2020, Lock down, what a journey.
Let me start by saying that I am not writing this post because I want anyone to feel sorry for me or anything of that nature. I know that I have been very lucky during this lock down, as far as things go, I am fine and there are a lot of people worse off. I am writing this as a bit of a word vomit and just to get my thoughts and feelings out. Maybe you will relate to some of these things or find it helpful to know what it’s really like in Melbourne right now. I also just think it will be an interesting diary entry to look back at in years to come.
I want to tell anyone here who is reading that it’s okay to feel like S**t, it’s okay to be sad, angry, happy, confused, frustrated, lonely and feel like things have been taken away from you. However, it won’t be forever and we will come out the other side.
There are a lot of things I have not liked about this lock down, however, if there is one thing that has made me quite sad and upset, it is seeing people mentally struggling but feeling like they do not have the right to. Because a. They have a job or are still making money, b. They have a roof over their head, have food, water… c. They see people around them or know of people who are a lot worse off, meaning they should feel fine…
The saying “We might not be in the same boat, but we are all riding the same storm” is SO relevant. No, we aren’t all in the same situation but you know what, your sadness and anger and frustrations are completely valid and you are allowed to feel that way and vent to your friends and family about it if you want to. That doesn’t mean you are taking away from those less fortunate. If you can find a way to help out those people by providing food, or donating to charity then that is great however if you can’t, then you shouldn’t feel bad about that either. It’s incredibly sad to see people dying everyday, losing family members and friends or being stuck in a country and not being able to get home, of COURSE these things are sad and awful. But you feeling like rubbish, feeling like you have no control and feeling like you are missing out is VALID and its OKAY. There will always be someone worse off and someone better off. It is just the way that life is.
Watching friends and family go back to normal life, not just in other parts of Australia but everywhere else (it seems) in the world isn’t nice when you can’t do the same, no matter who you are, it sucks. And let me tell you, people from other places without a current lock down who are writing posts saying “We did it, you can too” is anything but helpful.
Yes, you did go through lock down but you know what, it was for a hell of a lot less time than us. Not living in Vic and living through it, you really have little idea of how we feel right now( in the nicest way possible).
There are positives somewhere in all of this as well. People have started some amazing businesses or have been using this time to start something new, make the most of the situation.We know what the positives are and they are what make us happy and excited for the future in a non lock down life.
Melbourne Lock down – A quick timeline:
March – The month that started fairly normal, we knew something was going on in the world but we had no idea what was to come. We actually travelled to Tasmania for birthday celebrations at the start of the month, we got home and all hell broke loose.
24th March 2020 was the last day I was at work, (I remember this day well because it was the day before my manager Matt’s birthday and we had the mini’est celebration) this was after we had officially closed the club because of restrictions, myself and Matt were packing everything up and locking up for the next… X?? weeks. At that time we had no idea how long, maybe a couple of weeks?
I wrote a post here about the first lock down in more detail.
18th June 2020 – The day that it felt like life was going back to normal. We had been called into work to start the process of reopening. After 12 weeks of being at home and being confined to a one bed apartment 90% of the time, it felt like a weight was lifting, but at the same time, it was slightly terrifying. Nothing was going to be the same, there were still to be restrictions, I was questioning will it be the same? I personally had a lot of anxiety over the idea of leaving the house for an extended amount of time and I didn’t feel ready.
The next two weeks though, felt pretty good. Life was feeling okay, a new normal was being set and it was so nice to see people, even if hugging was now illegal. Work felt good, you could walk around outside without feeling like a criminal. And then… case numbers started going back up, suburbs and buildings were being closed down, things started taking a turn for the worse, again. All I was hoping and praying for was that I would be able to go out for Brunch for my birthday, that’s all I wanted.
9th July 2020 (The day before my birthday), Lockdown 2.0 happened. We went back to Level 3 and it was devastating for a lot of people, including myself. Now, not only were we going back into lock down, but we are watching the rest of the world start to come out and get back to normal life, we were reliving that first twelve weeks, but.. its only for 6 weeks right…
At the start of lock down 2.0 everything kind of went back to how it was in 1.0. I would get up and work out, eat well, go for walks, visit the local coffee shop and get groceries. It wasn’t so bad knowing that we only had 6 weeks and also we were really hoping to move house during this time. We then ‘got the call’ that we in Melbourne were dreading, it wasn’t going to be just six weeks, it would be longer and guess what, Level 4 is coming.
We had been applying for places to move to, we had been for a long long time at this point. Working and living in a one bed apartment just wasn’t enough space. Finally, after months we were approved for a house, a townhouse with SO much more space and our moving day? 1st August 2020.
1st August 2020 – Moving day was stressful. The movers were late, it took longer than it should have, however, we were moving into our new place and we KNEW that we would be in there before Level 4 would hit. It was great and we were excited. Not for level 4 but the fact that we would have a new house!
August 2nd 2020, Melbourne is in Level 4. We have a curfew (do not leave your house from 8pm – 5am), you may only leave your house for essentials ( food shopping, exercise or permitted work), only leave your house for a maximum of one hour per day and you may not go more than 5km from your home… Great, back to really feeling like a criminal for leaving your house.
The last month has been okay. We love our new place although there was an adjustment period. We are lucky enough to have lovely neighbours and our neighbourhood is great to walk around and explore. We are getting to know our local coffee shop owners and the grocery store is thankfully really great.
Today – 1st September 2020 – We are still in level 4 lock down. As of yesterday I think we have 2 weeks to go (we find out more this Sunday) and you can’t help but feel a little optimistic. Numbers are kind of consistently going down however there is so much media flurry about what will happen next that most people I know have just stopped reading the news. I look for numbers for the day and then I leave it.
For those playing at home, from the time we first went into lock down until now has been 23 weeks. Apart from the 3-ish weeks we went back to ‘normal’ we have been in lock down. 5 months is a long long time and by the time we eventually get out of this in whatever form that is.. it will be even longer. Everyone is feeling it in many different ways.
If you aren’t living in Melbourne and reading this I want to give a few small pieces of advice. When you do talk to your friends and family living in Melbourne, don’t ask them how their weekend was (chances are it was exactly the same as the past 23 weeks), don’t say to them “It is so unfair, I have read this or I have seen this and XXX”, because great, we probably know that and we probably don’t care because living through it is a whole lot different. Please don’t give advice on what to do with days or time, to eat healthier, to work out, to go for a walk everyday , ways to”Feel Better”. Chances are we are probably doing that, have tried that or are having a crappy time thinking about not doing those things.
Just listen. If someone wants to vent, just listen, don’t comment. Don’t tell someone to keep positive or keep their chin up. Just listen to what they have to say. They might be negative but it won’t be forever. I do really hope everyone in Melbourne is doing okay. I think of my friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances everyday, hoping that everyone is doing okay. Personally I do hope life goes back to some kind of normal soon. I am trying to keep positive however I am staying realistic.
Anyway… I hope this posts helps someone. Or at least gives you something to read. Maybe it will help you understand what we have been going through if you aren’t from Melbourne. I will likely keep this on my blog as a memory of what happened in 2020. I will hopefully read back in a few years and say wow, remember that.
Keep Safe and please reach out of you need someone to talk to. Reach out to one of your friends living in Melbourne even if you think they are okay. Chances are they might not reach out to you for the fear of being annoying or a broken record.