I don’t know about you, but this pandemic messes with my emotions if I allow myself to go there.

I hastily visited our local, little country town this morning to collect our mail and buy a Sunday paper.

Usually my daily shop visit is my much loved, social fix. Many of the supermarket employees and local clientele are dear friends, whom I look forward to warmly greeting each day. Lately the experience has become sombre and heart-wrenching.

Because together, but separately, but together, we are strong and are striving to eradicate this shitful virus.

We are all protecting each other by washing and sanitising our hands, some wearing masks and/or gloves, and isolating or adhering to the social distancing rule.

Great job, well done. We should all treat ourselves as infected to take the highest precautions possible. It’s absolutely necessary. However, it’s emotionally challenging to meet friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Spontaneously I used to lunge in for the big bear squeeze, as I’m such a hugger!

Not anymore.

I love seeing familiar faces in the local stores and neighbouring cafes. We usually mingle within our personal spaces, we catch up on previous day events, we support each other – all in a matter of precious minutes.

Now we re-enact these moments hurriedly from afar and although we continue to communicate, it’s all about a quick check-in to make sure we’re coping with this new normality.

I miss you.

Presently everyone wears an imaginary, emanating armour. There are walls between us like never before. For me, psychologically the distance feels far greater than the physical.

We are each an island.

Although we are each contaminated with God knows what. I especially sense this from strangers, and the way it makes me feel is not a place I like to dwell in.

On the other hand, this disturbing situation brings kindness to the forefront.

If I’m out walking and I happen to come across a fellow stroller (familiar or not), along the way, I will intentionally bid them a hearty greeting and wish them a lovely day.

Kindness doesn’t hurt. It’s free and brings a smile to my face, as well as the recipient’s. We’re all feeling the pinch and appreciate a comforting, friendly word, even from across the road.

And thank goodness for social media.

I predominantly love keeping in contact with overseas family and friends, especially during this fragile, unforeseeable time.

I enjoy playing around and joking with my Facebook friends too, but now that technology has become the main means of communication, it’s not that funny anymore. It’s serious and I appreciate and value it one million times more.

I am also in awe of the creativity people are coming up with during their isolation. Some are cooking up a storm, some are finding amazing, meaningful ways to celebrate special occasions. Some are indulging in their passions or teaching themselves new skills, and some are maybe drinking a gin and tonic (too many while they write – that would be me).

A gorgeous ED nurse I love and respect told me she feels like an extra in a crappy, disaster movie and hasn’t been told the script.

That pretty much sums it up!

I read a quote lately too that sat well with me. It went something like this: “Maybe the Universe has sent us all to our rooms to have a think about life for a while”.

Maybe it has!

Let’s hope and pray our undesirable, global separateness annihilates this despicable coronavirus so we can stride into a revised, healthy, environmentally friendly, kinder world normality.

Camilla Hullick, Middle Tarwin.