her rental property, which meant trying to find somewhere to live and she struck the same things as you mentioned – people offering more rent, payment in advance etc, it’s just so wrong. I’m sure the owners of the house she had to move out of are going to put the rent up with new renters. Then she had all the hassle of moving while starting a new job and having a sick little boy. She is feeling overwhelmed and I can’t get up there to help out as I would normally be able to do, it’s so frustrating!
I hope you are feeling Ok and not wearing yourself out! Take care and hope the tech issues get sorted for you.
Oh Debbie, that sounds terrible for your daughter. And so frustrating for you to not be able to help. I’ve heard so many horror stories like this. I’m so lucky that I’m in the position to help my son – so many people have no-one.
I’m doing well thankyou – one thing I learnt from having that time off is that I need to rest more when I’m tired.
Thank you for your comment, regards Christina
Oh I am so sorry you had blogging issues. I have kept my blog and its operations very simple for ME (non techie) to be able to use ever since my lovely techie guy who set it up back in 2012 gave me that advice. He told me it’s often plugins that cause the damage and can be because just one part of their ‘language” is wrong.
As for all you mention re own overload, I could kind of see it happening. You have had so much passion to inform and help but you have also been undergoing major life changes with grief and back to work. So admitting your limitations to yourself first is a great step!
Thank you for taking part in the 5th Birthday celebrations of Life This Week. Great to see friends who are bloggers linking up each week when they can. I appreciate each and every one of you. Next week, Mr W is back with Time Part Two. See you then if you have a post to share. Denyse.