Personal reflections a year into COVID-19: What has changed? What have you missed?

Matt_01

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It does not likely matter where you are located on the planet. Over the past 12 months, most have been stuck in same “Covid” boat.

There are many threads along the lines of when can we travel again, will I get my money back, will my status be extended, lounge entry denied, vaccine development and when can I get it, etc. I thought I would just start a thread to reflect on the past 12+ months of covid and lockdowns, and invite others to share their experiences. These can be related to anything and could include, but are not limited to:
  • What have you missed? - it can be anything
  • What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
  • Did you or do you know anyone who had 15 minutes of fame?
  • Has covid actually made anything better for you?
  • Did you start any new hobbies, undertake renos, build a house?
  • Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
  • Any new additions to the family e.g. children? (only added this as recently there seems to be a large number of maternity/paternity backfills joining our business)
Feel free to add photos or links if you like. There is no need to go into a lot of detail, I am only putting the question out there as the same old Covid related threads are becoming a little monotonous and I'm interested to share and know about the experience of others 12+ months on.
 

Katie

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Hmm, well, I'm missing my usual two jaunts to the US per year. I've had a friend send over a "care package" with the magazine she subscribed to for Mr Katie, as well as items from CVS/Target that I usually stock up on.
I miss being able to get away. Our habit has been one big holiday a year, or every two years. Mr Katie has now been working from home for 14 months ... and while we've made routine adjustments, I wish we were back in our usual routine and I didn't feel so alone in the morning getting the Teen ready. Of course, he's been having 6am meetings a couple of days of week for the last little while, so I'm glad we're not trying to work around that.

Apart from the various restrictions and lockdowns, it doesn't feel like a lot has changed.

We have done some renos, and want to do some more.

Thinking about adding a doggo to the family. :eek:

We went to Cairns and Palm Cove after Christmas, and then had 6 nights on the Sunshine Coast. Those trips likely wouldn't have happened without Covid.
 

Seat0B

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Great idea @Matt_01. I saw something that said we are actually not all in the same boat, although we are in the same storm. I think that sums up how I have felt. Here are my answers:
What have you missed?
Number one thing I have missed is my son who lives overseas. Haven't seen him since January 2020, and we usually saw him 2 or 3 times each year. He missed my 60th birthday. He missed the birth of his first niece. He missed his only remaining grandfather's 90th birthday. I just miss him.

I also miss my ski trip to Japan each February, and other trips I had planned eg to Paris last October for my school friend of 50 years standing to celebrate her 60th birthday.

I miss the ability to travel for work or pleasure anywhere in Australia without the fear of borders slamming shut trapping me on the wrong side of the border or landing me in expensive hotel quarantine.

I miss feeling proud to be Australian, and I even miss my naïve faith in Government to look after Australians.

What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
It’s been good to see WFH become a thing – and sad to see how that is reverting to the need (as perceived by employers) for everyone to return full time to the office. Such a lost opportunity for better life balance.

Has covid actually made anything better for you?
My work (face to face training for government staff) all but ceased for the whole of 2020 and has only just started to show a few green shoots in May 2021. The plus of this COVID induced semi-retirement has been a whole lot more time in my life to do things with local family, especially my 87 year old mother and my lovely new granddaughter.

I also had plenty of time to finish off my PhD which is now less than 6 months away from being completed.

Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
I’ve taken three road trips during COVID to visit family in Queensland or northern NSW – or tried to. Every one of them has ended in a COVID induced debacle of some family member (ACT, VIC, QLD) needing to rush off to get home before borders closing/mandatory HQ etc. Finally bit the bullet and flew up to Gold Coast in March for father-in-law’s 90th birthday – and escaped the enforced 14 day isolation that then was retrospectively applied in ACT for people who had been to Brisbane at the time we were on the Gold Coast. Dismal, and has made me very unwilling to take other trips.

We bought a jet ski instead of a ski trip and had a lot of fun with that in the summer. The pick up of the jet ski from Wollongong on 22 December (yes in the middle of the lockdown) would be a miracle of military logistics and would make a great movie 😅. The dealer agreed to deliver it to us in a roadside rest stop a couple of kilometers on the right side of the Wollongong LGA - but we were still very very nervous about getting it in time to have it registered in ACT before the Christmas closure so we could use it for summer break.

Any new additions to the family e.g. children?
I got a beautiful new granddaughter in October 2020. She had a rough arrival and spent a week in NICU, and is now thriving. Thanks medical team. COVID rules made that very difficult – no visitors allowed at all.
 

Matt_01

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I have missed a couple of birthdays that do not happen that often. In 2019 I posted in the thread ‘So... what car do you guys drive when not flying?’ as in usual form I went OT and posted the reason I was there "These two old girls", it was their 100th birthday. I last saw my Grandmother during Christmas 2019, we planned to visit for their 101st birthday but covid stopped that.

Anyone who watched Sunrise last Friday (30/5) these ‘old girls’ had their 15 minutes of fame and are the oldest living identical twins in Australia and after a quick Goggle search it would appear that they hold the number 2 spot in the world. This was an article that I saw online Australia's oldest identical twins celebrate 102nd birthday in Berry The caption under the 3rd photo “The twins with their mother in Sydney” is not quite correct, the photo is of Concie and Leila with Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. If The Queen Mother was their mother, I guess that would make me second in line to the British Throne :p
 
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RooFlyer

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What have you missed?
I've missed visiting and exploring new places in the world - ones that are very different from Australia. Such as the subject of a tour I had to cancel in April 2020 - to Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Translistria and Romania. :( And in doing so, missed getting my 100th country!

What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
I've become a doctor (non medical!), lost 27kg in weight and generally got healthier.

Has covid actually made anything better for you?
Yes, as above - healthier and completed my study, beginning a new career as researcher and author.

Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
Several, within Tasmania. Good to re-visit some of the old haunts in considerably more comfort than when I was a student! West coast Tas, NW coast Tas, Cradle Mountain ...

Any new additions to the family e.g. children?
Does a new book count?
 

blackcat20

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What have you missed?
Being able to just go somewhere when I want to. Particularly Hawaii, we were due to go in June and I desperately miss it.

What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
Except for not being able to see friends and family, things were pretty much business as usual. It's not like we have a crazy social life given we have a toddler.

Has covid actually made anything better for you?
Being able to WFH was great. Eliminated my 100km round trip commute, so more time at home to spend with the family, cook, and go to the gym/pool.

Did you start any new hobbies, undertake renos, build a house?
No

Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
Did a trip to Beechworth for our babymoon, we hadn't been in years.

Any new additions to the family e.g. children? (only added this as recently there seems to be a large number of maternity/paternity backfills joining our business)
Yes, we added a new little person to our family. Not a covid or lockdown baby, we'd planned on it anyway but bumped up our timeline due to cancelled Christmas travel.
 

drron

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What have you missed?
For the first 3 months or so I really missed the travel.In May we were spending a couple of weeks in Japan and then the UK for the Chelsea flower Show.
Then later in the year cruising with 25 or so Cruise Critic folk on the new Silversea ship the Silver Moon.

But then I realised that I really wasn't missing it that much and family was way more Important.That was because we ended up not seeing our grandchildren for 15 months.

What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
Instead of ~ 4.5 months travel and 4.5 months work I have worked for 9 months of the last 12.That has definitely kept me sane.

Has covid actually made anything better for you?
Absolutely.Instead of just a few days at home I had 3 months between jobs.It made me realise that just spending time with mrsdrron is wonderful.So that concentrated my mind on retirement.Before Covid it was going to be whenever I thought I wasn't contributing something extra by working but now the last possible day will be 31/1/22 but more than likely mid December this year.It will mean a lot less travel which doesn't worry me at all.

Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
We did take a road trip to South west QLD.We had intended also to spend time in North West NSW but Anastacia put an end to that.
Then our recent trip to WA.A combined effort by Mark and 2 cyclones really changed that one.But we did get to cruise the Abrolhos which was fantastic.

Any new additions to the family e.g. children?
No.But the butcher birds have a few young ones who have adopted us.
 
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banana0692

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  • What have you missed? - it can be anything
    • I have a very geographically diverse friend group, with many of my good friends frequent globe trotters or just located in other states/ countries of the world. Usually I do a few trips to catch up with them, which sadly I haven't been able to see in over a year now.
    • Nightclubs and music festivals, this makes up a large portion of my life and to have gone without for so long its been sad.
    • Just being able to get up and go somewhere. Saying to someone hey want to go to SIN this weekend? and then going was great
  • What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
    • My social life became non existent
    • My moonlighting job was put on hold
    • My day job has been working from home most of the time
    • For a long while I just went from my bed to my desk for work, then back to bed again which became very depressing and boring. At the time I didn't have any sort of working space so I made another room of the house a home office and had to buy desk, chair, monitor etc..
    • When gyms first reopened I went on a health kick and lost 8KG, then copped an injury and now I've put on 9KG (net gain 1KG 😂)
    • I bought a new car, previously I was just public transporting
  • Did you or do you know anyone who had 15 minutes of fame?
    • Not sure what this question means, in general - yes. If you mean publicised as a covid person like bbq man, no
  • Has covid actually made anything better for you?
    • I saved a LOT of money due to lack of trips and status chasing
    • Its made study "easier" due to being online I don't have to physically race between work/ uni. Also its allowed me to travel while still studying
  • Did you start any new hobbies, undertake renos, build a house?
    • In addition to making a spare room a home office, I did a clean up and got rid of a bunch of old stuff
  • Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
    • I Snowboard and usually I might do a trip to the snowy mountains in aus but usually also across to NZ as well. Last year I went to the snow 6 times for a total of 32 days 😂
    • Now travel is "somewhat" back I have interstate trips lined up almost weekly
  • Any new additions to the family e.g. children?
    • Does a new car count? Its my baby 😂
 
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  1. What have I missed
    • Overseas (mainly) and some domestic travel - did get in a ski trip to Whister in Jan 2020 but had to bailout out of a Schelles cruise after 4 days in Cape Town - made it home for 2 weeks of home quarantine (just before hotel quarantine) kicked in
    • During the lockdown phase - going out to restaurants and bars
  2. What has changed in my life
    • Other than travel - at present not much at all
  3. Did you know anyone with 15 minutes of fame - no one at all - fortunately no one I know contracted Covid
  4. Is anything better
    • Spent less money - but I don't see that as being "better"
    • Made an effort to stay in touch with friends in other states / countries
  5. Any new hobbies etc
    • Recently took up genealogy - turns out I am really enjoying it - but made me wish to visit the home counties / towns of my ancestors - so yet another reason to travel
    • Didn't do any unit renovations - not even a clean out - but did reorganise the lounge room furniture :)
  6. Any local trips - plenty - you can't keep a keen traveller down
    • North Queensland in late July (during the brief opening of the NSW-QLD border)
    • Blue Mountains in October
    • North Coast NSW also in October
    • The Center in early November (flew out the day after the NT border opened)
    • Canberra in November
    • The Gold Coast in early February
    • Currently back on the Gold Coast
    • Have booked a cruise in Mauritius and the Seychelles for March 2022 - here's hoping - cruise is using a cruise credit for cancelled cruise back in March 2020 - booked outbound flights just in case airfares skyrocket when borders open - will book return flights once booking window opens
    • Plan to book a trip to Europe in July 2022 once booking window opens (using FF points of course)
  7. Any additions to the family - no - we're retired
 

serfty

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  • What have you missed? - it can be anything
No Overseas Travel!
  • What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
No travelling :( , also the lack of 2½ hour a day commuting for work :)
  • Did you or do you know anyone who had 15 minutes of fame?
@Princess Fiona on the odd News report of a QF event;)
  • Has covid actually made anything better for you?
12½ hours per week not on trains. :D Fitter as walk 4 KM per day, much less beforehand. 🚶‍♂️
  • Did you start any new hobbies, undertake renos, build a house?
Walking more🚶‍♂️
  • Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
Not really
  • Any new additions to the family e.g. children? (only added this as recently there seems to be a large number of maternity/paternity backfills joining our business)
I'm in 2A - No! (Even the kids are getting beyond procreating)
 

blackcat20

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I forgot with the 15 minutes of fame, a few of my colleagues regularly appeared in the media in regards to COVID research.
 

Matt_01

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I have a feeling of déjà vu, it was around this time last lear I was either in the process of cancelling flights or waiting for points to be returned. I was somewhat optimistic that we could travel in April next year and made reward bookings, I have now cancelled these and find myself waiting for points and taxes to be returned. So on that front not much has changed :(
 

Tiki

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  • What have you missed? - it can be anything -- Overseas travel! And being solely responsible for my own decisions as an adult and making my own choices about risk assessment.

  • What has changed in your life (or not at all)? -- As above

  • Did you or do you know anyone who had 15 minutes of fame? -- No

  • Has covid actually made anything better for you? -- The stimulus paid for some home renovations.

  • Did you start any new hobbies, undertake renos, build a house? -- I brought forward some home renovations after making sure at least one overseas trip is "budget protected" and ready to go. I also started online Turkish language courses and learned to cook Turkish food from YouTube tutorials.

  • Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas? -- We did 2 birdwatching weekend camps in rural QLD, no more than 3 hours drive. But these would have been done in addition to the planned overseas trips. Also a 5 day trip to Norfolk Island made possible when QF took over the route. NI was on my radar as a birdwatching destination but earmarked for at least 5 years from now since it does not require much physical fitness and I am prioritizing more physical destinations before I get too old.

  • Any new additions to the family e.g. children? (only added this as recently there seems to be a large number of maternity/paternity backfills joining our business) -- Nothing new, our family basically consists of 5 small parrots! No human kids by choice.
 

Seat0B

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What have you missed? - it can be anything -- Overseas travel! And being solely responsible for my own decisions as an adult and making my own choices about risk assessment.
I 100% agree with you there @Tiki. I'm so sick of paternalistic government decisions. COVID has really brought out my libertarian streak (that I did not know I had) - so I guess that is something useful that I have learned about myself.
 
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Oh this is interesting reading!
  • What have you missed? - it can be anything
The ability to duck to Sydney for the weekend without worrying about an outbreak (I'm in regional NSW). IKEA trips. And New York.
  • What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
Work from home became a thing and stayed a thing. We now WFH 3 days per week, office-based 2 days per week. Also, I lost 25kg and realised the things that make me happy. And the things that don't.
  • Did you or do you know anyone who had 15 minutes of fame?
Nah.
  • Has covid actually made anything better for you?
Sure has.I realised I have managed to build the life I wanted.
  • Did you start any new hobbies, undertake renos, build a house?
Built a deck... or supervised building of a deck.
  • Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
Port Macquarie. Normally I would have saved those precious FF points, but I spent them and it made me incredibly happy.
  • Any new additions to the family e.g. children? (only added this as recently there seems to be a large number of maternity/paternity backfills joining our business)
Nope. Happily child free, and SWMBO (the cat) would not have appreciated another addition.
 
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The COVID year in 2020 saw a number of very significant changes for the Lenny's, some bad, some good, one great :D

What have you missed?
Like most, I've missed the ability to travel for the sake of it, and not have to worry about state borders slamming shut on a whim. Other than that, whilst it's not something I miss per se, I do not like the suspicion or demonisation of Aussies living overseas, or students wishing to study in Australia that's crept in to our society. People actively endorsing banning our own citizens from coming home, or writing off Aussies living overseas as 'indulgent' or 'entitled' for not dropping everything to come home immediately - even if they can't just drop everything.

What has changed in your life (or not at all)?
I lost my job (International Education) thanks to COVID, which is a pretty significant change, had to change industries and take a significant pay cut. But there are potential options opening up for me again in a much more relevant area of the education industry so things seem to be changing.

Most life changing of all, Baby Lenny is now a thing, and has completely turned out lives upside down!!

Has covid actually made anything better for you?
Despite the job loss, yes - it meant that Lady Lenny's pregnancy almost completely overlapped with lock down and enforced WFH so she had a much calmer, relaxed experience than she would have otherwise. It has made me deeply appreciate living in the Blue Mountains, close enough to Sydney to be in easy reach of my family, and work etc. but just far enough away to be 40min from the other side of the mountains.

Go on a local trip or road trip that would have otherwise be overseas?
Our first trip as a family to Tassie. Was initially meant to be an 'introduce Baby Lenny to her dad's extended family' driving trip around the UK, visiting some friends and some places Lady Lenny and myself used to live as young backpackers, and spending a good 2 weeks or so driving around Scotland and replicating all the daggy mid 80's photos of my with my parents, granny and aunts and uncles!! This turned into a trip to QLD to see the reef before it all dies, which then finally became a 2 week tassie trip. It was amazing and definitely enjoyed it, plus Baby Lenny travelled like a pro!!

Any new additions to the family e.g. children?
Yep, Baby Lenny was born in August 2020, a COVID baby the whole time. She arrived happy and healthy and a week late and we are absolutely smitten with her.
 

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