Shelter at Home Report from Kristy Swift, Sydney, Australia

This is a Oaxaca to Australia report on the pandemic. It is touching all corners of the earth. I met Kristy Swift almost three years ago, when she first came with us on a Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC Chiapas Textile Study Tour. She came back in 2020 to go on the Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour. I now consider her a friend and textile comadre! Here is what she says.


Good to hear from you Norma.  Stay safe and well.

Here is a report from Sydney, Australia.  I guess I am in the heartland of corona virus here. We have the highest numbers of anywhere in Australia and its because we imported it all from foreign travelers and bloody cruise ships.  I wanted our borders closed in February — the government only did that in the last 3 weeks.

I found out that a neighbour who recently returned from NY has it (now recovered), and it looks like one of my friends has it (although she won’t get tested). 

Kristy with maker of this indigo huipil, San Juan Colorado

We have been in isolation for 3 weeks now.  We are allowed only out to the shops, medical appointments, essential services, and for a quick walk.  We are not allowed to be in contact with more than 1 person at any time. And obviously it is all social distancing.  90% of Australians are complying.  Luckily, nobody can buy guns here in Australia – so phew!

I wear a mask, gloves, glasses when I go out to the shops.  My husband here works for the biggest grocery company in the country and things are starting to calm down as they introduced limits a few weeks back, plus a system for the elderly and disabled to access groceries and have them delivered.  This eases the public concerns.

Supply is not a problem — it is that people went crazy with hoarding.  Now, we are in isolation and since the government has told us to stay home, things have settled a bit in the shops — hope this continues.  Although ‘essential’ items are scarce (truth be told, I know what to do with flour, sugar etc – but a lot of people – ie younger generation are not skilled in that department, so I wonder, what is the point of buying flour, especially the Gluten Free flour that I use!).  Green food is easy to get a hold of here because people are more interested in dry stuff/tins/pasta/rice.

Kristy with caracol purpura and coyuchi huipil, Pinotepa de Don Luis

I am currently homeschooling my children.  OMG.  This is the least likely position I can see myself in.  My son has ADHD, so it is challenging, but I am rising to this challenge.  I am trying to do my other work, my textile stuff- and app work, on the weekend for a few hours.  I have photographed all the great stuff I purchased in Mexico and getting it ready for sale to post on my website. 

The sun is shining out of my window.  I am grateful for that, along with so many things in my life. In fact, a practice I recommend is writing down everyday the things you are grateful for.  It shifts energy.  

This was a month of celebrations for us.  Three of us in our house all share birthdays in the one week – starting with mine.  Three friends of mine walked by my house – all spaced apart and sang Happy Birthday.  My husband cooked dinner.  Yay!  And we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month at the top restaurant in Sydney looking across the harbour/opera house – a risky dinner (a table of Italians beside us), but I knew at the time this would be The Last Hurrah!  I am pretty sure that when we are released (government is telling us 6 months or more) that we will not recognise the landscape and that restaurant, along with 1000s of others, will no longer exist. 

Well, that was a long comment wasn’t it.  I enjoy reading your reports enormously (a bit jealous, I am now short on time to write), but grateful for everything else.  Health and well-being the foremost.

Just remember, you are a warrior woman, Norma.  You have this, it is a piece of cake.  See yourself and direct your energy everyday claiming you have a strong, healthy immune system, that you are love, joy, wellbeing, free and powerful.  

Much love to you and your family

You are in the right place there Norma and I am happy you are not in NC or in Oaxaca.  Family is the most important thing.

Love, Kristy


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