Joel Pratley

You Are a Part of Me

Nana's resolution, the coronavirus crisis and the tension of isolation.

When the fog of coronavirus first rolled across Australia, so little was known about it. Despite the divisive and confusing rhetoric around how to act in public, one point was almost universally agreed upon: the elderly and others who are high-risk should isolate in order to keep themselves safe. Like most, I was extremely cautious during lockdown, only having direct contact with my flatmates and only leaving the house to get food or exercise.

As the weeks of anxiety and tension wore on, I stayed in constant contact with my family - particularly my grandmother.

Nana and I have a special relationship. I spent most of my high school years living with her and my grandfather, finding stability and support through what was often a tumultuous adolescence. As I grappled with the emotional uncertainties that the pandemic had brought upon my life, my Nana and I were able to find comfort in one another.

I knew she was finding isolation challenging, and admitted that despite everything going on she wanted me to come and visit her. The notion of putting her in harm’s way was almost too overwhelming to comprehend, but when I expressed these concerns to her she simply explained to me that life without seeing her family was not a life worth living. We made a decision to take the risk, and begin our isolation together.

During that time, I made this piece to share our experiences to which others may relate, or learn as I have learned from my Nana’s resolution.

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