The “Good” In A Bad Pandemic: Part Two


Because there is good in this season. I promise.

“My husband is a professional athlete, which means he’s away, in total, nearly six months of the year. This has been our first uninterrupted six weeks together (we had to isolate two weeks early as we’d been in Europe) in years and we are in heaven!”

“I found love. Back in January, an old friend confessed his feelings right before I was about to move cities, and although I felt the same way, the timing just wasn’t right so we decided to put things on hold for the year while I completed my masters. Then the pandemic hit and he lost his job three days before the lockdown. I called him and asked him to get on a plane and move in with me. He flew down the next morning and it’s been the easiest and most all-consuming kind of love. It’s such a comfort in this strange and scary time to be falling in love – we’ve been in a bubble in more ways than one.”

“I was at my local green grocer just hours after the lockdown was announced, and there was an old lady standing in the queue ahead of me. As she finished paying for her groceries, the grocer leant in, handed her his card and said “If there is anything at all you need during this time, just call this number and I can bring it to your door.” I’ve seen him do this for all the elderly people who come into his shop. What a hero.”

“My friends and I decided to start every morning with a video call “yoga class” followed by a chat! It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to make a habit out of practicing yoga and it’s been such a wonderful way to check in with each other.”

“My husband got to see our son take his first steps! He would have missed it otherwise as he would have been at work.”

“I suffered from post-natal depression when my daughter was born, and having round-the-clock-support from my partner during this time has been amazing for my mental health. I feel very fortunate.”

“I’ve paid off my credit card and realised I waste far too much money. I can live a much simpler live than what I currently do.”

“My husband was due to return to work the first week of lockdown – our newborn son would have only been two weeks old.”

“Chelsea Winter’s Lockdown Loaf!”

“My neighbours and I had a socially-distant ANZAC dawn service at our letterboxes. Our street’s “grandfather” read the Ode, and we played The Last Post on Bluetooth speakers.”

“My mum and I have started new traditions – we now start each morning by doing a crossword together, and go on an afternoon walk to collect pine cones for the fire.”

“My long-term partner and I decided to break up a few months ago, but because we own a home together we weren’t able to move out and “move on” quickly. When Covid-19 arrived, all our plans to rent the home out and move our things were suddenly put on hold. We’ve been able to use this time in isolation together to delve deeper into ourselves and each other, and talk about the things we should have addressed years ago. We’ve been kinder, more patient, and more thoughtful towards each other, and although I don’t see us rekindling our relationship, it’s comforting to know that there is still mutual love and respect between us.”

“My mum has been my rock throughout this journey. I’ll never take for granted again how good humans can be. A simple cup of tea, a hug, a moment to laugh or cry together, or just to listen – she’s been my saving grace.”

“A friend-of-a-friend started replying to my Instagram Stories of red wine – he loves red wine too so it was common ground. Four weeks later we now watch movies “together” online, and it’s become our little thing! We take turns to pick the film, and then send pictures of our set-up and snacks. I don’t think we would have ever become friends in a typical environment, and now we’re watching movies together!”

“I’ve rediscovered my love of running! After years of training and competing I started to hate it; there was too much pressure on me to perform which created a huge amount of anxiety, and I started to associate that anxiety with the running itself. During lockdown I’ve started running again and I now remember why I love it: that feeling of pure bliss right at the end when you know you’ve pushed yourself to your absolute limit.”

“A friend of mine has been trying to fall pregnant for 18 months and has been doing IVF. She was meant to start a new round just before the lockdown so it was put on hold. This week she sent me a picture of her positive pregnancy test – she’s six weeks along.”

“When our landlord found out I had lost my job, he put $150 towards our flat bills and gave us a rent decrease. He checks in on us every couple of days.”

“We found out we’re having our first baby in December! Being able to stay home and rest has been such a blessing – growing a human is hella tiring!”

“I am a cardiothoracic theatre nurse, so for most of level four lockdown I was in training for the situation in which we would need to do surgery on COVID-19 positive patients. The first two weeks were very intense for nurses as we weren’t sure what would happen – we were essentially planning for the worst outcome and it was terrifying. The nurses in my unit attended daily meetings, learned new COVID-related policies and guidelines (which changed daily for the first few weeks of lockdown), practiced donning and doffing PPE, and converted one of the theatres on our floor to a COVID-specific theatre. It was incredibly tiring and stressful and every day the team would show up for work not knowing what might come through the doors. I have thanked my lucky stars this past week that New Zealand’s swift action has largely succeeded. But that is not the “good” I wanted to shine a light on: During this pandemic I have seen the good in my colleagues. I have formed new bonds and strengthened existing ones with the nurses in my team. I am surrounded by ride-or-dies when I show up for work each day and I feel so lucky. And while I’ve been scared, I’ve never felt safer in the company of my colleagues.”

“I work in a small local pharmacy and the support we’ve had from our community is incredible. Every single day, without fail, we have customers and neighbours pop-in to check on us and see if there’s anything they can do to help – like offer to deliver medicine to patients. Being part of the essential workforce wouldn’t be the same without our community.”

“I’m not a good dancer, but last night I felt really low and “stuck” in my brain, I was out walking and I put on a beautiful slow song, took my shoes off, and just danced. People were watching from their lounges and I just didn’t care. I skipped home. I needed it.”

“Proper sleep for the first time in about ten goddamn years! A 5pm Campari because I’ve only got one life to live. Creative projects at home. Re-watching The Matrix. Taking the long road when cooking dinner.”

“During this lockdown, my partner of five years and I had some important conversations and discovered that neither of us were happy, so we’ve had an amicable break up. I’ve considered breaking up with him in the past but was always terrified to hurt his feelings; this lockdown has given us the time to truly talk to each other and discover what we want out of life.”

“I’m currently on maternity leave and have a 14-week old girl. She’s been a really tough baby and I was struggling to bond with her. Having my husband home during this time means that we’ve been able to get her into a proper sleep routine and she’s like a different baby! I now go for a big walk with her everyday and feel so blessed that she’s mine – I’m now obsessed with her!!”

“I started seeing someone purely for sex about a week before the lockdown. Once we realised we weren’t going to be able to see each other for at least a month things got a bit tricky, but we decided to keep talking and we’ve now gotten to know each other on an entirely new level. It’s been nice to see this side of each other and I can’t wait to see where it goes after lockdown.”

“I’m graduating this year and lockdown has given me the time to re-evaluate what matters most to me and where I want to go in life. While I haven’t been that productive in a tangible sense, my time in the bubble has sprouted huge amounts of creativity and helped me to find the motivation I need to keep pushing forward: it has reignited my “why”.”

“My husband I have discovered a new love for cooking together! We used to always rush through dinner; whipping up whatever we could find, just to get by. As an essential worker who’s continued to work throughout the lockdown, it’s been so special to come home to our new ritual of catching up over a glass of wine while we cook. Post-lockdown, we’ll be choosing to eat-out far less, and enjoying those “dining out” occasions even more when we do.”

“It sounds petty, but I think my husband finally understands what it’s like to be home alone all day with two very young children! He’s a tradie and he now can’t wait to get back to work for a “break” haha. This dynamic has been a source of conflict for us in the past, so I think in the future he will show more empathy towards my daily challenges and see that while I don’t have a conventional job, there is no doubt that caring for young children, for weeks on end, is exhausting – it’s no less gruelling than the work he does on a building site.”

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