So it feels like we are finally coming close to the end of our strict lockdown in Sydney. It has been an interesting time. I think everyone has been bitten by the lockdown in different ways, often feeling as though they can’t complain about how rubbish it has been for them because of how rubbish it has also been (in different ways) for everyone else.
Those who live by themselves have likely never felt as isolated as they have in these past months. But check that complaint if you can work from home, live near the beach, and don’t have to home school anyone.
There are the families who have been spending way too much time together as their homes have become offices, schools and (in the case of some areas of our city) almost prisons for months. An impossible juggle. But pipe down if you can work from home, are surrounded by people you love, and have a new respect for real teachers.
Our elders have been disconnected from life (often without the technological capability that has helped most of us stay connected). With no access to family, friends and community, missing out on marking important milestones like funerals and weddings. But shush if you are generally in good health, have been vaccinated and have a comfortable home.
And that’s not even talking about our friends in Melbourne, or people stuck overseas, or people unable to get to family overseas. Or frontline workers or essential workers. Or people who can’t work. Or students starting school or finishing school. Or people starting jobs or finishing jobs. Or folks with mental and physical health challenges trying to cope with this added weight on their shoulders. Or new parents or people who have lost loved ones.
Lockdown has bitten everyone. In different ways and at different times, sure, but we have all been bitten and it freakin hurt. Of course, we don’t yet know what the impact will be – what will bounce back, and what has been permanently changed.
I hope we will keep our appreciation for our neighbourhoods and being part of our communities. I hope we will continue to check in and stay connected with our colleagues, friends and family – even if it’s just by sending a text to show you’re thinking of them, or sharing something funny or interesting that we’ve seen. (If you care, I think it is really important to show it.) I hope we will continue to find ways to help the vulnerable in our community who are faced with risks on so many different fronts, all the time. I hope employers will find a way to balance the return to a (incredibly important) workplace community with the flexibility and personal gains that we have created during lockdowns.
And if you’re reading this and you’ve survived a lockdown, give yourself a pat on the head. By making it through, you have shown resilience and strength and courage in the face of a time that we could never have imagined. And that is something to be celebrated – soon (likely with more distancing and hand washing, which is not a bad thing). WELL DONE, YOU.