FATIGUED, missing out, over it, bitter, grateful, happy, heartbreaking, done: these are some words Mitchell Shire residents have employed to describe their feelings about an extended local lockdown, as metropolitan Melbourne’s lockdown breaks the world record.
Melbourne has today overtaken Buenos Aires to become the city that has endured the longest cumulative lockdown in the world.
Melbourne has spent 246 days in lockdown since the pandemic was declared on March 12, 2020, beating the previous record set by Buenos Aires by one day. Mitchell Shire has spent close to six months in lockdown.
The Review asked readers on social media how they were feeling and coping, and the 80 responses showed a mixture of emotions.
Many commented that they felt for children and young people in lockdown.
“As a family with both parents still working, whilst I am thankful for this, I am watching my children’s grades slip and the impacts it’s having on them being at home 24/7. Missing once-in-a-lifetime age related events and activities,” Sharney Leighton wrote.
“Unfair for the children, especially on the school holidays, no art classes, no horse riding, no friends allowed over, no school holiday programs. What’s next? It’s making us feel sad,” Enza Bushby said.
Anna Barry, a Wallan-based maternity and newborn photographer, said she was tired of rescheduling clients, and that parents were missing out on special moments too.
“This time round is more depressing somehow. I think we have all given up hope,” she said.
Several were frustrated to still be waiting for eased restrictions despite having been fully vaccinated for months.
“My husband and I had COVID last year, we have both had both our vaccinations. But Dan says we still have to be home not see our grandchildren,” Jane Catherine Dickman said.
“In my opinion it’s time he just let everyone be responsible for their own lives now.”
Scott James said he was ‘double vaxed and happy to pay tax’, but said he thought Premier Daniel Andrews needed a better understanding of each industry’s struggles.
“Part of me wishes he’d at least had some exposure to the small business, hospitality and tourism portfolio and maybe we could have had a more balanced approach to pandemic management and not the world record.”
Some expressed anger towards the Federal Government’s vaccine rollout and hotel quarantine program.
“[Prime Minister Scott Morrison] has failed on both counts and it is due his inept government that we have been in lockdowns as a result,” Leigh Paice said.
Others put blame on non-compliance and people having parties, after Mr Andrews last week said AFL Grand Final parties were the cause of a steep jump in case numbers.
While many expressed frustration, there was also understanding and gratitude, particularly for modern technology and tools like Zoom.
“I’m not angry at the lockdown, I understand why it’s necessary,” Nicole Rudd said.
“Let’s get real people, get vaccinated, there’s a choice of three now. Let’s stay home, do the right things and follow the rules, we are so close, yet not following these simple steps will push us back.”