How good is our Post Pandemic Life (PPL – a world where there is no PPE) going to be? A quick #recordinghistory poll says we are going to rock the following:
- Spend more time with family/keep this work-life balance going
- Buy Australian Made more
- Look after our health more
- Drink less alcohol
- Hug a teacher
- Buy more toilet paper
Last weekend in NSW we took our first step out of isolation and into PPL: Two people were allowed to come to your home. This, somehow, was cause for 3000% increase in traffic back on the roads, queues for Kmart that rivalled a busy day at Disneyland, and people ‘social distancing’ like an NRL player. My faith in PPL nirvana fell at the first hurdle and I crawled back into my PPE.
But there were so many good ideas in my little poll about how to do this right… I decided to focus on those instead as we are gently released back into the wild.
Number 1, the old work-life balance… Well, dad is back to the office full time with a triple workload, the kids are back to school full-time, all activities are on, and that warm fuzzy idea of a work-life balance gets a boot in the butt with the door slammed on the way out. What to do?
I guess we start small. There is no App for this, you just have to put in the hard conversations and the hard work. Imagine going back to that hold-your-breath-rushing about. Now imagine those fun family bikes rides out in the fresh air. Maybe tiny Tania doesn’t want to go back to water ballet lessons… Maybe the lesson can be replaced by a family bike ride? The effort in this small act alone is phenomenal – dad has to get home from work earlier, mum has to put aside her competitive nature because Tania is not that into the sport she loved, and parents and carers you have to get physical with the kids themselves. But, as per above, we thought it worth continuing.
Working from home has been proven successful for so many – you know what you have to do, ahve that hard conversation. On the social side of things, of course, we are BUSTING to see friends and family! Maybe we can space them out and really enjoy them, rather than cramming 20 visitations in one weekend and falling asleep in your best friend’s cocktail?
Buy more Australian-made. We were running out of basic requirements at one point. During panic-buying our farmers got up in the middle of the night to bring us meat for our empty supermarket shelves – let’s work just as hard to support them now. It’s difficult to work out what is a truly Australian Made product when you have deceptive labelling, like “Australian produce” or “98% Australian ingredients, put together in Turkmenistan”. I spent some time redesigning my grocery shopping list using websites which list Aussie-owned and manufactured goods and services. There is also a petition going around for supermarkets to have an Australian Made isle for transparency you could sign. Or, start with a local delivery service – many new ones have popped up in recent times. You’re supporting a local business and local producers – AND there is far less packaging, so you’re lovin’ the environment to boot.
Of course, there is a huge hurdle to buying Australian Made: In this very moment there is no money to throw around, which means if you need a jumper for winter, the cheapest way to buy it is with a Made In A Cheap Country label. One reason our goods are more expensive is because we have to pay proper wages here in Australia. The bombardment with cheap is not going to stop. For example, China’s Belt and Road business coalition with Indonesia, Nepal, Laos, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Iran, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Mexico (including new trade routes secured through the ice caps melted by global warming – nice), is ready for action. How can lil’ old Australian manufacturing and business survive in the face of that half-a-world conglomerate producing cheap stuff? Having seen the amount of council clean ups on the verge during isolation, may I suggest we buy a whole lot of rubbish we don’t need because it’s only $15? Buying Australian Made takes a bit of retraining: It takes some time to research, and it takes some breaking the habit of popping in to the cheap chain shop to pick up a saucepan or birthday gift for your daughter’s friend. But it’s worth it. We’re worth it.
Travel. Yes! Oh… no. Craponavirus will still roam the planet, till there’s a vaccine. How about a holiday at home, a little #StayInTheBush, or #HolidayHereThisYear. Double win – it ticks the ‘Buy More Aussie’ box.
Look after our health more. Well, we’ve all just seen how illness can ravage and destroy in one foul swoop. We all have our different health worries about returning to life as normal, and my particular one is sick kids at school. We have been coining some little Wiggles-style phrases which aim to be kind and remind, such as: “Cough and sneeze in your elbow please!” and “If you can smell my fart, we’re not far enough apart” – ok, that’s not Wiggles-esque, but you can be sure the teens and boys will remember it, and making someone laugh is kind. A biggy for good health is less stress = better health. See above: Work-life balance.
Drink less. Pretty self-explanatory, and, see above – healthier. Gambling also increased with drinking during isolation – love thy neighbour with a problem here; that industry has thrived like a vulcher on the back of a dying Labrador, with its online unregulated operators.
Hug a teacher – no you can NOT. But you can buy them flowers, a coffee voucher, champagne, chocolates, and get kids and parents alike to bombard them with handwritten notes – more permanent, less contagious and still guaranteed to bring a warm fuzzy feeling of appreciation to their chest.
Toilet paper? I feel we have all learnt our lesson with that crap.
We have proven we can work together for a win over Craponavirus. Why not work together for a win in a better Post Pandemic Life? One small step for man, one giant leap together for mankind.