It’s not the first time Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Brown has lived through a period of isolation.
The 86-year-old retiree, who has been living at Harmony Village in Shepparton for the past 13 years, remembers the 12 months of restrictions that ripped through Australia during the polio epidemic in 1936-37.
During World War II Betty remembers travel restrictions and rationing, they weren’t able to get petrol or clothes and had to have coupons to buy food because of shortages.
She recalls stories and strategies her parents told her about managing through tough times as they did during the 1930s depression.
So how has she coped with the isolation due to COVID-19?
Fortunately, Betty’s son and daughter-in-law did her shopping for her and delivered what she needed to her doorstep.
Betty stayed connected to friends via telephone and emails, embracing technology and Zoomed-in to connect to her friends from St Augustine’s Church.
It helped knowing others were close by and being able to see others who live in the village briefly for a quick chat was always good.
“It gave me time to perfect skills I already had,” Betty said of her time in isolation.
“I made two quilts using up some of the material I had accumulated over the years; I crocheted, I knitted and I sewed.
“Making things and achieving goals that I set for myself gave me great pleasure, especially knitting my five-year-old great-grandson a jumper.”
Ultimately, the period of isolation has helped Betty and those around her stay focused.
And it comes down it one thing, according to the 86-year-old.
“It’s as simple as setting a task to complete each day,” she said.
“I even started to write my memoirs, I completed a number of puzzles, sorted out recipe books, as well, I made time for a little gardening, not to mention reading and movie watching. I particularly enjoy watching the full operas on TV from the MET in New York.”