‘Tell me what you can’t get?”
That conversation with my panicked Mum when toilet paper began flying off the shelves back in March is a far cry from the person who would today be able to tell you the numbers and developments around COVID right across Australia.
2020 has exacerbated a lot of strong opinions. I’ve even found myself sharing a lot of strong opinions which I might not have had if it were not for the pandemic. Namely around COVID complacency, people’s need to travel in the midst of a pandemic, and Western Australia’s hard border closure (which is unfortunately, but inevitably, coming to an end).
In the context of being part of the DOC, where I share and look for trusted health information every day, I’ve struggled to find it this year. I’ve struggled to share it. To a degree, I’ve even stopped looking for it.
I really struggled with the whole notion of being classed as a ‘vulnerable’ or ‘high risk’ person from the very beginning. I tired quickly of seeing many corners of the diabetes community try to editorialise the pandemic, ‘helpfully’ telling me how to optimise my diabetes management for Coronavirus. My diabetes was just fine, thank you.
All I have been interested in, all along, was following the health advice. Which is just common sense. Nothing more.
During Ascensia Diabetes Care’s OzDSMS summit a few weeks ago, we talked about building resilience. It was quite a complex question.
Resilience looks like being more accepting of different points of view to our own. Again, its been harder to share in a year full of exacerbated opinions, and often its felt easier to stay silent.
Resilience looks like embracing choice. We might all have diabetes in common, but we are all still very different and what works for one is not the solution for everyone. It’s still really frustrating to see corners of the community where choice is not embraced and we are pushing what we think is best onto others.
Most importantly, resilience means looking after yourself ahead of others. For me, this year has definitely been about the little things. Finding the lightest room in the house as I while away hours studying over the weekends. Making time to get outside, and even run, because it feels good. My afternoon coffee and biscuit break. Doing things that I enjoy – whether it be a walk by the beach, time in the kitchen, getting into a good TV show, or a scroll through Gumtree and Marketplace.
I think we all deserve a pat on the back just for getting through 2020. We’re all the more resilient for it.