COVID-19 and the impact on my business

I was going to start this as a twitter thread, but realised that it is going to be more than a twitter thread.

At Christmas time, I made a decision to have a break from my current work, basically because I wanted to branch out to more project work, working with Aboriginal people and community to upskill them to advocate for their families within the child protection system, but to also do other small projects to promote a healthy sense of cultural pride. I had an idea of how to proceed and was learning how to network with other Aboriginal people, who were in similar fields, who wanted to collaborate.

However, at the beginning of this month, there has been a world wide break out of a virus, which is having massive impacts on the world. People are dying, and there is no known vaccine or cure. This has now changed the way in which we do things.

The last month, there has been massive hoarding of every day shopping products (eg: toilet paper) and we now have limited on every day items, because there are people out there, who are scared, and think that we are never going to have toilet paper again. Unfortunately for me, I only shop when I get paid, so while everyone is hoarding, I’m conserving what I have at home.

This was another reason why I decided to move away from consulting work, is that I can finally have a regular pay day, which I can pay my bills, save for holidays and be able to afford things. Sometimes working for yourself, while can be fufilling and rewarding, can also be stressful and your constantly worried about when the next invoice is being paid so you can go shopping.

On Monday this week, I started on, what I thought would be my second last trip East. I was in Coffs Harbour, working with a family, empowering them to make positive decisions regarding their children. I was sad, because I really do love this work, I love going to community to work with families utilising their resources where they live, seeing their life and being able to help them make positive plans around their kids. But, I also knew that I have to have a break. I’ve had a few meetings towards the end of 2019 that were particularly trying and just reinforced a need for a break. But, then this virus has changed everything.

I’m kinda feeling very frustrated and angry that this virus has dictated to me when and how I cease my work. I did not want to end my work this way, I wanted to end on my own terms, and be comfortable with that, but, now, I just have to be comfortable that my own state has closed it’s borders to non-essential travel, and that I will not be in a position to do the last assessment that I want to do. I’m also frustrated in that I can’t go to the shops because people are hoarding food, and my car has a flat battery. But I’m equally frustrated at the people who are disregarding the self isolating requests and treating this virus like it’s a cold. It’s not. It kills people, it’s easily transmissible and kills people, and its because of these selfish people, I now can’t complete my job in the way that I wanted.

I’m resentful, angry and frustrated. But, I will never regret the past 3 years, doing my dream job, working with my people, in ways I could never imagine and travelling to all parts of NSW, and truely appreciating my people and culture. I am forever grateful for making new friends, catching up with old friends, and being able to reconnect to country, and seeing my family in an ongoing way. I’m going to miss that aspect. But, I need to put myself first, this is the reason for the original decision, but this virus has just closed my business.

I would like to encourage you to visit small business, as they are also feeling the ramifications of this virus, some will go out of business, and suffer financially. Please, continue to use local business, don’t hoard, but more importantly, if the government tell you to self isolate, self isolate!!