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It has been nearly two weeks since I was last outside my four walls. Nearly a month since I last entered a store or saw another human being, except for delivery people dropping off food or the building manager dropping off a wheelie bin for my rubbish twice a week.  Why the maggots in the lead image? 

Well, soon it will become clear. 

Today, I managed to stumble, hobble, limp and with grim determination, make it to the community bin area to drop my bag of household waste. A bag chockers with discarded convenience meal packaging and never have I been so delighted to make it to the bin.

Yesterday, I had to email my building manager ( who has been marvellous I might add) and ask him to take away my rubbish bin as the maggots were all over it and all over my patio. I could not walk properly so, apart from spraying some mortein, there was little I could do.  Fortunately, the bin was soon taken away and the patio hosed down. I thank him for that - it was very much appreciated.

Today, I woke up and my ability to walk had gone up a level. I felt that I could venture outside and actually attempt the walk to the communal bin area. I got ready.

 

Rubbish bag. Tick.

Shoes on. Tick

Walking stick. Tick.

Recite appropriate " you can do it " mantra. Tick.

I unlocked the door and ventured outside.

The sunlight hurt my eyes. I was staggered about that: I had, in such a short period of time, forgotten how bright the sunlight is and how nice the air smells.  I pondered how the people feel in 2 weeks of lockdown in quarantine hotels without even a window to open or a patio to sit upon. And they are not even sick.

As I plodded towards the bin area, I encountered things that had never been an issue to me before: steps.

 

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With my trusted walking stick in my right hand and my bag of rubbish in the other. I stood, looking at this most dreadful beast. Two steps. How the hell was I going to get up? There was no handrail, no wall, no chair to lean upon. I was on my own. I took a deep breath and raised my right foot and clutched my walking stick with whitened knuckles, terrified that I would fall over and lie there, injured all over again. Yet I stood. My next foot took its place and slowly, slowly, I managed the dreaded climb to the summit. I was back on an even keel. That left two sets of stairs to go. 

Without belabouring the issue, I had plenty of time to consider my plight and that of those who are, through age or infirmity, injury or deformity, unable to walk as I previously had and had taken so much for granted.

I made it to the bin and collapsed on a chair to regain my strength and contemplate my return journey.

A lazy lizard sat on one of the posts of the pergola where I sat. It looked at me, telepathically whispered " loser! " and scuttled off to boast about how it could move faster than the human it encountered at the bin a short time ago. A woman in a nearby unit looked out her window and saw me and then looked away. I realised that I looked pathetic, sitting there with my walking stick, catching my breath because I had walked about 80 yards at best.

 But I could sit and take time to smell the flowers. 

As I commenced my return journey, my mind flashed to those older folk that I have seen in the supermarket or at a store: their tortured steps as they traverse the market, the steps and the high shelves and so many people ignore them or do not even see them in the first place.

By the time I made it back to my home, I collapsed in my office chair, where I currently sit, and am currently pondering how I could have been so blind to the needs of others.

Steps are really rather daunting to those who have mobility issues. Whether those issues are permanent or temporary, a ramp is a far more agreeable way of navigating a rise in gradient.

I have learned that steps should be accompanied by handrails, just to give a bit of a " leg up " and boy oh boy, the odd chair to sit upon ( whether it be in an outdoor setting or a supermarket ) - what a Godsend.

It also struck me how important it is to have sunlight and fresh air. The ability to sit somewhere outside if mobility is restricted. How can so called " care homes " confine people to indoors for months and years on end without the ability to breathe in the joys of being outside in the fresh air and basking in sunlight?

 

I am reminded of Shaydee's article about the grass between the toes. Next time I go to the bin, I am going to see if I can take a shoe off and feel the grass between my toes because it has been too long since I have done it or even celebrated the " having done it. "

Over the past month, I have been bedridden, house ridden and isolated. Yet I am getting better. Imagine if my month was my future? Like so many of our older folk today?

As our governments seek to further isolate us, I cannot help but draw an analogy and consider what is going on in Australia and the so-called free world today.

We have been crippled and locked up, deprived of sunshine and exercise for weeks on end. We have been let out but there are steps in our pathways and police to stop us leaning on another for support when we need to have a bit of a helping hand.

We have seen people gaze at us with disdain and we have heard those that applaud our isolation because " we deserved it. " 

I took a terrible fall after an online attack that distressed me. I had plantar fascitis and fell and hit a shower screen, a washing machine and a hard tile floor - all at once - and am now crippled by the consequences of someone else's hatred that caused me to be less vigilant than I would have been.

Yes, sent to me from one of our posters when I announced I could not carry on. 

Was it their fault? No. It was mine. I allowed trolls to take away my chair, my handrails, and my ramps. I allowed them to put great stairways in my path.

Just as we see our rights taken away and can no longer visit the library, go to a movie or visit a restaurant, we allowed this to happen and now sit by the rubbish bin wondering how the hell it happened.

Because we ALLOWED it to happen.

That is about as clear as the boys with brothers who don't have brothers on a second clothes peg....

 

 

Just as I allowed two posters to ruin my life and my beloved Patriotrealm, WE are allowing our governments to ruin our beloved country.

 It has to stop. 

Instead of waiting to be crippled ( as I did ) we need to stop it now and not wait until the sight of the sun is blinding and the stairs become too daunting to climb.

It is time to take out the rubbish before the maggots invade our homes, our lives and our minds.

 

Because right now, the rubbish is piling up, the maggots are multiplying and the stairs are getting steeper by the day.

We cannot wait until we hit the floor, the washing machine and the shower screen before we fight back.

It is time to see the sunshine, smell the fresh air and lean on each other because we have a hell of a staircase to climb.

Footnote: After my triumphant outing, I am unable to walk again without pain - but damn, it felt good while it lasted! Fingers crossed that it is a temporary setback and I will see the sun again soon.... 

 

 

 

 

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