In search of alcohol

In the mere blink of an eye our lives have changed. Done a 360.  COVID19 has done that. Globally. That’s quite an achievement.

We had one of those bizarrely surreal days yesterday.  In the prelude to that we’d gone for our usual – no, UNusual – weekly foodshop the day before. Over the last few weeks I had been buying extra bits and pieces. Amongst a list of additional  extras this time was aloe vera gel, to make hand sanitiser which could not be had for love or money. The aloe vera had proved to be difficult to find. The health food shop had a few decent size bottles. As well as biodynamic turmeric and castille soap which I use to make foaming hand soap. Those three items swallowed a third of my shopping budget. I said to himself he might need to go to the bank to get me more cash. I am one of those dinosaurs who still pays cash.

I was not panic buying. It felt like preparing. As we had been advised to do. A ‘just in case’ sort of shopping. I knew I would need to isolate myself sooner rather than later. I just had not voiced it out loud.

But the fear and panic buying has hit communities hard. First the toilet paper disappeared off the shelves faster than lightning. We were – and still are – left scratching our heads. In quick succession the toilet paper has been followed by hand sanitiser, canned foods, long life liquids, bread, flour, sugar, meat …..

… and now, live chickens, seedlings, and alcohol.  So on Monday we found that the shelves in the supermarket were emptier than ever before. I selected from what was available. Everywhere were signs informing us how many we could buy of the most sought after products.  Himself asked if I was panic buying. No, I said.

As we left the supermarket to go to the local greengrocers for fresh fruit and vegetables, it was heartening to see well stocked shelves. And no price gouging. It was at this point that I had a ‘moment.’ Bursting into tears, I announced to himself that I was going into self isolation. I got a stunned look and a why. I couldn’t speak. He didn’t probe. We finished our shopping in relative silence interspersed with my tearful hiccups.

Later that day, sitting watching the now regular COVID 19 daily update, he asked me why I had a moment. All I could say by way of explanation was that all of a sudden everything just overwhelmed me.

But I digress. I was going to tell you about our surreal day yesterday. It started with a visit to my doctor for an annual review of my treatment plan. This usually involves a session with the clinic nurse who does various measurements and tests. And the paperwork which is then passed on to the doctor to discuss with me and we sign off on it. In the morning I got a call from the nurse to explain today’s procedure. It is changing daily. I was instructed to phone the clinic when I arrived in the car park. The call would be transferred to the nurse who would conduct her part of the review by phone. There would be no physical bits and bobs done. She did her bit. Delivered the printed plan to me in the car and told me I would be called in when the doctor was ready to see me. I was to go straight to her office. Which I did. And I was back in the car within three minutes with copies of scripts in hand. I was informed the same system will apply when we attend for the fluvax next week. No sitting around waiting. In and out as quickly as possible to minimise exposure and contact time. No sitting around for 15 minutes to ensure anaphylactic shock did not set in. I had visions of the car park being littered with bodies in shock! I must admit it was efficient. And very impersonal.

We then made our way to Bunnings. Because I had learnt that the key ingredient for hand sanitiser (isopropyl alcohol) could be bought from there. He knew exactly where to find it when I told him what I needed. It is used as an industrial solvent and cleaner. The best quality they sell is 99.9% proof. To be effective in killing this nasty bug it must be  a minimum of 60, preferably 80.

Himself went in while I waited in the car. Minimising exposure and adhering to social distancing. Not long after he came back shaking his head. He, along with half a dozen women (his emphasiss, not mine) stood looking at empty shelves. No alcohol. No methylated spirits which, at a pinch, could be used. Why is it always women looking for this stuff, he asked. Because, I said, us women are the ones who make it for you men to use! By this stage we were in fits of laughter at the absurdity of events we found ourselves immersed in. Seemingly it would be easier to score a hit of drugs than toilet paper, or, now, alcohol!

I next directed him to ask at the chemist, knowing they also use isopropyl alcohol and sell it. He duly did as asked, They, of course asked if he was making hand sanitiser. He said yes. They burst out laughing. No. They had sold out. More would be coming in two weeks. So an order has been placed.

When we got home I looked in the laundry cupboard. I was delighted to find we had not one, but TWO bottles of metho.  So I can make a batch with metho to keep us going. I have a reliable  recipe. I have the ingredients. Today I will make my first batch. Yesterday I made wet wipes.  Who knew this would be happening!

Raili Tanska

Innovate – survive – smile

PS – life has taken another 360 the last two days here in Australia as the Prime Minister announces ever tightening restrictions. We are now all encouraged to self isolate. Many businesses have been mandated to close,  Borders have been closed. Overseas travel banned.


17 thoughts on “In search of alcohol

  1. Stay at home Raili! Soap is quite sufficient tp kill the bug and as you are well stocked up on everything you don’t need to go out and risk infection. Incidentally, you can make an effeczove mask out of a good old-fashioned coffee filter paper. Stay safe xx

    1. Good tip! We have masks that were bought a long time ago for cleaning. Just replaced the perished elastic. I want hand sanitiser for going out. Which won’t be often. But I have always kept a purse pack in my handbag. It’s almost empty now.
      We have been told to stay home now by the Prime Minister.
      Stay safe and well x

  2. We’re in a kind of lockdown here, Raili. Well, most of us are; quite a lot are acting as if nothing’s going on! I’m now at the Place of W at home, which is fine, although I’ve put myself into self isolation for seven days as a colleague has been in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus. It’s as though I’m in my own little world… but then again I usually am.
    Sorry to read you had a moment. The whole situation is actually really bizarre. And the toilet paper… well, you just have to laugh at that!
    Keep strong and well, we’re all in this together.

    1. You’re right Tom. It is bizarre. And funny. I’m over my moment now, hunkering down and cleaning doorknobs, handles, replacing perished elastic on masks we’ve had a long time originally bought for very different use. And DIY’in hygieney things.
      You keep safe and well too, Tom. We are all one after all.

  3. We have gone into lockdown, only allowed out once a day for exercise or to visit food shop or pharmacy. We are told that no more than two to gather together and only ten people allowed at a funeral. No weddings or Christenings. We are also told that we have to pay for anything with a card, no cash. I haven’t been out since last Tuesday and nor do I intend to, this is serious. Take care xxx

    1. Our Prime Minister announced very similar restrictions here last night. Not quite as severe as yours, but I’m sure it’s coming. Stay home and enjoy painting. 😘

  4. I wonder how long it’ll be till all of us are having ‘a moment’ Raili. It’s all so surreal that it almost feels like an adventure. The truth of it will only to sink in for many when we lose someone near and dear, or when we catch it ourselves, or when the government runs out of funds to prop us up, and as a consequence we enter another Great Depression. I think I’m still in the ‘adventure’ stage, almost like I’m watching an apocalypse TV show. I am self isolating though, just a walk on our quiet beach with the dog in the early morning, and shopping when needed. Keep well.

    1. Sensible. I notice there are a lot of doom, gloom, apocalypse movies around, There.s even one called Pandemic 😨 Lasrt thing we need is to watch a movie about it when we are living it! Stay well and safe.

    1. I notice here on the news this morning that Boris has increased the restrictions there. Ours too are changing daily.
      I don’t mind staying at home. There is plenty to keep me busy. The boys are both well and keep in regular touch. Marc from Darwin via video chat. The Defense force there has cut shift levels by 50% so they are basically working half time. He is very well aware of all the isues and protocols.
      Christopher has just changed to a new job as a car salesman. And of course that trade now is very quiet. He is having a rough time financially. But I guess so are many, many others. Thousands here have lsot their jobs in the last few days with all the business closures and restrictions.
      I remain optimistic. With the occassional hiccup.
      Take care.

    1. We will. They just don’t have stock in yet. In a funny kind of way, that is so heartwarming, people and communities are uniting in all sorts of wonderful creative ways despite the restrictions. You stay safe and well too.

  5. Yes it is just getting bad. But as the Govt says “we are all in this together”, but some people are more “in” it than others. Keep at it Raili.

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