Devil is in the detail: The small things I’ve missed during isolation

As Australia slowly ‘opens up’ to a life that includes sitting at a cafe, working out at the gym, and flying interstate, I thought I best enter another Covid-19 journal entry, while I still have sentiments on the situation fresh in my mind.

It’s been around three months since isolation began in Australia. First indoor gatherings were limited to 100 people, then the country’s border closed, then state borders closed, and then the ever fateful 2 person limit was introduced. It’s been a ride, and as a country we are now walking a tightrope of sorts, desperately wanting to get to the other side in one piece.

A world with Covid-19 has taught us many big picture lessons and made many of us reassess our lives. Questioning whether you even like your job as you’re forced to do it from home, or have lost it altogether, wondering whether a domestic holiday would satisfy your wanderlust, and hoping that your loved ones are safe and healthy are all broad sentiments we’ve faced up to in recent times. Though, I’ve realised that alongside these big pictures are the tiny matchbox paintings, the small details in our everyday lives that were whisked away without a trace.

Reflecting on the small things I’ve taken for granted has made me wonder whether it is these pieces that make the puzzles of our lives worth living. Things we might repeat everyday and not think about, or experiences that we don’t absorb because they are so ordinary.

For the history books and future me, I want to share the small details I’ve missed during isolation. I will admit that some of these things I’m already enjoying again as I return to working in the office.

1. Using a keep cup

While everyone was encouraged to support their local cafe, we had to leave our favourite patterned keep cups behind. I absolutely understand the hygienic reasons why cafes restricted themselves to takeaway cups only, though I did miss doing my bit for keeping them out of landfill.

2. Wearing jewellery and makeup

I have never been one to indulge in extravagant makeup or jewellery, but I have missed wearing both. Without the theatre of getting ready for a night out or to head into the office, my foundation and favourite necklaces have remained untouched, collecting dust.

3. Having face to face meetings

If there’s two phrases I have repeated the most since working from home, they are “Can you hear me now?” which follows someone telling me they can’t hear me very well on my mobile, and “Oh sorry, I was just going to say”, which comes after being unintentionally interrupted on a teleconference call. While talking about what you did on the weekend can add time to face-to-face meetings, figuring out technology probably has the same effect.

4. People smiling at you in public instead of glaring

Not so much now, but at the start of the pandemic in Australia every was so suspicious of each other. There was a period there where you couldn’t head down the cereal aisle without someone darting their eyes at you, trying to guess which direction you’ll walk in. Have you left 1.5m of space for me? I had some tense grocery shops, purely for the fact that I was walking where I needed to go, and reaching for my products of choice.

5. Driving for more than half an hour

While I could handle cancelling my overseas trip to Italy and Portugal I was meant to take in April, not being able to take a road trip beyond the supermarket left me with a sense of cabin fever. My partner and I were eventually able to have two nights away in a region close by, and it was a simple pleasure being able to play Spotify playlist from start to finish.

It’s the small things in life we often take for granted, and I’ll now have a new sense of appreciation when the time is right.


Featured Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

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