Apocalypsing Optimistically…

I have a reputation for positivity.

There are worse things to be known for, but the downside is that people often expect me to bring the sunshine.

Bad moods stick out a little more.

Why so serious?

The truth is, I don’t mind spreading joy about. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously, but it’s weighing on me rather heavily of late. Silver linings can be a little thin on the ground during end of days. Am I being a tad dramatic? Maybe, but I’ve seen enough episodes of Buffy and Supernatural to recognise an Apocalypse when I see one!

Coronavirus started out as a whisper. An “over there” problem.

That whisper turned into a roar, and “over there” quickly became “right here.”

I listened as the overly concerned humans spoke of cancelled holidays and stock piling canned goods, but it never occurred to me to join their ranks. I optimistically imagined myself on a beach in Thailand come April, without a care in the world! How could anything stand in the way of my well-planned holiday?

Then the toilet paper started flying off the shelves and I started to get twitchy. I masked my twitch with jokes and nonchalance, but inside my optimism began to falter.

Was doomsday upon us?

And could we really escape its wrath with a good scrunch of 3ply?

Yes! I’m a scruncher!

It soon became clear, that my trip to Thailand was nothing but a pipe dream. The borders were closing in on us. Flights were cancelled. Tears were shed. The dream was over.

I immediately consoled myself with the money I would save from not going. We could holiday at home…

Then the ‘Great Cancellation of 2020’ began.

I’m a very social person. My calendar is never empty. People ask what I am doing on any given weekend, and the answer is never ‘nothing.’ When this all kicked off, March was stacked. I had birthdays to celebrate and dinners to attend. Cheese festivals and football matches. I was actually complaining that I didn’t know how I was going to make it!

And then it was over.

Be careful what you wish for…

I didn’t want to panic buy.

I didn’t want to panic!

Every time I went to the supermarket, I would casually approach the toilet paper aisle, as though I could care less if there was any left. I would joke some more, then carry on.

Then the pasta started to sell out and camels backs began breaking all over! I would not spend my last days on this earth without a good supply of pasta!

The world isn’t coming to an end, but life as we know it is.

The optimist in me is revived by this thought, because life as we have known it, isn’t working. We need to make some serious changes and it needs to happen now.

People are being told to stay home, and yet we cannot commit.

People are being told to stop panic buying, yet I can’t get a pack of Tim Tams anywhere!

What is so wrong with pressing pause, so that our world can recover from this giant mess we’ve made?

I’ve experienced every kind of emotion this pandemic has to offer.

My inability to purchase toilet paper after 4 weeks of trying, eventually broke me. I cried out of desperation and embarrassment. How could I not perform this most basic of tasks?

A friend of mine rescued me of course, delivering me some of her surplus. I can now resume scrunching without fear – for a while anyway.

I have felt worry and concern about our country’s lack of strong leadership and clear direction. How can I be working from home, with my daughter by my side, but my son can still go to childcare and my partner must go to work? It has me up at night. Will we somehow escape this virus, or will it come for us all?

I have laughed with friends and family, as we embrace new ways to engage each other throughout all this. Feet and elbows bumped. Hilarious video calls. Gift hampers dropped in driveways. Letters in the mail.

Last night I sobbed, as I was told that perhaps my beloved community papers would not be able to continue – another victim I couldn’t have foreseen.

My mantra is simple – WE HAVE ENOUGH!

I say it whenever I am feeling low. We are blessed to the point of being spoiled and I guess this is the world’s way of reminding us that we have taken it all for granted.

So, I’m leaning in.

I will embrace this lockdown fully.

I will rest and read and paint and sing and dance.

I will binge watch The Wire, because I have never had time to do it before.

I will write, because it is good for my soul.

I will eat well and run on my treadmill.

I will also eat entire blocks of chocolate and do nothing at all.

I will be grateful for my family and friends and my place within my community, because when this is over, I will need them to help me help everyone that hasn’t been so fortunate through all of this.

I don’t know how long this will last, but I know that if we stick together – even in isolation – we will be OK in the end.

Trust me – I’m an optimist!

Melissa Longo


  1. Chris

    Lovely, my dear Melissa. We will all improvise and adapt. The two worset things are the plight of those for whom work has dried up (in the family and globally), and the actual casualties.


  2. Sandra Wilson

    I’m with you, girl. Keep sharing the tonic of positivity. Many of us are experiencing loss or have a feeling of uselessness, but there are many good attributes in our community that I am certain will push through. I also think we will learn something about ourselves and others in all of this that will mean some changes for the better in the long term. I have often considered myself as an ‘eternal optimist’ but as time goes by, I have reclassified myself as an ‘optimistic realist’. What I think that means in response to ‘Apocalypsing Optimistically’ is that we are dealing with a harsh test for a better future and what we learn today will put us in good stead for tomorrow! Keep up your great work xx


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