I was really hoping I would not have to go through another lockdown but the universe had other plans.
Melbourne is now considered the lockdown capital of Australia and for good reason — we are now in our sixth lockdown and our second lockdown was for a whopping 112 days.
Sydney is now sharing the pain, having been in lockdown for six weeks and is recording about 200 to 300 coronavirus cases per day.
Melbournians are currently better off than Sydneysiders at the moment but having been through so many lockdowns, the general feeling is fatigue, disappointment and sadness at missing out on the important things in life — family gatherings, seeing good friends and connecting with work colleagues.
I am trying to persevere through this lockdown as I have done in all the previous lockdowns but it is getting harder to stay positive and motivated. Everyday feels like Groundhog Day and getting out of bed takes effort. Rather than working, I often just feel like watching my favourite shows and reading novels. But I won’t get paid for doing that, so each workday, I have to somehow motivate myself and knuckle down and do my work.
There is something that happened recently, which has cheered me up and given me more of a purpose at this time. During the last lockdown (Lockdown number 5), my partner and I decided to adopt a kitten from a shelter. As soon as we saw Ollie, a beautiful black and white short haired creature, we decided we had to have him. He was very timid at first but within weeks, he has come out of his shell and is quite affectionate. Everyday he makes us laugh as he plays and jumps around and it is fun watching him explore the house and discover his new world.
Along with my new feline companion, there is so much in my life to be thankful for — my partner, family, friends, job and health. But when you have been through so many lockdowns, restrictions and constant changes, remaining grateful can be hard.
It is also difficult to have hope — hope that we won’t go through another lockdown, hope that more people will be vaccinated quickly, hope that we can live with the virus rather than the virus dominating our lives.
I know that one day in the future, we will be able to live peacefully with this virus and not have to wear face masks when we leave the house, that we will be able see our friends and family whenever we want and of course, travel overseas and no longer live in a tiny, restricted bubble.
So I will try to remember this tomorrow, as I wake up and push myself out of bed for another workday. The life we are living now is only temporary — we might as well enjoy its simplicity and slower pace. Even if it means wearing active wear everyday, having too many zoom work calls and watching way too much Netflix.