As we head towards the end of the year it really is a time to reflect on the extra-ordinary times in which we have continued to live, work, learn and view the changes that COVID has provided to our everyday lives and global perspective.
Here at Income Solutions we have seen first hand the inspiring job our clients have done in continuing to ‘attend’ their individual financial reviews and meetings, often having to adapt to new online technologies to ensure that these meetings can go ahead. On a national level, we have seen Year 12 students completing their VCE online without direct access to teachers, and small prep aged children attending school for only 9 weeks of the year and the remainder of the time having to be home schooled by their parents, while teachers have had to quickly learn to offer a full online curriculum for the first time.
On an international level we have watched many countries being hit by COVID a lot harder than in Australia, with health systems being flooded and health workers risking their lives and having to work and make decisions that they could never have envisaged. In this global landscape, our lifestyle decisions concerning travel are continually fluid, reflecting the pace of restrictions that seem to change daily in line with COVID statistics and infections.
Small local businesses such a cafes and restaurants never fail to inspire with their willingness to reinvent their menus and offerings such as high end classy takeaway, in fact one well known fine dining Melbourne restaurant is now offering delivery to Geelong, providing local foodies with the opportunity of eating ‘at’ this restaurant without having to leave their house!
Closer to home, one of our Financial Planners very recently had a baby which has prompted us to reflect on how different it is for new parents giving birth. No longer the endless visits from family and friends bearing armfuls of presents and flowers, but simply the easing of restrictions allowing for partners to be present too. At the other end of the age scale is the bravery and courage shown by workers and residents in aged care who are threatened daily by COVID but still celebrate birthdays, often sharing moments with family through glass windows and gently touching hands only divided by a narrow pane.
There is no doubt that COVID has caused much pain and suffering and people have been forced to live differently, but within this framework we need to acknowledge that there have been hard won gains and insights, such as:
- Year 12 students have shown us just how wonderfully resilient their age group is, getting on with the job of achieving the best results possible
- Parents assisting their children to learn at home have a far better understanding of their children’s curriculum and what the job of teaching small children involves
- People have a greater insight into the health system that we benefit from in Australia and the health workers that work tirelessly within it.
- In recalibrating travel plans, people are beginning to consider getting better acquainted with the country in which they live.
- That people who have never considered a zoom meeting have now adapted and learnt new skills that they will now continue to use into the future.
Obviously, the above are just a few examples but moving forward it may be impossible to predict how the changes wrought by COVID will impact our lives into the future or the timeline for a return to normal business as usual operations. It has become evident that predicting when a vaccine will become available is a little like predicting fluctuations in the share market, but it is heartening to be living in Geelong at the moment and visiting local cafes to enjoy a coffee for the first time in months and know that while our Grand Final will be interstate there will be a Grand Final none the less and see images of people enjoying Melbourne beaches being opened again. People are adapting and changing and doing their best according to their individual circumstances which is something we can open our hearts to.