The year started with Australia on fire and the world watching. As I travelled through Vietnam with Luke, Sierra and Vu I was astonished about how much empathy the Vietnamese people had for our country. News of the devastation had spread to all corners of the earth and the world came together to help.
I have not updated my blog since my January trip because not long after I finished writing my last Vietnam post the wheels feel off the world and we went sliding along the road in disbelief.
In February the Fire Fight Australia concert brought Australians together in support of those devastated by the bush fires. It also was the last time our family was together in the same country. We saw School of Rock and shared a meal to celebrate Ben’s 30th birthday. Sadly the next day Luke flew back to the USA with news of a mystery virus spreading through Asia their plans cut short.
As the year progressed we all gained an education in exponential growth, immunology and statistical analysis. We saw empty supermarket shelves where hand sanitiser, pasta and toilet paper were treasured finds with friends and colleagues sharing tips and tricks of how and where to find them.
As April drew near schools changed, restaurants closed and visiting friends and family was banned. You could only leave your house for essential reasons. Learning from home collided with working from home and news presenters had opinions to share at every news broadcast. Then we were back in schools where they were declared virus free zones. Cleaning and santising became part of the routine. Assemblies were replaced with video messages and staff meetings via zoom. Suddenly growing out your grey and wearing sweat pants became normal. No longer were manicures important and we all got to see everyones natural hair colour.
Then just as we though Australia had this in the bag there was leak of the virus from hotel quarantine in Melbourne that spread faster than the first time. Melbourne went into a hard lockdown and all the state borders were slammed shut. Families were separated and masks became the new accessory.
Just as we were starting to enjoy some freedom in NSW Andy and I headed up the coast for our anniversary for the weekend. But 2020 had its own plans again and I broke my foot. So any hope of getting back on track and back to the newly opened gym was dashed. 5 weeks off work and another 7 in a boot and I am still struggling to get my mobility back.
As Victoria emerged from the longest and toughest lockdown anywhere in the World and the borders opened we again congratulated ourselves on our triumph over the virus. Restrictions eased and borders finally opened to allow families to re-unite. There was talk again of travel bubbles with New Zealand.
Hope came also in the form of a vaccine which began to roll out in the UK and USA. Perhaps our international borders can open again early in 2021. Australia decided not to roll out the vaccine until March 2021 as we had zero community transmission.
But again the sneaky virus reared its ugly head and slipped out into our Northern Beaches putting Christmas and holiday plans in jeopardy. A hard lockdown for the Northern Beaches from the Spit Bridge to Palm Beach. Contact tracing and testing seems to have been very effective is slowing and containing the spread but we are not out of the woods yet. A slight easing of restrictions allowed some resemblance of the “new normal” for Christmas Day.
For me Christmas Day celebrations were on Boxing Day. All the family who were in Australia had lunch together and we face timed the rest. Who imagined in February when this all started to unfold that we would be going into 2021 with still no idea how or when this will end. I have to have hope that we can travel again in some way soon, anything else is unbearable to contemplate.
Thanks 2020 you taught us all what is most important – our family and freedom.
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